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Stroke Prevention - How to Prevent a Stroke - Oren Zarif - Stroke Prevention

While older people are at a higher risk for stroke, strokes can affect anyone at any age. The risk is higher for women than men, and stroke has been associated with many different factors, such as gestational diabetes, oral contraceptive use, and smoking. African Americans and people with a family history of stroke are also at increased risk. In addition to age, people with high blood pressure and diabetes have higher risk factors for stroke. It is important to keep these factors in check and practice good lifestyle habits to decrease your stroke risk.

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As stroke is a medical emergency, you should seek medical attention immediately to minimize the damage it causes to your brain. A stroke can affect speech, balance, and coordination, and it can affect your memory and ability to control your muscles. Although 80 percent of strokes are preventable, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk. For example, it is important to avoid smoking and to exercise regularly. People with high blood pressure are also at a higher risk of having another stroke.

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The first step in stroke prevention is to learn the signs and symptoms of a stroke. A stroke is usually caused by a combination of factors, and controlling these risk factors can reduce your chance of having another one. Knowing what to look for will help you determine if you need medical care and which actions you need to take. The NINDS has identified a wide variety of risk factors and warning signs that you should look out for. These warning signs are the first signs of a stroke and indicate that the brain is not receiving enough oxygen. If you experience these warning signs, contact a physician or 911 right away.

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Aspirin and other antithrombotic drugs are used to treat the symptoms of a stroke, they reduce the relative risk of a patient by 20 to 25 percent. By limiting saturated fats and increasing the consumption of fiber, they can prevent the onset of stroke. They can also lower blood pressure. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are both associated with a higher risk of stroke. If you are prone to stroke, you should talk to your doctor about these steps to lower your risk.

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During a stroke, the first step of treatment is establishing a line of intravenous medication to help the patient breathe. A health care professional will perform appropriate blood tests and noncontrast CT scans to confirm the clinical diagnosis. In some cases, a mechanical thrombolysis can be performed within 24 hours. However, mechanical thrombolysis is not suitable for every patient, and may not be a viable option for you. People at risk can reduce their stroke risk by quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure, and exercising regularly.

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While exercise is important for any health condition, a healthy diet can reduce your risk of a stroke. A fatty diet and an unhealthy lifestyle may raise your cholesterol and blood pressure, which increase your risk of stroke. Generally, a low-fat, high-fiber diet is recommended. While this diet is generally healthy, it is important to avoid processed foods, high sodium, and foods with a high salt content. It is also important to get regular checkups for blood pressure to ensure that it is normal.

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Other stroke-causing factors include heart conditions and diabetes. Atrial fibrillation, a patent foramen ovale, and heart valve disease can increase the risk of stroke in individuals. Illicit drugs, ruptured aneurysms, and inherited predispositions to abnormal blood clotting can also increase the risk of stroke. For example, a high level of homocystine can predispose an individual to a stroke.

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The most important steps in reducing your risk of a stroke are identifying and controlling risk factors. A stroke prevention program addresses these issues and offers resources and support for patients and families to reduce their risks. The program is headed by Dr. Anjail Sharrief, Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Institute of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease Prevention at UCLA. He discusses the importance of lifestyle changes in reducing the risk of stroke.

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Alcohol is another stroke risk factor. Heavy drinkers are three times more likely to experience a stroke than people who drink moderately. Alcohol consumption should be limited to two days a week. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and reducing sugary foods is another way to lower your risk of a stroke. The CDC's Live to the Beat campaign encourages people to cut back on alcohol intake and avoid smoking. Taking medicines prescribed by a doctor can help prevent strokes. In fact, 25% of patients with a stroke stop taking medication within three months.

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