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Understanding stroke - prevention

How can I prevent a stroke?

Measures that reduce the chances of stroke are the same as those for avoiding heart attack. Adopt habits that promote cardiovascular health and deter atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries. The essentials of a healthy lifestyle include not smoking, eating foods that are low in calories, salt and fat ( cholesterol), exercising regularly, controlling weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and limiting alcohol consumption.

A few other tips to prevent stroke:

If your risk of stroke is high because of severe atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, or a history of heart disease, TIAs or previous strokes then you should see a doctor regularly. When a clot causing a stroke is the indicated danger, your doctor may advise an aspirin a day to “thin” the blood and reduce the risk of formation of blood clots. If you have diabetes, keep it under control because poorly controlled diabetes increases your risk of stroke.

For people who have partial obstruction of a carotid artery, which is the artery in the neck that provides blood supply to the brain, then a surgical procedure called carotid endarterectomy may be an option to prevent a stroke or TIA. This procedure involves the removal of fat and plaque build-up from the lining of these arteries.

By looking for the warning signs of a potential problem and if diagnosed early, a carotid aneurysm can be repaired and prevent a possible stroke.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on February 18, 2013

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