A stroke can be devastating to an individual and his or her family. A stroke, or “brain attack,” occurs when blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a clot or hemorrhage. When the supply is cut off, even for a few minutes, brain cells begin to die. The longer the blood supply is lost, the higher the chance of disability and death.
Stroke is a leading killer in our country, and recovering from a stroke can be a long and challenging process. You can significantly lower your risk of having a stroke by adopting a few healthy lifestyle habits. Don’t let this devastating condition happen to you. Commit to lowering your risk by doing the following things every day:
- Know your blood pressure, and keep it under control. Having high blood pressure, or hypertension, increases your risk of having a stroke up to four-fold. Have your blood pressure checked regularly, and if it’s high, work with your physician to lower it. Some ways to do this include a low-sodium diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, taking blood pressure medications if prescribed, and getting regular physical activity, such as walking.
- Do not smoke. Smoking greatly increases your risk of stroke. It causes a buildup of plaque in the main artery to your brain. It also raises your blood pressure and reduces the oxygen level in your blood. Additionally, it makes your blood more likely to clot. Commit to quitting, even if it’s difficult. It is possible to quit, and you will begin to improve your health almost immediately.
- Take steps to lower your cholesterol. Cholesterol that is too high can cause a buildup of plaque in your arteries that can lead to a stroke and heart attack. Get your cholesterol levels checked as your physician recommends, and talk with him or her about how to maintain healthy levels.
- If you have heart disease, work with your cardiologist to keep your heart as healthy as possible. Adopt heart healthy habits, including a healthy diet, exercise, controlling your stress, and getting adequate sleep.
Although the facts about stroke are sobering, you don’t have to become a statistic. With the guidance of your physician, you can control your risk and live a longer, healthier life. Taking good care of yourself now can pay off for years to come. Your health is well worth the effort.
Cardiovascular Care at CarePoint Health
The Cardiovascular Departments at Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital, and Hoboken University Medical Center offer comprehensive, state-of-the-art care for a wide range of heart conditions. Having an expert cardiologist on your side can help you manage your heart health before emergencies occur, giving you the best chance to lead a happy, healthy life.
For more information about our cardiovascular care, please contact us.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.