By the time you finish reading this article, over a dozen people in the
U.S. will have had a stroke, according to The Internet Stroke Center.
What is even more frightening is the fact that African-American women
are twice as likely to suffer from a stroke than white women.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), African-American
women are more likely to have a stroke than any other group of women in
the United States. The main risk factors associated with stroke like high
blood pressure, sodium sensitivity, sickle cell anemia, obesity, and diabetes
are more prevalent in African-American women, and many of us have some
of these health problems without knowing it.
May is Stroke Awareness Month, which is why Pomona Valley Hospital Medical
Center (PVHMC), a certified comprehensive stroke center, wants to be sure
our community members know the facts and warning signs of a stroke. Not
only is it important to know the signs of a stroke, but it’s also
imperative that you act fast! If you, or someone you know, experiences
these symptoms the most important thing is to get help quickly:
An easy to remember a tip from the American Stroke Association is to think
Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or
is one arm unable to rise up?
Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred
Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
While a stroke can be frightening there is some good news, too—up
to 80% of strokes can be prevented, says the CDC. Adopting a healthy lifestyle
is one of the best ways you can prevent stroke, here are a few recommendations
that could help prevent stroke in your life:
Controlling high blood pressure and diabetes are key. Exercising regularly
and managing stress, as well as maintaining a healthy weight by limiting
sodium and alcohol can also help. Eating fruits and vegetables is a big
plus, adding in olive oil, nuts, and whole grains, too. Lowering cholesterol
and saturated fat in your diet can also reduce the plaque in your arteries
and improve health. Lastly, smoking raises the risk of stroke - quitting
tobacco significantly lowers the risk for you and those you live with
who breathe in secondhand smoke.
One of the best ways to keep your health risks low and your body in check
is to pay a regular visit to your doctor.
There is hope when it comes to stroke prevention, and it starts with you!
Act fast and use preventative measures. Your quick reaction and knowledge
could save a life.