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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Disease Awareness - What you need to know about strokes

Do you know the signs of a stroke?  Do you know what to do to help someone if they have one?  Well B.M.M.O. Consulting doesn’t either.  We encountered this last week and fell short on knowing what to do.  So that we can be a resource for you and your loved ones, we want to give you some key information about strokes.

Lets start with the basics.  A stroke is a "brain attack" that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.  When either of these things happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.  Some of the risk factors for stroke are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, family history, obesity and past strokes.  Twice as many women die from stroke than they do breast cancer every year.  Unfortunately, women don’t always experience classic symptoms.

Some clear warning signs that someone might be having a stroke:

1.Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
2. Sudden confusion, or trouble talking or understanding speech
3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balannce or    coordination
5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause  

If you notice someone having these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Strokes are the 3rd leading cause of death in America, over 160,000 Americans die each year from it, but the good news is, 80% of strokes are preventable.

There are several things that can be done to help with your healthiness and decrease your chance of stroke. 

  • Exercise – It helps maintain the heart’s strength and keeps the blood pressure down.  It can also lower your chances at diabetes and help control your cholesterol. 
  • Drink Moderately – Alcohol raises the blood pressure and increases stroke risks, monitor the amount you drink to cut your risk.
  • Control Weight – As you become older and gain more weight, you increase your risk.  Find a healthy weight and maintain it.
  • Eat Healthy – Blood cholesterol levels can be increased by eating diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol.  High cholesterol can cause blood clots and excess sodium can increase the blood pressure.
  • Stop Smoking – The nicotine and carbon monoxide that is found in cigarettes damage your cardiovascular system.  Just after two years of quitting, your stroke risk decreases significantly. 

We hope that after reading this article you feel more informed about the risks and symptoms of a stroke.  Please pass this along to all the people you know, it may one day help save a life.  It took an unfortunate incident for us to learn about this, but take the time and learn about disease prevention of all kinds early so you will know how to assess and handle the situation.

More information about the facts above can be found at the websites below.

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