May is National Stroke Awareness month and a time for healthcare providers to bring you information about how YOU can prevent a stroke!
Facts about strokes
- Over 795,000 strokes occur each year
- A.S.T. is the acronym to help determine if someone is having a stroke (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech Problems, Time is of the essence). We covered strokes, risk factors & how to recognize a stroke with the acronym F.A.S.T. in our blog on Strokes.
- Strokes are not heart attacks, they are actually often referred to as “Brain attacks” & happen when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted
- Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke according to the National Stroke Association
- 80% of strokes can be prevented
The Correlation Between Cholesterol & Strokes
Your heart health has a lot to do with your risk of having a stroke. While many may confuse a stroke as a “less intense version of a heart attack” that is not what a stroke actually is; as stated above.
However, your heart health can increase your risk of a stroke dramatically. A healthier heart means less of a chance of clogged arteries, which supply blood throughout your body.
Cholesterol creates a plaque in your arteries, blocking the path of flow for your blood to all parts of your body; including your brain. If you have high LDL (think L = Lousy) cholesterol then your body is at higher risk of a stroke. Your HDL (think H = Healthy) cholesterol actually helps to control your LDL levels by carrying cholesterol to your liver to be filtered out.
Increasing your HDL cholesterol can help you reduce your stroke risk; but how do you increase your HDL?
- Eating a Healthy Diet
- Taking Niacin Supplements (ask your physician for dosage amounts & if it would be safe for you to take these supplements)
- Exercise & Increased Activity
These 3 small lifestyle changes can actually bring your bad cholesterol down while increasing your good cholesterol; all while helping to decrease your risk of a stroke.
We want you to be aware of and able to make the lifestyle changes so that you can reduce the risk of strokes. We’re always here to help you Live Your Life HEALTHIER.
Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your Life Physical Therapy, LLC