Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Tip of the Week 1 – Know Stroke Symptoms

Many people don’t know that if you can recognize the symptoms of a stroke you can save not only your life, but maybe the life of someone else. Being able to recognize symptoms and to understand that they signal an emergency, you are able to seek medical attention quickly. Treatment exists to minimize the effects of stroke; however it must be given within 3 hours of the first symptom. It is easy for people to recognize stroke symptoms by learning to think

F=Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A=Arms Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S=Speech Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
T=Time If you observe any of these signs, then it’s time to call 9-1-1.

Tip of the Week 2 – Control Blood Pressure to Prevent Stroke

Did you know…High blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke? Yet, nearly 60 million Americans have high blood pressure, and almost a third do not know they have it!

• Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year – more often if you have a history of high blood pressure, have had a heart attack are diabetic or are overweight.

• Know your family medical history, if high blood pressure runs in your family it’s important that you ask your doctor about how to control your blood pressure.

• If you have high blood pressure it's important to follow the recommendations of your doctor, which may include changes in diet, regular exercise and the use of medication.

Tip of the Week 3 – Manage Cholesterol to Prevent Stroke

Next time you think about burgers and fries, think about this…There are many things – including foods high in saturated fat – that can cause arteries to become blocked through the gradual build-up of cholesterol, called plaque.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat (lipid) that is made by the body. It is found in the bloodstream and in all of your body’s cells. Your body needs cholesterol to form cell membranes, some hormones and vitamin D.

Cholesterol is also found in some foods, such as eggs, meats and dairy products. Cholesterol or plaque build-up in the arteries can block normal blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.

High cholesterol may also increase your risk for stroke by raising your risk for heart disease, a stroke risk factor. There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).

• It’s important to understand your numbers because they are key measurements of your stroke risk.

• For most people the combined HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) should fall below 200.

• Maintain a healthy cholesterol level by eating a diet low in saturated fat and incorporating exercise into your routine.

• Ask your doctor how you can improve any numbers that are not in normal range.

Have a test for cholesterol and high blood pressure - these tests are simple and will let you know if you need to make some changes in your lifestyle and diet.

No comments: