Stroke continues to be a leading cause of death in men and women. #3 in women. #6 in men!
There are two kinds of stroke: ischemic (clot) and hemorrhagic. In many cases, if treatment begins within three to four hours after onset of symptoms, much of the residual damage can be avoided. That makes it really important to recognize the signs of stoke. The National Stroke Association is working to make it easy to remember/identify the signs of a stroke by using the acronym FAST:
- Facial droop
- Arm weakness
- Speech disturbance
- Time to call 911
Some additional details about stroke and stroke symptoms:
- Vision. Sudden change or blurring of vision. Or complete loss of vision in one eye.
- Speech. If someone us using the wrong words, slurring speech or unable to talk, there is a 70% chance they are having a stroke. Good test: repeat “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
- Weak arm or leg . Hold both arms up. If one drifts, you may be having a stroke.
- Dizziness or lack of balance.
- Pain. Women report pain in the face, arm or leg sixty percent of the time when they are having a stroke. Not as common in men.
- Headache. Sudden, severe headache.
- Droopy face or mouth.
- Tongue. If you stick out your tongue and it is not straight (it moves to one side), you might be having a stroke.
- Fatigue or mental changes.
- Hiccups that will not stop.
- Heart palpitations.
If you experience any of these get to the emergency department immediately.
What can we do to avoid a stroke? 80% percent can be prevented!
- Stop smoking!!
- Maintain a normal blood pressure – either with lifestyle changes or medication.
- Lose weight
- Eat well: Lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts and healthy fats. Avoid sugars.
- Exercise regularly
- Identify fibrillation and treat accordingly
- Maybe daily aspirin in women (talk to your doctor)
- Limit alcohol intake
- Know your cholesterol level (LDL particularly)