What if we said you can lower your risk of stroke by indulging in your favorite guilty pleasures? What if we said simply changing your attitude lowers your risk of stroke? That’s right, we’re the bearers of all kinds of good news in this blog!
In 2001, the Washington State Department of Health reported that stroke was the third leading cause of death. By 2010, that ranking had fallen, making stroke the sixth leading cause of death in Washington. While this trend is promising, the truth remains that stroke is still a huge health issue facing Washington residents.
Even when stroke is not fatal, it may affect your mobility, independence, communication skills and even change aspects of your personality.
The best way to avoid stroke in the future is to think about prevention starting today.
A Few Everyday Steps Towards Reducing Your Stroke Risk
- On the Rocks: Have one alcoholic drink a day (especially if you are a woman). A study published in Stroke, the American Heart Association (AHA) journal, found that women who drank one alcoholic beverage per day had a lower risk of stroke than those who did not drink.
Caution: While one serving per day has health benefits, a study published in the September 11, 2012 issue of Neurology found that people who drank three or more alcoholic beverages a day had a higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke. They also tended to have the stroke earlier in life and were more likely to die during the study’s two-year follow up period.
- Grated, Melted or Cut: Have a piece of cheese – as long as it is low fat! On April 19, 2012, a study published in Stroke revealed something that made dairy fiends shout for joy: eating low-fat dairy may reduce the risk of stroke. The Swedish research team found a 12% reduction in stroke risk in people who included low-fat dairy in their diets when compared to those who ate little to no dairy.
A likely explanation seems to be the nutrients contained in dairy, such as Vitamin D, calcium, potassium and magnesium, which help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is a key risk factor for stroke.
Sadly for the fan of fully loaded dairy, high fat dairy products do not have the same impact.
- Glass Half Full: Look on the bright side of life. A University of Michigan study found a correlation between optimism and lowered stroke risk. Researchers speculate that this could be due to both healthier choices made by people with a positive outlook as well as the actual biological effects of optimism. While the study did not prove that optimism lowers stroke risk, it did suggest they are related. And, really, a bright view on life certainly doesn’t hurt.
When Stroke Strikes
The scary truth is that stroke is extremely common. The AHA reports about 765,000 people have strokes each year. That is one stroke every 40 seconds.
If you suspect you or someone you love is having a stroke, call 911 immediately. Warning signs include:
- Weakness, numbness and tingling
- Trouble speaking or comprehending
- Vision disturbances
- Loss of coordination
Sometimes stroke can be missed due to unusual symptoms or emergency room error. This misdiagnosis may be due to a breach of the standard of care. (Read more about misdiagnosis, malpractice and stroke.)
If you or someone you love had a stroke that was misdiagnosed, resulting in injury, you may be eligible for compensation. Please contact us immediately to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We provide a free consultation during which we can discuss your legal options.