Stroke Awareness Month
Sandra Kingsley | posted May 24, 2012 |
Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. Strokes are the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association, and 795,000 people suffer from one every year in this country alone. Yet amidst these frightening statistics, most people in the United States cannot identify stroke warning signs or risk factors.
Many strokes can be prevented through risk factor management. As we recognize Stroke Awareness Month this May, we focus on saving the life of a person experiencing stroke through increased education and awareness.
Overcome it: Stroke facts
• Stroke is a brain attack, cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
• Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age.
• One-third of stroke survivors are expected to experience another stroke within five years.
• Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
• African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke compared with Caucasians.
• Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Recognizing symptoms and acting FAST to get medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities.
Recognize it: Stroke symptoms
• Trouble walking—SUDDEN dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.
• Trouble speaking and understanding—SUDDEN confusion, slurring of words or inability to find the right words to explain (aphasia)
• Paralysis or numbness on one side of your body or face
• Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes—SUDDEN blurred, blackened or doubled vision
• Headache—SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness
According to the National Stroke Association, a person experiencing a stroke can be treated and 80 percent of strokes can also be prevented by acting FAST. Use the FAST test below to identify a stroke.
F – FACE: Can you smile or have your mouth or eyes drooped on one side?
A – ARMS: Can you raise both arms over your head or does one arm begin to fall?
S – SPEECH: Can you repeat a simple sentence?
T – TIME: Act fast. Call 911 immediately if you have any of these symptoms.
Prevent it: Stroke preventative measures
Many risk factors are beyond your control, but following these guidelines can reduce your risk of a stroke.
1. Know your blood pressure and have it checked yearly by a doctor.
2. Identify atrial fibrillation (AFib or AF) — an abnormal heartbeat that increases stroke risk by 500 percent. A doctor must diagnose and treat AFib.
3. Stop smoking.
4. Limit alcohol use to no more than two drinks each day.
5. Know your cholesterol levels and eat foods lower in cholesterol.
6. Control diabetes through proper nutrition and lifestyle changes.
7. Choose a health diet and regular exercise program.
Pass it on
Better awareness can lead to faster, more effective treatment. This month, share what you have learned about strokes with a loved one.
Enjoying Healthier Meal Alternatives | posted April 08, 2013
Are you already working toward a more consistently healthy diet? Like many challenges, beginning the process can be the hardest part. Are you wondering how you can still eat your favorite dishes and have them be nutritious and delicious at the same time?
Treating Osteoarthritis Pain in the Elderly | posted April 04, 2013
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic diseases of older adults and may result from genetics, excessive weight, joint injury and overuse, and loss of strength in muscles supporting joints. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include morning stiffness, aching pain, and decreased joint function.
What You May Not Know about Grapefruit | posted April 01, 2013
There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently regarding the nutritional benefits and drug-interaction risks associated with grapefruit. The topic deserves increased awareness as it is estimated that 21% of families in the U.S. consume grapefruit which is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and flavonoids.