A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off, resulting in damage to the brain tissues that may affect cognition and movement. There are many risk factors for stroke, including age, family history, current health, and lifestyle. While some risk factors cannot be changed, others can be improved to reduce your risk of a stroke. Talk to your physician today about assessing your stroke risk factors and making positive lifestyle changes for better health.
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for stroke. If your blood pressure is 140/90 or above, seeking treatment to lower your blood pressure can also reduce your risk for stroke and heart attack. Treatment for high blood pressure may include taking oral medications, reducing the amount of sodium in your diet, and developing a fitness program for improved cardiovascular health.
Diabetes is a systemic disease characterized by poorly-controlled levels of glucose in your blood. Studies have shown that individuals with diabetes are up to four times more likely to suffer from a stroke as individuals who don’t suffer from this condition. This increased risk may be associated with the fact that many people with diabetes also exhibit other risks for heart disease. Taking steps to control your diabetes can thus also lower your risk for stroke by improving your cardiovascular health and overall wellness.
Smoking and other tobacco use can damage your cardiovascular system, doubling your risk of a stroke. Quitting a smoking habit is a positive step toward a reduced risk of stroke and better overall health. If you have concerns about quitting, your physician can help you develop a long-term plan that can help you slowly reduce your tobacco usage to increase your chances of success.
Do you have questions about your risk for stroke, heart disease, or other conditions? Call Doctors Hospital of Sarasota today at (888) 685-1596 for a physician referral. You can learn more about our hospital and the services we offer, including stroke care, emergency services, and rehabilitation, on our website.