A stroke occurs when the oxygenated blood supply to your brain is interrupted by low blood flow, occlusion, or a hemorrhage. The two main types of strokes include ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes occur when an embolic or thrombotic blood clot blocks the blood vessels, while hemorrhagic strokes occur as the result of bleeding into or around the brain. While some individuals may be genetically predisposed to strokes, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk for experiencing a stroke:
Maintain Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of stroke. This is because high blood pressure exerts continuous amounts of pressure on your arterial walls, increasing the likelihood of an arterial clog or burst. A good way to keep track of your blood pressure is to set up an appointment with your primary care physician to determine your current levels. Your doctor may suggest prescription medications or an at-home blood pressure monitor so that you can keep your blood pressure under control.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Poor eating habits increase your risk for high cholesterol and obesity, both of which can increase your chances of a stroke. Consider changing your eating habits and incorporating healthier foods into your diet, including whole grains; fresh or frozen vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables; colorful fruits; low-fat or fat-free dairy products; lean meats, poultry, and fish; and healthy fats such as canola oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil.
Exercising several times a week can provide you with a number of benefits including lowering your risk for a stroke. Start by exercising for 20 to 30 minutes each day by walking or jogging, after which time you can begin to incorporate more strenuous exercises.
One of the best ways to prevent a stroke is to discuss your risk factors and lifestyle habits with a neurosurgeon. Let our Nashville surgeons and highly trained physicians at HW Neurological Institute help you lower your risk for a stroke by calling (615) 320-0007. You can also learn more about our neurosurgery procedures by visiting us online.