Prevent a Stroke in West Palm Beach, Florida

May is Stroke Awareness Month.  This is a great article with steps on how to prevent a stroke.  Visit us at for help with an aging loved one.

Prevent a stroke in 5 simple steps

(ARA) – Did you know that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable? That figure, from the National Stroke Association, illustrates just how important it is that you know the steps necessary to prevent a stroke from affecting your life. What might surprise you is that many of those steps are lifestyle suggestions you’ve heard before – they just have the added benefit of helping to ward off a stroke.

In honor of May being Stroke Awareness Month, Life Line Screening wants to share the list of lifestyle changes that can help aid in stroke prevention and to remind you that a preventive stroke screening can help you identify your particular risk factors. Knowing exactly how you can protect yourself from a stroke – which affects approximately 800,000 Americans each year – may inspire you to take action.

Many people are taking the steps to improve the quality of their lives. Even though the modifications can be difficult, the life-saving benefits they can offer are worth the effort. Only you can make the decision to take control of your wellness. Start with these simple steps:

Step 1. Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quitting is one of the most important things you can do to decrease your chances of a stroke. Puffing on tobacco sets the stage for a stroke in the following ways:

Why it’s important:

* Smoking is linked to an accumulation of plaque in your carotid arteries, which supply blood to your brain. Blockage in these arteries, including plaque, is the leading cause of stroke.

Carbon monoxide from smoking lowers the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry to your brain and makes your blood more likely to clot. Blood clots in an artery that supplies blood to your brain can trigger a stroke.

* Nicotine in the tobacco raises your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke.

If you smoke, talk to your doctor about medications and programs that can help you stop.

Step 2. Trim down. Being overweight is associated with many factors that raise your risk for a stroke.

Why it’s important:

* You’re more likely to have high cholesterol, which is an ingredient in plaque that can block your arteries. Blocked arteries are a risk factor for stroke.

* You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The elevated levels of blood glucose, high cholesterol and increased blood pressure associated with diabetes can cause a stroke.

* You’re more likely to have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke.

Doctors typically determine whether patients are too heavy by their body mass index (BMI), which uses a formula combining your height and weight. Ideally, your BMI should be less than 25. Calculate your BMI online by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at:

Step 3. Get moving. If you don’t do much physical activity, you can develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, all of which increases your chance for a stroke.

Why it’s important:

* If you’re at a healthy weight, it’s still important to exercise regularly.

* If you’re overweight, exercising regularly will help you shed the extra pounds.

Exercising regularly means at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. If you can’t do it all at once, it’s OK to break up your activity into smaller chunks.

Step 4. Prevent or control diabetes. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your brain and elsewhere in your body. Besides being at a very high risk for a stroke, most people with diabetes die of some form of cardiovascular disease.

Why it’s important:

* If you have diabetes, maintaining your blood sugar levels through weight loss, physical activity and possibly by taking medications can help reduce your risk of stroke.

* If you don’t have diabetes, regular physical activity and keeping a healthy weight will help you avoid it. By getting a preventive health screening for diabetes, you can find out what your risks are for the disease.

Step 5. Eat a healthy diet. Loading up your plate with fruits, vegetables and grains and cutting down on foods high in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat, is also an important component in a stroke-preventing lifestyle. As a rule, avoid fatty meats, full-fat dairy and baked snack foods containing partially hydrogenated oils. Keep your sodium consumption below 2,400 milligrams (or 1 teaspoon) per day. This daily amount includes all salt and sodium in your foods, not just salt you add.

Why it’s important:

* Following this type of diet will help you maintain a healthier blood pressure and lower cholesterol, which is necessary for stroke prevention.

Life Line Screening, the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings, encourages you to take a closer look at exactly how making these changes can help you prevent a stroke and live a healthier lifestyle for overall wellness.

Courtesy of ARAcontent