According to the CDC, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year. About 185,00 of these strokes - nearly 1 in 4 — happen to people who have had a previous stroke. Within the first five years after your first stroke, the likelihood of having a stroke can increase up to 40%. Within 5 years of a stroke, 24% of women and 42% of men will experience another stroke. On top of that, recurrent strokes have a much higher rate of death and long term disability. Therefore if you have suffered a stroke it is very important to make some big life changes in order to prevent having another more severe one.
Here is a list of a few things you can do in order to prevent another stroke:
1) STOP SMOKING
Tobacco smokers are twice as likely to have a stroke. Tobacco smoke harms your body in many different ways including thickening your blood, causing blood clots, narrowing your arteries, and restricting oxygen in your bloodstream.
2) TAKE YOUR MEDICATION AS DIRECTED BY YOUR PHYSICIAN
Many people experience their first stroke due to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or coronary artery disease. People with high blood pressure for example, are one and half times more likely to have a stroke. Therefore if you do not take the correct medications to control these issues it is likely that you will have another stroke.
3) STAY ACTIVE!
Exercise is very important in maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. People who exercise frequently are less likely to have the contributing factors that lead to stroke.
4) EAT A HEALTHY DIET
Eating foods with lower calories, cholestrol, trans and saturated fats can help you maintain your weight as well as your cholestrol levels. This can significantly decrease your chance of having another stroke.
5) DRINK ALCOHOL IN MODERATION
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to heart disease and increased blood pressure. Drinking two or more alcoholic beverages is shown to increase the risk of stroke by up to 50%.
6) KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF A STROKE
It is very important to know the warnings signs of a stroke because the faster you can get help the higher your chance of survival and making a full recovery. The acronym for spotting warning signs of a stroke is F.A.S.T which stands for:
F - Face drooping
A - Arm weakness
S - Speech difficulty
T - Time to call 911
Overall it is very important to identify the factors caused your first stroke and what the contributing health issues are in order to make changes to your lifestyle in order to prevent recurrent strokes from occuring. Most of lifestyle changes can be easily incorporated into your daily life and can make a tremendous difference. It is important to stay hopeful and motivated, so that you can recover from your condition and return to normal life.
If you have had a stroke and are looking for an effective solution for your rehabilitation needs, please look into Neofect's line of Smart Rehabilitation Solutions.
To learn more, please call (888) 623-8984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Becky Alter, OTR/LBecky is an occupational therapist and healthcare content writer based out of Denver, CO.