What Can I Do to Help Prevent a Stroke?

Did you know? Around 795,000 people living in the United States suffer a stroke each year. While there are three main types of strokes, ischemic strokes make up 87% of the strokes that occur every year.

During American Stroke Awareness Month this May, our team at AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham wants you to know what you can do to help reduce your risk of stroke during your lifetime.

How Can You Prevent a Stroke?

While there are some risk factors you cannot change (like age and family medical history), there are many things you can do to help reduce your risk of stroke. For starters, if you are living with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, which are two risk factors for stroke, then you are going to want to do what you can to help lower your numbers.

Fortunately, a good, healthy diet and regular exercise can help in getting your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers where they need to be.

Ways to Prevent a Stroke

  • Lower your blood pressure, if needed.
  • Lose weight, if needed.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Drink only in moderation.
  • Take steps to manage conditions like atrial fibrillation or diabetes.
  • Quit smoking.

How Does Smoking Increase Your Risk for Stroke?

Smoking increases your risk in multiple ways. For one, smoking can increase your blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke.

But smoking also increases your risk by narrowing the arteries responsible for delivering oxygenated blood to your brain. This can lead to a blockage—and a stroke.

Tips to Help Quit Smoking

  • Stay busy.
  • Attend a stop-smoking group.
  • Drink more water.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol.
  • Avoid individuals who are smoking.
  • Avoid situations that commonly give you a strong urge to smoke.
  • Find healthier ways to manage stress.

If you or a loved one are experiencing stroke symptoms, call 911 for immediate medical attention. If you have non-emergency medical needs, visit the AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham website to book a virtual appointment.