How To Lower Your Risk of Stroke

Knowing the risk factors for stroke can help you make healthy choices.

You’ve probably heard how serious a stroke can be. The American Stroke Association states that stroke is the leading cause of adult disability as well as the third leading cause of death in our country. While several risks for stroke—being male, being African American, being 55 or older and having a family history of stroke—are beyond your control, there are ways you can lower your risk. In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month, here are some things you can do.

• Maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Hypertension and/or high cholesterol can significantly increase your risk for stroke. Have your blood pressure and cholesterol tested regularly, and talk to your doctor about maintaining acceptable levels by eating a healthy diet, exercising and, if necessary, taking medication.

• Eat right. Consuming a diet that is low in fat, sodium  and cholesterol while rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins can help you maintain a healthy weight as well as healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

• Exercise. Inactivity can contribute to an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as weight gain. Any of these factors can result in a higher risk of stroke.

• Don’t drink alcohol in excess or smoke. Making these lifestyle choices can help keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check and your blood vessels and arteries healthy, all of which will decrease your risk of stroke.

• Manage medical conditions. Health concerns including heart disease and diabetes can increase your risk for stroke, which makes it especially important that they be treated and managed effectively.

Learn more about the stroke services we offer at the Medical Center of Lewisville and our affiliation with the Texas Stroke Institute by visiting us online. To find out how you can reduce your risk, or to schedule blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, make an appointment with your doctor. If you need help finding one, call our Physician Referral line at 855-880-4MCL(4625).

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