The leading causes of death in the United States are heart attacks and strokes. These are deadly accidents that occur when the heart muscle cannot pump blood fast enough through the body. Strokes are also sudden stoppages of blood flow, but they do not cause life-threatening heart problems. Because both heart attacks and strokes are associated with a lack of physical fitness, it stands to reason that learning how to prevent heart disease from occurring might help you avoid a tragic event like a stroke or heart attack.
Most of the controllable vascular risk factors attributed to stroke relate to heart health. Since stroke is a type of heart attack, it only makes sense that maintaining your heart and circulatory system as healthy as possible would lower your risk of having a stroke. The following are the top three steps you can take to control your risk for a stroke.
Exercise: Even though it may seem unlikely, exercising each day can be one of the best ways to stave off a stroke. Exercise lowers your resting heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and increases the amount of oxygen-rich blood from reaching your brain. As a result, you are less likely to experience any symptoms of an attack. If you regularly participate in cardiovascular exercise, the American Heart Association advises that you be vigilant about avoiding the warning signs of an attack and to seek emergency treatment if one occurs.
Diabetes: People who are suffering from diabetes are at a much greater risk of having a stroke. One reason for this is that diabetes causes the body to produce more than enough insulin, which allows the cells in the brain to function properly. However, high blood sugar can destroy these cells. Therefore, the body requires extra insulin, which can lead to a build-up of glucose in the blood vessels leading to the brain, which can cause a stroke.
Smoking and Alcohol: Both smoking and drinking are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Although alcohol has fewer health risks than many other substances, drinking can increase blood pressure and is a risk factor for heart attack. Smoking is also a known risk factor for a host of diseases, including cancer. Therefore, quitting smoking or cutting back on the amount you smoke each day can be one of the best stroke prevention steps you can make.
Other factors: Some other factors that can contribute to an incident include, but are not limited to, your gender, your race, and your age. For example, men are at a slightly higher risk than women at the age of 50. Medical studies have also shown that men are at greater risk for the development of the cerebrovascular disease. Stroke is more common in some ethnic groups than in others. Knowing these facts can help you make the proper lifestyle changes in any of these age groups.
Also, people who smoke cigarettes are at a higher risk of stroke than those who smoke. Age is also a factor in this study, with older adults being at a higher risk than younger adults. High blood pressure is usually caused by a buildup of fluid in the arteries. If you already have high blood pressure, quitting smoking can reduce the chance of having other health problems related to blood pressure.
Several other factors can be controlled. These include your weight, your alcohol intake, your family history, and your genetics. However, none of these controllable factors alone will prevent you from experiencing an episode of stroke. If you are concerned about your diet and exercise habits and are worried about your blood pressure, you should contact your doctor to find out more about stroke prevention and treatments. It is always better to take precautions now before your stroke becomes a reality.