Stoke is one of the leading causes of death and can happen to anyone. However, the majority of strokes are preventable; the American Stroke Association offers stroke prevention tips. Even with preventative measures, strokes can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to know the signs of a stroke and to act fast in order to minimize damage to the brain.
Know the facts
Each year more than 700,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke; it is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of severe disability. A stroke occurs when the brain’s blood supply is interrupted or reduced, preventing oxygen and nutrition from getting to the brain. While doctors can determine who is at high risk for a stroke, for the most part, they are unpredictable. On average, one person dies from a stroke every 4 minutes.
Recognize the signs and act FAST
Knowing the signs of a stroke and responding quickly is crucial. Nearly 2 million brain cells can die for each minute that a stroke goes untreated. Fast medical response can mean the difference between a full recovery or a permanent disability.
The easiest way to know the signs and react is to remember the acronym F.A.S.T.
Time to call 911
Up to 80% of all strokes are preventable, and there are simple life tips that the American Stroke Association recommends. Managing your weight with exercise and a well-balanced diet are a core to preventing strokes and various other health issues. These core recommendations contribute directly to their other tips, including managing blood pressure, cholesterol and reducing blood sugar. The American Stroke Association also recommends drinking alcohol in moderation and to stop smoking entirely.
After a Stroke
Those who are fortunate enough to receive a fast response following a stroke can make a full recovery. Unfortunately, others may have permanent damage. After a stroke, some of the most common physical conditions include weakness, paralysis, or balance and coordination problems. Issues after a stroke vary, and some will get better with time and rehabilitation. More severe cases may result in lifestyle adjustments or require additional assistance from a caregiver.
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