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How can I reduce my risk of stroke?

There are things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke, like not smoking, exercising more and eating healthy food. If you've already had a stroke, there are medicines that help make having another stroke less likely. 

Some risk factors are beyond our control, such as age, gender, and family history of stroke or cardiovascular disease. But other risk factors can be controlled through diet, medication, and lifestyle changes. Risk of stroke can be reduced by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Quitting smoking
  • Controlling diabetes
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
Dr. Nicholas D Suite
Neurologist

Stroke is the sudden or gradual loss of blood flow to an area of the brain, causing damage to the brain that can almost always be seen on brain imaging such as a CAT scan or MRI. Stroke is caused by a blockage of blood flow into or out of the brain. It can also be due to a sudden rupture (breakage) of a blood vessel in the brain.

Prevention of stroke is possible by controlling high blood pressure, carefully managing diabetes, avoiding smoking, lowering cholesterol levels, being aware of any family history of stroke, and avoiding any activities that might put one at risk for stroke, e.g., drugs.

A healthy diet is just one part of the protect-your-brain-from-stroke equation. Follow these other noggin-protective steps, too:

  • Watch your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke.
  • Kick the habit. Like lovers who can't bear to part, smoking and the risk of stroke go hand in hand.
  • Resist gravity. The kind that keeps your butt glued to the couch. Just three short bouts of easy exercise a week could help stymie strokes.
  • Drop a few. Shedding those excess pounds can also shed your risk for stroke. In fact, weight loss is one of five healthful habits that can lower stroke risk by a whopping 80 percent.

Continue Learning about Stroke Prevention

Can I Reduce My Risk for Stroke By Eating Certain Foods?
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Can Eating Green Vegetables Prevent Stroke and Heart Attack?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.