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Home >> Warning Signs Of A Stroke  

 Warning Signs Of A Stroke

Quick action can mean the difference between tragedy and recovery when it comes to a stroke. Heed these warning signs of stroke:

  1. Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.
  2. Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech.
  3. Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in only one eye.
  4. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  5. Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially along with any of the previous symptoms.

If you notice any of these symptoms, get help immediately by calling the emergency phone number of your area. A study of response times showed that people with stroke signs who called the emergency number got to the hospital two to three times faster than those who called their doctors or tried to transport themselves to the hospital. And with stroke, minutes matter very much.
What seems like a stroke may actually turn out to be a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). These are sometimes called temporary strokes, since the symptoms quickly disappear. But you should not ignore a TIA, since it is the single most important warning of impending stroke.



Check your blood pressure. Many people do not even know they have high blood pressure, because it produces few outward symptoms. So get your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least once a year if it is 130/85 or higher. If your blood pressure is lower, get it checked every two years. Many cases of high blood pressure begin developing between ages 35 and 45. Research shows that controlling high blood pressure can cut your risk of stroke by as much as 40 percent. Any reading higher than 140/90 is considered high. Your doctor will be able to prescribe treatments for high blood pressure, from dietary changes to doing more exercise to drug therapy. Follow the advice as your life depends on it. Controlling hypertension is absolutely vital in stroke prevention.

  1. Cut the butts. If you really need another reason to quit smoking, here it is. Studies show that kicking the habit can reduce your risk of stroke by 33 percent. Do not just cut back on cigarettes. There is no such thing as moderate smoking. You have to stop it altogether, all the way, right now.
  2. Check your neck. Ask your doctor to listen for a bruit, a whooshing sound in the carotid arteries in your neck. This is caused by partial blockage and turbulence in the crucial blood vessels that feed oxygen to the brain. This is especially important if you have atherosclerosis causing blocked blood vessels elsewhere in your body. While you are at it, have the doctor check your heart, too. Treating a trial fibrillation can reduce stroke risk by up to 80 percent.
  3. Get some exercise. Physical inactivity may be a risk factor for stroke, but a total exercise time of at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week, could help cut that risk. Walking, tennis, cycling, stair climbing, aerobics and even gardening and table tennis can be potential stroke busters. Exercise has so many benefits, if you are not exercising, you could be robbing yourself of your later years.
  4. If it is orange or green, eat it. Continuous research has shown just how powerful the nutrient beta-carotene can be in fighting stroke. A study showed that persons who took beta-carotene suffer nearly half as many strokes, cardiac deaths and other cardiac diseases as those who did not take it. Fruits and vegetables are high in beta-carotene with sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, red peppers, winter squash, apricots and spinach among the best sources.
  5. Pack away potassium. Researchers have found that adding a single daily serving of potassium rich food to your diet could cut your risk of fatal stroke by as much as 40%. Potassium may help prevent the formation of blood clots, one of the primary factors in stroke and heart attack. Potatoes are one of the best sources of potassium. Other good sources include beans, avocados, bananas, salmon, trout and tomato sauce.
  6. Know the aspirin essentials. Aspirin might ward off ischemic stroke by thinning potential blood clots. But unless   you   already   have   a   risk   factor,   such   as atherosclerosis or a prior stroke, it might do you much good. See your doctor before you start an aspirin regimen for stroke prevention.
  7. Go low-fat. What is good for your heart is good for your brain. Keep your cholesterol in check. This can slow atherosclerosis and ward off ischemic stroke. So eat a low-fat diet. Limit fat to no more than 25% of your total calories. Your diet needs to be well-balanced and low in fat.
  8. Toast your health-in moderation. Excess drinking means increased stroke risk. Key to the intake of alcohol: drink in moderation.
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