December 3: How to Reduce Your Risk of Stroke with Rose Melendez
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States.
Strokes in middle-aged and even younger adults have risen, possibly due to diabetes and obesity epidemics. A stroke cuts off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.Treatment should start as soon after a stroke as possible for the best outcomes. Every second counts, so it is important to know the signs. Call 9-1-1 right away if you or someone you know shows any of these signs of a stroke:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Of course, prevention is the best course of treatment. Heart disease is one of the major risk factors for stroke. Speak to your doctor to closely monitor and treat these conditions to help prevent stroke:
- High blood pressure (hypertension). This causes the heart to pump harder than normal, weakening blood vessels and causing damage to major organs, including the brain.
- High cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol can cause arteries to clog, resulting in a stroke or a heart attack.
- Atrial fibrillation (AF). The most common form of irregular heartbeat, AF can cause blood to pool in the heart and form clots that can be carried to the brain, causing a stroke.
Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital and Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center are nationally recognized for excellence in stroke care and are among only one other Maryland hospital to have earned both the 2015 Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Gold Plus Quality Acheivement awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Our teams are on call 24 hours a day to help stroke patients and minimize the chances of long-term disability. Learn more.