Welcome back to the Griswold Blog! This week, we’re honoring Stroke Awareness Month to not only increase your knowledge, but also to help prevent a stroke in your loved one.
One of the biggest risk factors of stroke is age. But, as we said in our last post, up to 80% of strokes can be prevented! That’s a big number, and a big reason to take preventative measures seriously.
To help reduce the risk of stroke in your loved one, help and encourage him or her to take these following issues seriously:
Blood pressure & cholesterol level.
High blood pressure (hypertension), if left untreated, poses a major risk for stroke. Help your loved one keep track of his or her blood pressure with regular doctor’s visits, or even the automatic blood pressure machines in pharmacies and supermarkets. And help him or her keep it at a healthy level! Check out our previous heart healthy blog posts for tips to keep cholesterol down and health and happiness up.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) — abnormal heartbeat — is a major risk factor for stroke, making a person five times more likely to have a stroke. In fact, 15% of all people who have strokes also have AF. But three out of four AF-related strokes can be prevented! Besides visiting the doctor regularly, make sure your loved one pays special attention to any heart palpitations; sudden pounding, fluttering or racing sensations in the chest or dizziness and light-headedness. Check out the FacingAfib website for education resources on AF and reducing stroke risk.
Unhealthy habits — like smoking, overindulging in alcohol, and not maintaining a healthy diet or activity level – all increase the risk of stroke. Check out our previous blog posts on healthy eating for the elderly and physical wellness for the elderly.
Those with diabetes are at an increased risk for stroke. The tips in the aforementioned blog posts on heart health, healthy eating and physical wellness are also applicable to prevent diabetes. When it comes down to it, most of prevention is about leading a healthy lifestyle!
If your loved one has circulation issues, it’s very important to discuss these issues with a doctor to make sure the blood flow between the heart and brain is not compromised. A health care professional can listen to the arteries, just as he or she can listen to the heart, or use ultrasounds or MRIs to assess circulation problems. Other blood diseases, like severe anemia and sickle cell disease, can also lead to stroke. Once again, this is an area that can only be assessed and treated by a health care professional.
Fight strokes with prevention, and prevent with awareness — to help your loved one make healthy decisions and keep on top of doctor’s visits.
For more information, please review our Heart Disease & Atrial Fibrillation Resources.
Have you had any experiences with these issues? If so, share in the comments below.