Stroke Tales

Checklists on what to look for when you’re having a stroke and how to prevent them

By Scott LaFee   |   February 25, 2019

Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked or bursts. When that happens, the affected part of the brain cannot get sufficient oxygen and sustenance and neurons begin to die at a rate of up to 2 million per minute. Eighty percent of strokes — and their consequences — are preventable if you take certain actions and recognize the symptoms. Here’s your checklist. 

Xray of skull

Stroke symptoms aren’t always obvious, but time is of the essence when you suspect you might be having one. Think FAST. These are typical symptoms:

F – Face drooping
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech difficulty
T – Time to call 911

Other symptoms include

Sudden numbness weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Eight Ways to Help Prevent a Stroke

  1. Monitor your blood pressure
  2. Control your cholesterol
  3. Keep your blood sugar down
  4. Get active
  5. Eat better
  6. Lose weight if you need to
  7. Don’t smoke, period
  8. Talk to your doctor about aspirin or other preventive medications

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