Lower your stroke risk by keeping your blood pressure under control.
According to the National Stroke Association, high blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke. More than 75 percent of stroke patients will have a high blood pressure of over 140/90. If you have high blood pressure, the American Heart Association warns that it could increase your chances of experiencing a stroke by:
- Weakening Your Arteries – When an artery is weak, it is more likely to burst under pressure. A stroke could occur if the weakened arteries are found in the brain.
- Clogging Your Arteries – Obstructions in an artery could affect blood flow to the brain, resulting in an ischemic stroke.
- Rupturing a Blood Vessel – A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel begins bleeding in or around the brain.
Nicknamed the "silent killer," high blood pressure is a dangerous condition that exhibits no symptoms and can only be detected by a test. To protect yourself from stroke, make sure you are getting regular screenings. If your blood pressure is higher than 120/80, talk to your doctor about the best way to lower your numbers. Medication may able to help, and lifestyle changes may include:
- Creating a regular fitness routine
- Limiting your sodium intake
- Adding more high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet
- Practicing stress management techniques
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, so make your health your top priority and get your blood pressure checked. Our neuroscience department includes expert physicians who specialize in stroke care. We are equipped to diagnose, treat, and guide a successful recovery. Learn more or request a physician referral by calling our free Consult-a-Nurse® service at 1-888-256-7692.