17 Sep Top Risk Factors Of Stroke
A stroke occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is cut off. When the brain loses access to blood flow, it also loses access to oxygen. As a result, stroke can cause some people to suffer permanent neurological damage. This can happen in as little as a few minutes. People who suffer strokes often possess at least one of the primary risk factors. By preventing risk factors from developing, patients can help to diminish their chances of suffering from a stroke in the future.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a primary risk factor for stroke. Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke amongst people in the United States. High blood pressure can be caused by a variety of reasons from stress to poor eating habits. However, if you are diagnosed with this condition, it is important to work with your doctor to lower your blood pressure to reduce your risk of stroke.
Smokers are at a much higher risk of having a stroke than non-smokers. Nicotine greatly increases a person’s blood pressure which is linked with being at higher risk for stroke. In addition, smoke from cigarettes can cause a build-up in the main artery in the neck. It thickens the blood, thus making it more likely to clot. If you are experiencing second-hand smoke you are also at an increased risk of stroke compared to someone who does not experience it.
Diabetes is one of the main risk factors of stroke. There has been an increase in the number of diabetes cases in the United States in recent years. In addition to causing other problems, such as nerve damage and slow healing wounds, diabetes also puts a person more at risk of stroke. Typically, people who suffer from diabetes tend to be overweight. This in addition to damaged blood vessels leads to a higher incidence of stroke.
Atherosclerosis is a build-up of cholesterol, or plaque, in the arteries. This happens over time in people who have high cholesterol. Left untreated, this build-up of plaque can lead to blood flow being entirely cut off to parts of the brain, thus resulting in a stroke. As is true with many ailments, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can help to prevent atherosclerosis from occurring.
The above are just a few of the causes of stroke. While many people suffer from strokes, they are a very serious ailment that can leave people disabled with a diminished quality of life. Regular check-ups can help identify any of these risk factors early on. With your physician’s help, taking steps to reduce these risk factors will reduce your likelihood of having a stroke. In most cases and when caught early, switching to a healthier diet and getting regular exercise is enough to keep these risk factors at bay. However, if you are in very poor health, your physician may prescribe you medication to help keep these risk factors under control. Most strokes are within your control. Take care of your health now for a much longer and better quality of life in the future.