Have you or anyone you know experienced a mini-stroke or a warning stroke? Well, these are often a sign of a major stroke occurring, which makes it vital that you start taking preventative measures immediately. Unfortunately, preventing strokes require a little more forethought than you’d think.
For one, you’d have to know about the different types of strokes — both of which are catalyzed by different factors. There are also certain conditions that you can’t do anything about. Like your age, gender, ethnicity, etc. Keep reading if you’re interested in learning about what can be done in order to prevent a stroke, and how you can go about doing it.
Types Of Strokes
As mentioned, the first thing to consider when learning about how to prevent strokes are the types of strokes there are to prevent. For this, there are only two that you need to know about. There are ischemic strokes, which are the most common, and then there are the hemorrhagic strokes.
The former is most commonly caused by the hardening or narrowing of the arteries connected to the brain — leading brain cells to die at the lack of oxygen. The latter is a type of stroke caused by weakened or narrowed arteries that rupture and causes blood to compress and damage brain tissue.
Types Of Risk Factors
The next thing to consider is the types of risk factors. As mentioned, there are some that you can change, and some that you cannot.
- Nonmodifiable Risk Factors are the risk factors that you cannot change. These include your age, gender, ethnicity, genes, etc.
- Modifiable Risk Factors are the risk factors that we are going to focus on the most, as these are the ones that you can control. Like your diet, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, drinking, smoking, etc.
- And finally, there are Emerging Risk Factors, which are the most plentiful but also will require further study before they are considered true risk factors.
It’s important that you get to know all the different types of risk factors so that you can act accordingly in their management.
Tips For Staying Stroke Free
Now that we’ve gone over most of the informational bits, let’s talk about the actual solutions. Of course, different things might work better for different people. However, in the end, it’s important to keep all the tips that we have listed in mind, and that you take action. Especially if you discover yourself at the mercy of nonmodifiable risk factors.
- Blood Pressure is a known trigger for both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes and it is modifiable. It can be improved with a healthier low-cholesterol and low-sodium diet, some exercise, and some stress management.
- Smoking is another key trigger and a known culprit for incurring atherosclerosis (the most common cause of an ischemic stroke.) So, it should be avoided at all cost.
- Obesity is something that is also very commonly linked to strokes. If you yourself are overweight, a couple of pounds lost could do wonders on decreasing your risk of a stroke.
- Similar to smoking, it is best to avoid drinking Alcohol as well.
- Exercising More is another recommendation, and it doubles as a way of lowering your blood pressure and helping you lose weight.
- Atrial Fibrillation, which is a condition that can cause blood clots to form in your heart and travel to the brain, is something that should be identified and treated immediately. For this, medication is often required in order to thin the blood.
- In the same vein as the previous tip, Diabetes should be treated as soon as possible as well.
Strokes can lead to permanent disablement or even death. It should be prevented. Especially, as most of the preventative measures requires no more than taking the step forward to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. If you, or someone you know, is at risk? Take the time to familiarize yourself with the measures we’ve listed above and take comfort in doing what you can to live a longer and happier life.
- “Hemorrhagic and Ischemic Strokes Compared.” Stroke, www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.540112.
- Siasos, Gerasimos, et al. “Smoking and Atherosclerosis: Mechanisms of Disease and New Therapeutic Approaches.” Current Medicinal Chemistry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25174928.