80% of strokes can be prevented through good control of related diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease; Don’t smoke, limit alcohol, eat healthy.
A cerebrovascular accident (stroke) occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or becomes blocked. Older age and a family history of stroke are among the factors that make you more likely to have a stroke. A person who has had a stroke has a high risk of recurrence. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 80% of strokes can be prevented. Here are some things people can do to prevent a stroke early on.
Follow WebMDHigh blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. A normal blood pressure reading is about 120/80. If your blood pressure is consistently above 130/80, you have high blood pressure. If you don’t control your blood pressure well, your risk of having a stroke is four to six times higher. High blood pressure can thicken artery walls and cause cholesterol or other fats to build up, forming plaques. If plaque is removed, the blood stream blocks the blood supply to the brain. High blood pressure can also weaken the arteries and make them more likely to burst, causing a hemorrhagic stroke.
If you have high blood pressure, you should see your doctor to take steps to keep it at a healthy level. Medications and lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and healthy eating, can help.
A person doubles their risk of having a stroke if they smoke. Nicotine in cigarettes raises blood pressure, and the carbon monoxide in smoke reduces the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. Even inhaling secondhand smoke can increase the risk of stroke.
Smoking can also increase blood triglyceride levels, lower good HDL cholesterol levels, make blood easier to clot, more plaque build up, thickening and narrowing of blood vessels… If you smoke, ask your doctor for advice on how to quit. You may not succeed at first to quit smoking, but don’t give up.
Good management of cardiovascular disease
Irregular heartbeat, specifically atrial fibrillation, is what causes blood clots, causing blood to pool in the heart. If that clot travels to the brain, it can lead to a stroke. You can have atrial fibrillation from high blood pressure, plaques in your arteries, heart failure, and other reasons.
Medicines, medical procedures, and surgery can help the heart return to a normal rhythm. If you don’t know if you have atrial fibrillation but feel your heart pounding or have trouble breathing, see your doctor.
High cholesterol can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. You should keep your total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL in your blood, your LDL (bad) cholesterol below 100 mg/dL, and your HDL (good) cholesterol above 60 mg/dL. When diet and exercise aren’t enough to control cholesterol, your doctor may recommend medication.
Limit alcohol intake
Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and triglycerides. Men should drink no more than two drinks a day and women no more than one drink per day. Drinking too much can cause atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat.
High blood sugar puts a person 2-4 times more likely to have a stroke. If not well managed, diabetes can lead to fat accumulation or blood clots inside blood vessels. This can narrow cells in the brain and neck and cut off blood supply to the brain. Diabetics should check their blood sugar regularly, take prescription medication, and see their doctor every few months to monitor the level of the disease.
Inactivity can lead to obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. These are factors that increase the risk of stroke. Therefore, everyone should maintain an active lifestyle, diligently exercise. It doesn’t take too long, you can just exercise 30 minutes a day and 5 days a week is enough. Exercise makes you breathe hard but not gasp and pant. When experiencing this situation, people should note and share with their doctor before exercising.
Eating healthy can reduce your risk of stroke and lose weight. Every day, people should have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and green leafy vegetables such as spinach. Choose lean protein and foods rich in fiber. Stay away from trans fats and saturated fats, which can clog arteries. Cut back on salt and avoid processed foods because salt raises blood pressure and trans fats.
Don’t ignore snoring
Loud and persistent snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, which can cause you to stop breathing hundreds of times during the night. Loud snoring increases your risk of stroke by preventing you from getting enough oxygen and raising your blood pressure.
Take medicine regularly
If you’ve had a stroke, be sure to take your doctor’s medications regularly to help prevent another stroke. Follow WebMD (USA), at least 25% of people who have a stroke stop taking one or more medications within 3 months. This is especially dangerous because that’s when you’re most likely to have a stroke.
Do not arbitrarily take aspirin
One low-dose aspirin a day can prevent stroke and heart attack in people at high risk, but its actual benefit is minimal. Aspirin can thin the blood, preventing blood clots from forming in arteries partially blocked by cholesterol and plaque. However, it also carries the risk of life-threatening internal bleeding. Aspirin is not for everyone, so do not take aspirin without first consulting your doctor.
Do not give aspirin to people with signs of stroke (such as slurred speech, facial paralysis, loss of consciousness…) Because it can make a hemorrhagic stroke worse, call 911 as soon as possible instead.