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How to Prevent a Stroke136 Views
What is Atrial Fibrillation? will start in
Atrial fibrillation, also known as Afib, is an irregular and rapid heartbeat. It can be occasional or chronic. Watch this video to see what sets them apart.
Description: Not all strokes can be prevented, but many of them can. Certain lifestyle changes can help in preventing a stroke. Learn what you can do here.
preventing strokes, stroke prevention, how to prevent a stroke, what are the risk factors for stroke, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, causes of stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, antiplatelets, anticoagulants
neurological disorder, neurology, neurologist, brain disorder, brain function, clogged artery, diet, nutrition, fitness
plavix, coumadin, vitamin k
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Stroke is the number one cause of adult disability and the third leading cause of death in America. But many strokes can be prevented! A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Strokes are frightening, but with preventative measures, up to 80 percent of them can be thwarted! Some preventative techniques can be as simple as basic lifestyle adjustments. For example, if you smoke, stop. Smokers have twice as much change of suffering a stroke, and quitting can significantly reduce that risk. Similarly, controlling excess alcohol intake can reduce the likelihood of a stroke. For women, this means keeping consumption down to one drink daily and for men, two. Doing cardiovascular exercise for a minimum of thirty minutes five times a week, can reduce your weight and lower your cholesterol—two important factors in stroke prevention! A final, important lifestyle adjustment is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. The American Heart Association recommends these guidelines. Eat five to six servings of fruits, vegetables and grains daily. Enjoy fish at least twice a week. Choose fats and oils with 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving. And consume no more than 1 teaspoon of salt per day. These guidelines will help to reduce three major risk factors that lead to stroke—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and excess weight. It’s also important to know your numbers! If you have blood pressure that is consistently above 120 over 80, or total cholesterol above 200 milligrams per deciliter, you’ll need to work with your doctor to lower them. To get your numbers back to a normal range, your doctor will recommend the lifestyle changes we’ve discussed as well as (in some cases), medication. Two types of medication are particularly helpful in preventing strokes: antiplatelets and anticoagulants. Antiplatelets, like aspirin and Plavix, inhibit the production of the clotting agent thromboxane. Because thromboxane encourages clot-formation in the body, it can cause deadly build-ups in people with stroke-risk. Anticoagulants, like coumadin, also inhibit the body’s ability to form clots, but they do so by interfering with Vitamin K. Because Vitamin K is essential to creating clotting proteins, this medication can help. Anticoagulants are prescribed for the condition known as atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat that causes blood build-up in the heart’s chambers. This can lead to clotting and, eventually, strokes. If you have atrial fibrillation, your risk for a stroke is six-times greater than a non-sufferer. Therefore, it’s important to work with your doctor to get the condition under control. As a last resort to prevent a stroke, your doctor may perform a surgical procedure called a carotid endarterectomy. During this procedure, fatty deposits are removed from one of the two major arteries in the neck which supply blood to the brain. This can reduce strokes in high-risk candidates by up to 80 percent. Strokes are life-altering, and they can be deadly. But by taking proper preventative measures, you can reduce your stroke risk significantly.