The fuel pump in a vehicle delivers gas from the tank to the engine and stops running without it. Blood vessels act in a similar way by supplying oxygen and nutrients to the brain. A stroke is a brain attack where, much like a busted fuel pump, a blood vessel is blocked or bursts and interrupts blood flow to the brain and the brain starts to die. This is the reason why if a stroke happens, there is little time to spare when symptoms arise.
Signs and symptoms of stroke include sudden:
- numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- confusion, difficulties speaking or understanding.
- loss of vision in one or both eyes.
- dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance and/or coordination.
If you think that you or someone is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Stroke is a medical emergency and outcomes depend on how fast treatment can start. Experts say that 80% of strokes can be prevented. Many stroke prevention strategies are the same healthy lifestyle recommendations to prevent heart disease. High blood pressure is the single most important treatable risk factor for stroke. Preventing, diagnosing, and controlling it through lifestyle changes and medicine are critical to reducing risk for stroke.
Steps to Reduce Risk of Stroke
- Eat healthy by reducing sodium and consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Be physically active.
- Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Limit alcohol use.
- Prevent or manage conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.