11 Tips to Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

Prevent Stroke @ Old Age: A stroke occurs when part of the brain doesn’t get enough blood.

When this occurs the cells don’t get oxygen or nutrients and they die.

The best way to prevent a stroke is to live a healthy lifestyle.

And manage any other medical conditions you might have that may increase your risks.

If you or someone you are with may be experiencing a stroke, call emergency responders immediately.

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Prevent Stroke @ Old Age: https://www.theguardian.com
Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

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Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

1. Eat a healthy diet.

A healthy diet will help you reduce your risks of obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Each of those conditions raises your risk of having a stroke.

To lower the risks of developing these conditions you can:

2. Reduce your salt intake.

This will lower your risk of developing high blood pressure.

You can reduce your salt consumption by not sprinkling table salt onto your food.

Not salting pasta or rice water, and purchasing canned foods that say low sodium.

Check the ingredients in processed foods. Many have a high salt content.

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Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

3. Eat a low fat diet.

A fatty diet increases your risk of clogged arteries.

You can easily eat less fat by choosing lean meats like poultry and fish and trimming the fat off of red meats.

Drink low fat milk or skim milk instead of whole milk.

Eat eggs sparingly because they are high in cholesterol.

Check foods labeled “diet” or low fat- they can surprise you with sodium and fat content!

4. Control your caloric intake.

Eating a high calorie diet places you at a higher risk for diabetes and obesity unless you are extremely physically active.

Limit your intake of highly sugary foods like candies, cookies, and pastries.

The processed sugar provides calories without the nutrients that will make you feel full.

This can make you prone to overeating.

  • Increase the fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains that you eat.
  • These foods are generally low fat and high in nutrients.
  • They will supply you with the energy that you need without excess fat and calories.

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5. Exercise.

Exercise an excellent way to reduce your risks for strokes, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Stroke Association make the following recommendations:

  • 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity.
  • Moderate physical activity includes things like power walking, biking, or doing water aerobics. This should be in addition to two days per week of weight training.
  • 75 minutes per week of intense physical activity.
  • These activities cause you to work harder than the moderate activities. Examples include jogging, sprinting, swimming laps, and biking up hill. This should also be paired with weight training twice per week.
  • Do three 10 minute periods of exercise per day if you do not have the time for more. This may include walking to work, walking during your lunch break, and walking home from work. The exercise doesn’t have to be done all at the same time. Bring a friend with you to make it more enjoyable.

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Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

6. Quit smoking.

Smokers’ risks for strokes are twice as high as those of nonsmokers.

Smoking promotes clotting, makes your blood thicker, and hardens your arteries.

If you smoke and are having trouble quitting, there are many resources available to you. You can:

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Get support from family and friends
  • Call a hotline when you are feeling the urge to smoke
  • Avoid places where you usually smoke
  • Talk to a counselor
  • Try medications or nicotine replacement therapy
  • Go to residential treatment

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7. Control your alcohol intake.

Excessive drinking can raise your blood pressure and your risk of a stroke.

If you drink, stay within the recommended limits:

  • One drink per day for women and one to two drinks per day for men.
  • A drink is 12 ounces of beer, a glass of wine (5 ounces), or one and half ounces of liquor.

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Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

8. Manage any medical conditions you may have.

Some medical conditions increase your risk of having a stroke.

If you have one of these conditions, talk to your doctor about how to best treat it and minimize your risk of having a stroke.

  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure is also called hypertension.
  • It makes you one and a half times more likely to have a stroke.
  • If you have high blood pressure talk to your doctor about what the best way to control it would be.
  • Your doctor may suggest dietary changes, exercise, or medication.
  • Atrial fibrillation (AFIB). This kind of irregular heartbeat is most likely to occur in seniors or with people who have heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Because of the irregular heartbeat, your blood pools in your heart. This makes it prone to clotting. If you have this condition, your doctor may suggest treatment with anticoagulant medications or electrical stimulation.

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    Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

  • High cholesterol and fatty deposits in your arteries (atherosclerosis). Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty material in your blood. If you have too much it can clog your arteries and cause a heart attack or stroke. If you have high cholesterol, your doctor will likely suggest that you reduce it through dietary changes, exercise, and possibly medication.
  • Diabetes. There are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 where your body doesn’t make sufficient insulin and Type 2 where your body doesn’t react properly to your insulin. People with diabetes often also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, and difficulty controlling their weight. Your doctor may suggest that you lower your risk of a stroke by making dietary changes, taking medications, exercising, or taking insulin.

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    Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

  • Carotid artery disease. This occurs when the carotid arteries get narrower. Because these vessels provide blood to your brain, this makes you more vulnerable to blockages and strokes. Your doctor will probably suggest testing your for this if you have symptoms of a stroke or significant risk factors.

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9. Identify the symptoms of a stroke.

If you are at risk of having a stroke, be aware of what the symptoms are.

If you think you might be having stroke, call emergency responders immediately.

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg. It may occur on just one side.
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
  • Confusion.
  • Vision problems. This may occur in both eyes or in just one.
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness, and a loss of coordination.
  • Headache.

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10. Assess someone you are with if you think they might be having a stroke.

The acronym is FAST. It stands for face, arms, speech, and time.

Call emergency responders if the person does not pass the following assessment or if you are unsure:

  • Face. Evaluate whether the person is able to smile with both sides of their face.
  • If only one side responds, this is a stroke symptom. Have them stick out their tongue and check for gross deformities such as pulling to one side, severe, unusual dimpling, etc. This can be a sign of stroke.
  • Arms. Tell the person to raise both arms. If one arm starts to sink, this is suggestive of a stroke.
  • Speech. Have the person repeat a simple sentence. If they slur their words or sound odd, they may be having a stroke.
  • Time. If the person has any of these symptoms, they need immediate medical assistance. Call emergency services.

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Prevent Stroke @ Old Age

11. Provide information to the doctor.

It is important that the diagnosis be made as fast as possible so that treatment can begin immediately.

The doctor will likely do an examination, including possibly a CT or MRI scan to determine if a stroke occurred.

Other information that will be useful for the doctor to have includes:

  • The person’s medical history
  • Medications the person may be on
  • Exactly when the symptoms started.

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