Preventing a Future Stroke

Stroke survivors are at higher risk for having another stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, approximately one out of every four strokes in the US will happen to someone who has already survived one.

The good news is you have the power to help! Understanding the type of stroke your loved one had, along with its underlying cause, can help you create a plan that helps to mitigate the risk of future strokes.

Reducing the Risk of Future Strokes

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Foods high in antioxidants, potassium, fiber, calcium, and folate (folic acid) have been associated with good health after stroke. A dietician or primary-care physician can help get your loved on a healthy diet plan.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity reduces the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Exercise can also improve overall recovery. Your health care team can provide a plan that’s right for your loved one.  

Quit Smoking

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for stroke. If your loved one is having trouble quitting, speak to your health care provider to come up with plan to help them quit. 

Avoid Alcohol

It is recommended that stroke survivors avoid alcohol. If your loved one drinks alcohol, limit it to one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.

Manage Medications

Medication can significantly reduce the risk of future strokes. It is important for your loved one to take the correct medication and dosage until the doctor tells them otherwise. It can be very dangerous to suddenly stop taking medicines or change the dose.

Sometimes medicines do not work as they are supposed to. Make sure you tell your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist about everything he/she are taking. This includes over-the-counter medicines, natural remedies and vitamins. Keep a list of all your loved one’s medications with you at all times in case of an emergency or if you need to share them with a new doctor.

Managing Other Conditions

Other health conditions can lead to increased risk for stroke. Having a good management plan of these conditions can help reduce the chance of another stroke.

  • Blood Pressure - High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. Work with your health care provider to bring your blood pressure to goal
  • Cholesterol - Have your cholesterol checked regularly. Medication and healthy lifestyle habits can help bring high cholesterol to goal.
  • Blood Sugar - Have your blood sugar tested. Some people have diabetes and don’t know it until something, like a stroke, happens.

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