Strokes, Are You At Risk

Strokes can occur at any age, unfortunately. Some are caused by blood disorders that are unknown to the patient or to the family. It is important to know you family’s medical history (from your  parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and great grandparents). If you don’t know this information you can often find out from death records.

There are controllable lifestyle risks for a stroke. For example, you can choose to smoke or not smoke. If you have a family history of a stroke, you are at greater risk of a stroke by smoking. Is it worth the risk?

If you have high blood pressure that is not controlled, you are are at greater risk for a stroke. African Americans have a higher risk of death and disability from a stroke because they have more high blood pressure issues.  Some seek medical help, others don’t. What can  you do to control it? Diet, exercise, losing weight, choosing healthy foods,  and being treated for your blood pressure is important.

Also know you family history. Just because no one had a stroke in your family, doesn’t mean you won’t have one. Hispanic Americans are at higher risk for a stroke. I wonder if diet plays a role in this.  If you live in South Carolina and are an African American you are at higher risk for a stroke according to Heart Insight/2011.

My daugher has a friend who has had many, many strokes.  I know a younger person who has had a few strokes due to a blood disorder.

Having a stroke is scary, and it can change your whole life around. Having a massive stroke is REALLY scary. I had two relatives with body extremedies cut off from strokes. Is it worth the risk?

High blood cholesterol puts one at risk for a stroke. There are pills you can take to lower your cholesterol.  I fought it for years, taking those pills. I know high cholesterol and tryglycerides runs in my family and it is hereditary. I never went on prescription medications. I tried slow niacin which raised by bad cholesterol way more than a year ago. Finally I went on 4 fish oil (high quality fish oil from Life Extensions) per day and a clinical trial for hereditary cholesterol (Prevastin). I cannot say enough about Prevastin. It works. I think one should have their cholesterol  level. I recently had mine checked at two labs. I had it done in October and then in December, when it was almost normal. I had not taken my pills for three weeks before the October test. (I was out there, being lazy, and not motivated to take night time pills.) Different labs, different pathologists, different results.  Interesting.

There are other reasons you could be at risk for a stroke. One reason is carotid, peripheral or other artery diseases. I remember when my husband and I had those tests. We are up to have them again in 2012. If you have an artery blocked in your leg, neck, or stomache, wouldn’t you want to know before it is too late? Your life could be altered in a short matter of time.

Other heart diseases can make you prone to a stroke.  For example, atrial fibrillation can make you prone to a stroke. Untreated sleep apnea can cause atrial fibrillation. If you snore, wake yourself up from snoring, you should have it checked out.  See you family physican for a referral. I don’t know how many cancer patients have been  diagnoised with sleep apnea.  Or is it a coincidence?

Some people have sickle cell anemia and this makes them more prone to strokes.

Obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet can promote strokes. What have you done today to eat healthy?