What Risk Factors Must be Changed in Order to Avoid All StrokesLearn how to make the needed changes in diet and lifestyle to prevent and avoid strokes and heart disease. It is never too late.
According to the American Heart Association and the National Stroke Association, strokes are the third largest killer in the United States, only after heart disease and cancer. People over 65 years of age have a greater chance of having a stroke and strokes are the leading cause of disability in America. More African-American Black have strokes than Whites or Hispanics. Women have a slight higher risk of dying from a stroke than a man, but men have more strokes then women. (3)
What is a Stroke
A stroke happens when a portion of the brain is damaged, due to interruption of blood flow to the brain. When this happens the mental and physical abilities are hampered. There are three different types of strokes:
- Cerebral Thrombosis - This happens when an artery to the brain is narrowed down. This can happen because of atherosclerosis, plaque or deposit of fatty tissue.
- Cerebral Embolism - This one is also a block, but happens because of a foreign material or embolus.
- Cerebral Hemorrhage - This type of stroke happens not because the artery is blocked, but due to an artery that has burst or is leaking.
Warning Signs of a Stroke
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Risk Factors That Increase the Likelihood of Having a Stroke
- Smoking - If smoking, stop. The patient can start by cutting back and then eventually stopping all together.
- Hypertension - High Blood pressure is a problem that causes many unnecessary deaths. It is a silent killer. Get blood pressure checked regularly.
- Diet - It is important to be on a healthy diet and following the Heart Association pyramid. Eating brown grains, no colas or coffee, no sugar, limited salt and reduction in all red meats.
- Alcoholism - The patient must give up drinking all together. There are organizations like AA who can help in this process.
- Cholesterol Problems - Through a healthy diet and lifestyle changes, the cholesterol will drop. It is necessary to be less than 200.
- Lifestyle - Healthy lifestyle includes diet, exercise and eliminating of stress
- Atrial Fibrillation (unsteady heart rhythm) - See a doctor regularly and keep this in check. (2)
What is Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation, commonly known as AF is an arrhythmia or problem with the speed of the heartbeat. Basically the electric system of the heart is not working properly and causing this arrhythmia.
According to the National Heart and Lung Institute, "AF occurs when rapid, disorganized electrical signals in the heart’s two upper chambers, called the atria (AY-tree-uh), cause them to contract very fast and irregularly (this is called fibrillation). As a result, blood pools in the atria and isn’t pumped completely into the heart’s two lower chambers, called the ventricles (VEN-trih-kuls). When this happens, the heart’s upper and lower chambers don’t work together as they should."
Turmeric may Prevent Strokes
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Curcumin, the main ingredient in curry spice turmeric has previously been shown to aide and prevent heart failure. It has the shown to be a potential treatment for breast cancers, Alzheimer's disease and arthritis. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties and is a very valuable antioxidant.
Currently the research has shown that curcumin may prevent clogged arteries or atherosclerosis, thus warding off strokes and heart attack. This is according to Web MD (7/09)
1. American Heart Association
2. American Family Physician
3. Texas Heart Association
Photo courtesy of Photbucket/ synergy_herbal
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