Stroke is the number one cause of adult disability. Learning how to prevent stroke will have a positive impact on decreasing its effect on our community.
As we discovered in two of our previous articles, it is estimated that 750,000 Americans will experience a stroke this year. Of this number, 160,000 will die. The rest will forever have their lives changed in significant and profound ways.
African Americans are twice as likely to die from a stroke as Caucasians. The rate of having their first stroke is almost doubled. One half of all African American women will die from either a stroke or heart disease. For those with sickle cell anemia, 11% will have experienced a stroke by the age of 20.
Pretty depressing until you understand that, according to the National Stroke Association,
Everyone is at risk for a stroke but everyone also has the power to reduce this risk. You can make a significant difference in how strokes are going to affect our community. This article will empower you with 11 action steps to help you learn how to prevent stroke. So, let’s get started.
Risk Factors: Uncontrollable vs. Controllable!
There are some uncontrollable risk factors for stroke like: age, gender, race, family history, and a previous stroke or TIA. Now, before we examine how to prevent stroke thru the controllable risk factors, I would like to make some observations about two of these uncontrollable risk factors.
As you can see there are 5 uncontrollable risk factors. Two of these 5 offer you some ability to take positive actions to lessen their impact. The good news is that there are 8 controllable risk factors that give you a high degree of control; control that can help you learn how to prevent stroke! They are:
11 Steps That May Reduce Your Stroke Risk!
These 11 steps will help you learn how to prevent stroke. Some of these steps will be pretty clear. Others will be more fully developed in latter articles.
Step 1 – Go See a Qualified Physician. If you do not know what your blood pressure reading is, what your cholesterol level is, or where your blood sugar level is at, then you must get these benchmarks measured as soon as possible. These are the big three in learning how to prevent stroke. Also, have your physician check your heart and circulatory system especially the carotid arteries.
Step 2 – Make Sure Your Blood Pressure is Under 120/80. Anything over 120/80 is of concern and anything over 140/90 is a red flag to take action. High blood pressure increases stroke risk 4-6 times. It’s the #1 risk factor for a stroke. Learning how to control your blood pressure is critical in learning how to prevent stroke. Because this is so important I will have a future article devoted to high blood pressure.
Step 3 – Make Sure Your Cholesterol Level is Under 200. Anything over 200 is of concern and anything over 240 is a red flag to take action. There will be a future article to help you in this area. For now, Step 6 will have a positive impact on cholesterol.
Step 4 – Make Sure You Are Not Diabetic. Diabetes is not something to play around with. Not only does it increase your risk for stroke but it also affects so many other organ systems in your body. There are many positive steps you can take to manage your blood sugar. There will be future articles written to address diabetes. For now, Step 6 will have a positive impact on controlling your blood sugar.
Step 5 – Control Your Weight. If you are overweight by 30 pounds or more, then you need to make some positive changes in your eating patterns. I’m not talking about going on a diet. Diets don’t work! Most people have dieted their way to their current overweight condition. Please go to the “Weight Management” section of this website. The articles you will find can assist you in implementing some simple keys; keys that can make a major impact on your weight and overall health.
By controlling your weight you can also help lower your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol level, and better control your blood sugar. Plus, if you incorporate Step 6 you will have taken a positive step in controlling your weight and reducing two other risks for stroke.
Step 6 – Increase Your Fiber Intake! At best the typical American is only getting 50% of the needed fiber in their diet. Proper fiber intake may reduce 3 of the risks for stroke: cholesterol, diabetes, and overweight/obesity. This step is so important that I have prepared a special article entitled, “How Fiber Can Reduce 3 of the Risk Factors for Stroke!” There is also a guide entitled, “Fiber Foods Grouped by Fiber Content per Serving!” This guide identifies foods that will add more fiber to your diet. This is an important step in learning how to prevent stroke.
Step 7 – Increase Your Water Intake. Proper water intake is fundamental to good health and proper weight management. Use this simple rule of thumb. You need 8 ounce of water for every 15 pounds of body weight. Coke, coffee, and other doctored beverages don’t count. Only pure water!
Step 8 – Stop Smoking! You know this is a nasty habit. Not only does smoking affect your lungs but it also affects your heart, pulmonary arteries, liver and several other systems. Once you stop smoking, your risk from this activity will drop significantly within two years.
If you’re a woman over 30 who smokes and takes high-estrogen birth-control pills your risk for a stroke is 22 times more likely than the average non-smoker! Take the steps today to stop this nasty habit.
Step 9 – Learn STR. Smile, Talk, Raise could save your life and the life of a loved one! I’ve designed a special “Stroke Warning Sign – The STR Poster!” that you can download and print off. Share it with family, friends, and neighbors. Ask your barber, hair stylist, and local merchant to display it in a prominent place for as many as possible to see. Please help educate our community. Our quick response could be the difference between life or death, permanent disability or significant recovery.
Step 10 – Consider L-Arginine Supplementation. Genetic research has uncovered a significant genetic variance that directly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in many people of African descent. African Americans produce too much of an enzyme called arginase. In the bloodstream, arginase destroys the amino acid L-Arginine so that it is no longer available for the production of nitric oxide. This can lead to weakened or damaged blood vessels and significantly increase the risk for heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke.
I recommend ProArgi-9 Plus from Synergy WorldWide. ProArgi-9 Plus is the leading L-Arginine supplement. It is designed to enhance the body’s ability to properly absorb and use L-Arginine in a safe and effective manor for the cardiovascular system.
Step 11 – Control Your Alcohol Consumption. For most, moderate drinking doesn’t affect the risk for stroke. “Moderate” drinking means limiting your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day. By definition, a “moderate” drink is 1.5 oz. of hard liquor, 4 oz. of wine, or 12 oz. of beer. Drinking more than 2 drinks per day may increase your stroke risk by 50%.
I hope these 11 Steps will be a direct benefit in helping you learn how to prevent stroke. I’ve given you some very specific steps. These steps can start you on the path towards reducing your risk for stroke while improving your overall health and wellness. As you continue to read articles and gain information, you will be learning how to make other positive changes in your life. Together we can empower our community to better health so that we can positively impact our world.
Until next time, may we both age youthfully!
P.S. To help you implement this information about stroke prevention I would recommend the following articles:
The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.