Every year in the United States, approximately 800,000 people suffer a stroke and 200,000 of those people die from the stroke. That equates to the death of one person every four minutes in the U.S. today. Understanding strokes, and more importantly how you can reduce the risk of a stroke, is the first step in the fight against strokes.
Types of Strokes
There are three types of stroke: ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes and Transient Ischemic Attacks or TIAs. TIAs are also known as mini strokes and are caused by a serious but temporary blood clot. As TIAs serve as warning signs of the possibility of a more serious stroke, they should be taken seriously. Ischemic strokes are the most prevalent type of stroke, accounting for approximately 87% of all strokes. These types of strokes occur when a vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked. Fatty deposits are the main cause of ischemic strokes. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the brain. As the blood accumulates, it compresses the brian tissue. Hemorrhagic strokes are typically caused by one of two types of weakened blood vessels: aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations.
Preventing a Stroke
While not every stroke can be predicted or prevented, there are many methods and lifestyle choices or changes that go a long way toward stroke prevention. Here are some ways to lower or eliminate the risk of strokes.
Lower Blood Pressure – Blood pressure plays a significant role in the occurrence of a stroke. To achieve normal blood pressure, reduce the salt in your diet, avoid high cholesterol foods, eat more fruits, vegetables and fish, exercise and if you smoke, stop.
Lose Weight – Maintaining a normal BMI (body mass index) is also important. Consult your doctor to understand your BMI and how to change it. Increase the amount of exercise and work towards being active every day.
Exercise More – Going hand-in-hand with the above tips, exercise keeps our blood flowing, our blood pressure lower and helps to maintain a healthy weight. Aim for moderate intensity exercise at least five days a week.
Treat Underlying Causes – Atrial fibrillation, which is a form of irregular heartbeat, causes blood clots to form in the heart and increases the risk of stroke five times. Diabetes, a very common disease today, damages blood vessels over time, increasing the likelihood of clots. If you suffer from either of these, be sure that you are treating the disease in accordance with your doctor’s treatment plan.
Don’t Smoke! – If you do not smoke, great! If you do, stop. Smoking accelerates clot formation in several ways. Stopping smoking is one of the most powerful ways you can work towards the prevention of a stroke.
What if a Stoke Occurs?
While the prevention of a stroke is the optimal goal, strokes do happen. Once a stroke has occurred, it is crucial to get the best care, as soon as possible, to rehabilitate and reduce the risk of another stroke. Chiropractic Neurology offers individualized, science-based care that is free from drugs and relies on cutting-edge, non-invasive techniques that harnessing the power of the brain and its ability to heal. This often leads to recovery and improved quality of life in a much faster time period than traditional methods.
If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke and would like to know more about how the team at Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center can help you return to your optimal state of well-being, please contact them today for your consultation.
If you suspect a stroke, check for the “FAST” warning signs and call 911 immediately. FAST stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech Difficulty and Time to call 911. To learn more about the types of strokes, symptoms and causes, please visit the Stroke Association’s website by clicking here.