In the first part of this article, we discussed the causes and types of a stroke, as well as the symptoms and a few of the ways we can prevent them from happening.
There are many other things we can do to try to reduce our stroke risk, including quitting smoking. Studies have found that smoking cigarettes increases your chances of having a stroke. If you smoke, please talk with your physician about ways to quit.
Alcohol has been shown to raise blood pressure, so either don’t drink it or drink in moderation.
Other ways to reduce the risk of a stroke include staying on top of your medical check-ups and readings. Make sure you go in for regular cholesterol screenings and get your blood pressure checked often. If either result comes back as too high, take steps with your physician’s help to lower it. Often, a combination of diet and exercise will work wonders to bring either or both levels to normal.
If you are diabetic, please be sure you take good care of yourself and keep your condition under control. If untreated, diabetes may damage the blood vessels throughout the entire body and lead to atherosclerosis, a build-up of fatty plaques in the arteries.
Some physicians suggest taking aspirin every day as a way to prevent a stroke. In one study of 135,000 patients, aspirin therapy reduced the risk of non-fatal stroke by 25 percent. Many people take baby aspirin because it is not as likely to have serious side effects that adult aspirin may have, like gastrointestinal hemorrhage and an increased risk of renal failure. Talk to your doctor before starting to take aspirin regularly; he or she can advise you if it’s the right approach to take.
Fish oil or flaxseed oil may also be as effective as aspirin therapy in reducing thrombotic stroke risk. One study from 2001 followed almost 80,000 female nurses from 1980 to 1994.