Lifestyle Changes to Manage Stroke
]]>Main Page]]> | ]]>Risk Factors]]> | ]]>Symptoms]]> | ]]>Diagnosis]]> | ]]>Treatment]]> | ]]>Screening]]> | ]]>Reducing Your Risk]]> | ]]>Talking to Your Doctor]]> | ]]>Living With Stroke]]> | ]]>Resource Guide]]>
Part of your stroke treatment will include lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of having another ]]>stroke]]>. You should also follow up with your neurologist.
General Guidelines for Preventing Another Stroke
- ]]>If you smoke, quit.]]>
- ]]>Eat a healthy diet.]]>
- ]]>Exercise regularly.]]>
- ]]>Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.]]>
- ]]>Drink alcohol only in moderation.]]>
- ]]>Treat high blood pressure.]]>
- ]]> If you have diabetes, manage your blood sugar levels.]]>
A diet]]>]]>low in saturated fat]]>, trans fat, and cholesterol, and rich in ]]>whole grains]]>, ]]>fruits, and vegetables]]> will help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body weight—three stroke risk factors. Ask your doctor or dietitian for a balanced meal plan.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations for physical activity. Choose enjoyable exercises that are safe for you. Strive to maintain an exercise program]]> that keeps you fit and at a healthy weight. For most people, this could include walking briskly or participating in another aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes per day. Talk to your doctor before starting a program.
Being overweight or obese]]> is associated with higher risk of stroke. Losing weight lowers that risk. To lose weight, consume fewer calories than you expend. To ]]>maintain a healthy weight]]>, eat an equal number of calories as you expend.
Excessive alcohol intake raises your risk of stroke. But, it appears that moderate alcohol intake actually reduces the risk. Studies suggest that one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men can be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Experts agree that if you do not already drink alcohol, you do not need to start because of this recommendation. If you do drink alcohol, talk with your doctor to determine how much is healthy for you.
High blood pressure]]> is one of the top risk factors for stroke. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for lowering your blood pressure. You may need to make lifestyle changes and take medicine.
If you have diabetes]]> , you are at increased risk of vascular disease. The tighter you control your blood sugar levels, the slower vascular disease (and other complications) will advance. Work with your doctor and a dietitian to develop a diet and exercise plan that will help you control your blood sugar.
American College of Physicians, American Stroke Association. ACP special report: reducing your risk of stroke. American College of Physicians website. Available at: http://www.acponline.org/patients_families/pdfs/health/stroke.pdf. Accessed February 4, 2010.
American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200000 .
The Aspirin Foundation website. Available at: http://www.aspirin-foundation.com/ .
Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci A, Hauser S, Longo D, Jameson JL. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence website. Available at: http://www.ncaddnj.org/.
Stroke risk factors and symptoms. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/stroke_bookmark.htm. Accessed February 4, 2010.
Last reviewed February 2010 by ]]> J. Thomas Megerian, MD, PhD, FAAP]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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