Reducing the Risk for a Stroke After Having A TIA
A TIA is a warning sign that your're at increased risk for having a full-blown stroke, according to the spokesman for the American Heart and American Stroke Association. Recent studies have shown that the risk of having a stroke after a TIA is as high as 10% over the following three months and about half will occur in the first 48 hours after the TIA. Lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of a stroke. Here are important steps to take:
MONITOR & MANAGE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE - Regular monitoring of blood pressure is important. Your doctor may need to prescribe medication. High blood pressure is the #1 risk factor for a TIA and stroke.
REVIEW FAMILY HISTORY - If a close relative has had a stroke, your odds of having one are increase. Your doctor many want you to take extra precautions to reduce other risk factors.
CONTROL WHAT YOU EAT - It's important to have a diet low in fat, cholesterol and sodium and one that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. A good rule to follow is to reduce all processed and prepackaged food as well as monitor portion size and sugar intake. Maintaining a healthy weight is critical in reducing the risk of a TIA and stroke.
STRESS & EXERCISE - Reducing stress and physical activity go hand in hand. Exercise helps to manage and keep stress in tack and only 30 minutes of exercise every other day has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke. Yoga is excellent for stress reduction and if the gym is not for you, there is a wide assortment of fitness and weight training DVDs that can get you moving.
NO SMOKING - Not only will it substantially reduce the risk of a stroke your overall health benefits by not smoking are too many to name!
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS OF A TIA - TIME IS OF ESSENCE IN SEEKING MEDICAL HELP
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Muscle weakness of the face, arm or leg, usually on one side
- Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
- Loss of vision or other vision disturbances
- Trouble speaking, writing or reading
- Confusion or loss of memory
- Difficulty recognizing objects or people
- Changes in senses such as hearing or touch
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
Even if your symptoms seem to go away, a TIA is a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. If someone you know is recovering from a stroke and could benefit by light housekeeping, meals, laundry, escort to or from doctor appointments or may have more personal care assistance needs, call us today 770-442-8664.
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