By John Pinto
Strokes are one of the most common illnesses impacting older adults and result in thousands of deaths each year. Sadly, many strokes are preventable. Understanding common stroke risk factors can help you make informed decisions about your lifestyle to prevent strokes.
This is part of a series of blogs discussing stroke awareness presented by VSCP LAW.
A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. With a lack of oxygen to the brain, brain tissue cannot get the necessary oxygen and nutrients to survive and repair itself. As a result, strokes can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.
Generally, there are two leading causes of strokes: blocked arteries or burst blood vessels. However, doctors may classify a stroke as one of three different types.
Strokes are diverse, and several different risk factors may cause a stroke. Common stroke risk factors include:
Although not all strokes are preventable, you can attempt to reduce your risk of stroke.
Simple lifestyle changes may mitigate and eliminate a majority of the common causes of stroke in your life. These changes include:
If you’ve had a TIA or are at high risk of stroke due to health complications, your doctor may prescribe you medication to reduce the chance of suffering a stroke. Those include:
Cholesterol-lowering medications. High cholesterol can lead to fatty build-up in the artery walls that narrows or blocks the artery to the brain, which is one of the common causes of stroke. Statins are an example of cholesterol-lowering medicine.
Anti-hypertensives. High blood pressure is one of the most significant stroke risk factors. If your blood pressure is too high, your arteries can thicken over time. They become weaker, less flexible, and then become more prone to blood clots.
Antiplatelet drugs. Platelets are cells in your blood that form blood clots. Antiplatelet drugs make these cells less sticky and therefore less likely to clot. Aspirin is an example of an antiplatelet drug.
Anticoagulants. These drugs thin out the blood and reduce blood clotting.
Download our e-book to learn more about delayed diagnosis and a misdiagnosis of a stroke and how to address it.Download Ebook
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