In the clinic, we work with stroke patients and their families to help them understand the risk of having a second stroke and what they can do to reduce their risk. Lifestyle and medical conditions determine your risk for a first, or second, stroke.
- Do you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Have you been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation?
- Do you smoke?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you avoid exercise?
- Has a close relative had a stroke?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re at greater risk for having a stroke. If you’ve already had a stroke, your “yes” answers mean you’re more likely to have another one.
Your lifestyle can help you avoid a first or second stroke. And, because family history is a stroke risk factor, your entire family can benefit from a healthy way of life. Pledge to help each other stick to a routine that includes:
- No smoking
- Healthy eating
- Regular exercise
- Taking medications are directed
- Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation
- Taking low-dose aspirin or a similar medicine (if recommended by your doctor)
- Managing your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
For more information, watch this video playlist on preventing a stroke, what to do if you're having a stroke, and if you have one, how to improve your outcomes (8:38 total):
(You can also learn more at www.swedish.org/stroke, or click here at www.swedish.org/strokerisk to find out more information about your risk factors for stroke).