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5 ways to avoid having a stroke

Health & Fitness

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This story is brought to you by Grand Peaks Medical and Dental, a multi-specialty, nonprofit, community health center in St. Anthony and Rexburg.

Some medical conditions can’t be helped or controlled, but stroke isn’t one of them.

Stroke is the fifth leading killer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A stroke can cause debilitating symptoms, such as complete paralysis on one side of the body, and is the most common cause of adult disability. It kills almost 130,000 of the 800,000 Americans who die of cardiovascular disease each year.

Up to 80 percent of strokes in the United States are preventable through healthy lifestyle changes and working with your doctor. Take a look at some tips to keep you and your loved ones from becoming another statistic.

1. Healthy diet

High blood pressure and high cholesterol increase your risk of having a stroke. However, eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and high in fiber help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt in your diet will also lower your blood pressure.

Click here for more information on nutrition and staying healthy.

2. Staying fit

Being overweight or obese also increases your chance of stroke. Click here to calculate your body mass index (BMI). Physical activity can help control your weight and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Make sure to have your doctor test your cholesterol levels at least once every five years. It just takes a simple test. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, so it’s vital to have it checked on a regular basis. Both conditions may require medication.

3. Stop smoking

Cigarette smoking significantly increases your chances of having a stroke. If you do smoke, ask your doctor how to help you stop.

Click here for more information on smoking and quitting.

4. Limit alcohol intake

Alcohol consumption raises blood pressure. Men should have no more than two drinks a day. Women should only consume one drink a day, according to the CDC.

5. Take your medications

If you take medications to treat heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Never stop taking your medications without first talking to your doctor.

Stroke is the fifth leading killer in the United States, according to the CDC. A stroke can cause debilitating symptoms and is the most common cause of adult disability. It kills almost 130,000 of the 800,000 Americans who die of cardiovascular disease each year.

Click here to learn more information about strokes.