Stroke Recognition 

Hi there. I just returned from a stroke recognition/prevention class and I was amazed at how much I didn’t know about this horrible, devastating occurance. First, what is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. A stroke is a medical emergency. 

 
The most common signs and symptoms of a stroke:  

 Here are a few TERRIFYING but TRUE statistics concerning strokes:
1. Strokes are the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. 

2. Strokes kill almost 130,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 out of every 20 deaths.

3. On average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.

4. Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke.

5. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes.

6. About 185,00 strokes—nearly one of four—are in people who have had a previous stroke.

7. About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, when blood flow to the brain is blocked.

8. Strokes costs the United States an estimated $34 billion each year.2 This total includes the cost of health care services, medications to treat stroke, and missed days of work.

9. Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability. 

10. Risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for blacks than for whites, and blacks are more likely to die following a stroke than are whites.

11. Although stroke risk increases with age, strokes can—and do—occur at any age. In 2009, 34% of people hospitalized for stroke were younger than 65 years.

12. The country’s highest death rates from stroke are in the southeastern United States. Below is a map showing the prevalence of stroke across the United States.  

   That is terrifying if you really stop to think about it. But there is hope. And help and ways to prevent it in the first place. 

*1. Lower blood pressure: Your goal: Maintain a blood pressure of less than 120 (top number) over less than 80 (bottom number).

How to achieve it:

1. Reduce the salt in your diet to no more than 1,500 milligrams a day (about a half teaspoon).

2. Avoid high-cholesterol foods, such as burgers, cheese, and ice cream.
3. Eat 4 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day, fish two to three times a week, and several daily servings of whole grains and low-fat dairy.
4. Get more exercise. At least 30 mins a day.

5.  If needed, take blood pressure medicines.

*2. Lose weight:  Your goal: Keep your body mass index (BMI) at 25 or less.

How to achieve it:

1. Limit or avoid saturated and trans fats.
2. Try to eat no more than 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day (depending on your activity level and your current body mass index).
3. Increase the amount of exercise you do with such activities as walking, golfing, or playing tennis, and by making activity part of every single day. 
*3.  Exercise more: Your goal: Exercise at a moderate intensity at least five days a week.

How to achieve it:
1. Take a walk around your neighborhood every morning after breakfast.
2. When you exercise, reach the level at which you’re breathing hard, but you can still talk.

3. Take the stairs instead of an elevator when you can.
4. If you don’t have 30 consecutive minutes to exercise, break it up into 10- to 15-minute sessions a few times each day.
*4. Drink—in moderation: Your goal: Drink alcohol in moderation.

How to achieve it:

1. Have one glass of alcohol a day.
2. Make red wine your first choice, because it contains resveratrol, which is thought to protect the heart and brain.
3. Watch your portion sizes. A standard-sized drink is a 5-ounce glass of wine, 12-ounce beer, or 1.5-ounce glass of hard liquor.
Watch your portion sizes. A standard-sized drink is a 5-ounce glass of wine, 12-ounce beer, or 1.5-ounce glass of hard liquor.

*5. Take a baby aspirin: Your goal: Take a baby aspirin every day (if it’s appropriate for you).

How to achieve it: 

1. First talk to your doctor to make sure aspirin is safe and appropriate for you to take. If you have a bleeding disorder, you may need to reduce your dose to every other day or avoid this regimen altogether.
*6. Treat atrial fibrillation:  Your goal: If you have atrial fibrillation, get it treated. 

How to achieve it:
1. If you have symptoms such as heart palpitations or shortness of breath, see your doctor for an exam. You may need to take blood thinners such as high-dose aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin) to reduce your stroke risk from atrial fibrillation. Your doctors can guide you through this treatment.

*7. Treat Diabetes: Your goal: Keep your blood sugar under control.

How to achieve it:

1. Monitor your blood sugar as directed by your doctor.
2. Use diet, exercise, and medicines to keep your blood sugar within the recommended range.
*8. Quit smoking: Your goal: Quit smoking.
How to achieve it:

1. Ask your doctor for advice on the most appropriate way for you to quit.
2. Use quit-smoking aids, such as nicotine pills or patches, counseling, or medicine.
3. Don’t give up. Most smokers take several tries to quit. See each failed attempt as bringing you one step closer to successfully beating the habit.
Here is  an easy way to remember what to look for and what to do in case of a stroke:  

  Being able to recognize a stroke and react to it is crucial to one’s life. In fact the first 3 hours are absolutely critical but the first hour, known as ” THE GOLDEN HOUR” is the most important:

  So please, take the time to share this info with your family and friends. It may just save their life.  
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 

http://www.stroke.com

http://www.cdc.gov › stroke › facts
 






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8 thoughts on “Stroke Recognition 

  1. traceyawood says:

    Hi Amy. Great blog. I didn’t realise I was having a stroke when I had mine a couple of years ago. I had three. If it hadn’t have been for my husband and his quick actions I may not have made it. They are really scary.

    Like

  2. traceyawood says:

    Reblogged this on Tracey A Wood 'The Authors Blog' and commented:
    Really good blog

    Like

  3. L.D. Rose says:

    This doctor approves of this post. 😉

    Like

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