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You may lower your risk for stroke by:
- Controlling your high blood pressure
- If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.
- Controlling heart disease (especially atrial fibrillation) or disorders that affect your blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease.
- Taking cholesterol-lowering medicines called statins if you have high cholesterol or have had a heart attack, stroke, or TIA.
- Not smoking and staying away from second hand smoke.
- Limiting excessive alcohol consumption. Low to moderate alcohol consumption may decrease the risk of stroke. Moderate drinking is 2 drinks a day for men, and 1 drink a day for women.
- Staying at a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes, which are risk factors for stroke.
- Becoming more physically active. Walking 30 minutes a day for five days a week can lower your risk of stroke by 20%.
- Eating a heart healthy diet. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet that is low in cholesterol, saturated fats, and salt. Foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol can make hardening of the arteries worse. Eat more grains, fruits and vegetables. Eating fish one or more times a month may also reduce your risk of stroke. Limit the amount of salt you eat.
- Taking aspirin if you have had a heart attack.
- Taking anticoagulants, as prescribed by your doctor, if you have atrial fibrillation or have had a heart attack with other complications.
- Avoiding drugs that can increase blood pressure and cause the heart to beat more rapidly, thereby increasing your risk of stroke.
- Avoiding birth control pills if you have other risk factors. If you smoke or have high cholesterol or a history of blood clots, taking birth control pills increases your risk of having a stroke.
- Avoiding hormone replacement therapy. In women who have gone through menopause, hormone replacement therapy has been shown to slightly increase the risk of stroke.
We suggest that you speak to your physician before implementing these measures.
We hope you find this website helpful in your health and medical care decisions. Please contact us 803-545-6050 with any questions or to request assistance with an appointment.