Are You at Risk for a Stroke?

Warning Signs of Stroke

My friend was frantic. She had been in the hospital for more than 24 hours while test after test was being run on her brother. Her brother, who was otherwise healthy, fit and extremely intelligent. The news finally came. Her brother Steve had a stroke. He could not walk. He could barely speak. He could not use his hands. She was devastated.

May is American Stroke Month 

Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke. Strokes are also the leading cause of long-term disability. And, according to the American Stroke Association, more than 80 percent of strokes are preventable.

High Blood Pressure is a stroke’s number one enemy. Three out of four people who suffer from stroke have high blood pressure.   This risk factor, as well as several others, may be controlled through diet and exercise. Other risk factors include the following: smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and excessive alcohol use. Other risk factors that may require consulting with a doctor or medication include: heart disease, blood disorder and artery disease.

Fortunately, strokes are largely treatable. Steve did graduate from the bed, to the wheelchair, to a walker and cane. He is able to go back to work and care for himself. He is lucky.

F.A.S.T. is Short for Stroke Symptoms: 

- face drooping

- arm weakness

- slurred speech

- take action.

Know the symptoms of a stroke. My friend did know the symptoms and kept pressing doctors to run more tests until they got a solid answer as to what was happening. For more information on strokes, visit the American Stroke Association website. Knowledge may be life-saving power.



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