Hosted By

Sherry L. Pierce
Author of "I'M OK"





Preventing a Brain Attack

Every year, 150,000 Americans die from strokes, and many more become permanently disabled. By making a few healthy changes, especially if you’re under 55, you can reduce your risk.

Most Strokes, (80%) are caused by clogged arteries of the brain. Neurologists call these ischemic strokes, but it’s easier to refer to them as "brain attacks" The other 20% of strokes, known as hemorrhagic strokes, occur when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

The follow list provides tips on stroke prevention:

  1. Control your blood pressure: This is the single most important way to preventing a stroke. Over time high blood pressure damages blood vessels in the brain, increasing the risk of a stroke. The threat of an ischemic stroke is especially severe. The risk of having blockages in the brain is eight times higher for people with extreme hypertension (180/90 or more) than for those with normal blood pressure, Even mild hypertension – slightly above 140/90 – can raise the odds by 50%.
  2. If you have high blood pressure, changing you eating habits can bring it down significantly. Add more fruits, vegetables, and fat-free dairy products to your diet.

    Have you ever heard the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" In stroke prevention I think our saying should be: "Two bananas a day will keep the neurologist away".  The potassium in bananas has been shown in studies performed by The National High Blood Pressure foundation as lowering blood pressure in return lowers the risk of stroke. Check with your doctor about your potassium intake. A combination of your diet and exercise will decrease your risks. 25 to 30 minutes three times a week of some form of aerobic exercise can make a difference. If diet and exercise doesn’t lower you blood pressure to a safe level, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medicine.

  3. Avoid smoking: Smoking causes havoc throughout the body, the brain is no exception. The more a person smokes, the greater the danger. If you’re a smoker, it’s time to quit. Appreciate your body and brain.
  4. Stay active: Regular exercise will strengthen your arteries and prevent buildup plaque in blood vessels.
  5. Watch your alcohol intake: Three or more drinks each day can double your risks of an ischemic stroke. If you have trouble stopping at one or two drinks, you’re better off quitting completely.
  6. Ask about aspirin: This common painkiller may prevent the blood clots that can cause ischemic strokes or heart attacks. However, aspirin can cause ulcers and other stomach problems, so you shouldn’t take them regularly unless your doctor says it’s okay.

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