A stroke is a dangerous health issue that occurs when the blood supply to your brain is reduced or interrupted. While your genetics and family health history play a role in your risk level, your lifestyle choices can increase your chances of having a stroke. You can reduce your risk of stroke with a healthier lifestyle.
1. Eating an Unhealthy Diet
Eating healthy is one of the most critical factors in reducing your risk of stroke. A standard American diet is full of processed meats, simple carbohydrates, processed foods, and unhealthy fats, all of which can raise your risk of having a stroke.
Eating a diet that includes plenty of complex carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and beans will lower your risk of stroke by 13 percent. Complex carbohydrates contain healthy fiber. Studies have found that for every 10 grams of fiber you eat each day, your risk of stroke is 23 percent lower.
2. Avoiding the Doctor
If you believe you are at a high risk of having a stroke but continue to avoid doctor appointments, you are making a lifestyle choice that puts you at a higher risk for stroke. When you have a doctor who is aware of your risk of stroke, they can help prescribe medication and advice to reduce your risk.
If you have a high risk of stroke or if you have suffered a stroke in the past, you might want to find a doctor who specializes in preventing strokes. You can find a locum tenens stroke doctor in your area who can work with your primary doctor. Having a doctor who specializes in strokes means that they will be more aware of how to recognize the signs that you are at high risk of a stroke and they can better help you circumvent that problem.
Not all smokers smoke a pack a day, but even occasional smoking can increase your risk of a stroke. Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals get into your lungs and then into your bloodstream. Smoke from cigarettes can thicken the blood, narrow the arteries, and restrict oxygen in the blood.
Chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause the platelets in your blood to become sticky. This increases the risk of a blood clot forming, which can lead to a stroke. Smoking also raises the level of LDL cholesterol and reduces HDL cholesterol. Having higher LDL can increase your risk of stroke.
4. Skipping Exercise
If you sit at a desk all day and never exercise, you’re at a higher risk of having a stroke. Even occasional moderate exercise will help protect you from both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes.
Exercise will also help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, which is important for reducing stroke risk. Exercise improves blood vessel function and raises the level of oxygen in your blood. Walking, cycling, weight lifting, and participating in sports are all beneficial.
Just by changing these unhealthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack dramatically.