You can help prevent a stroke if you control risk factors and treat other medical conditions that can lead to a stroke.
Know your stroke risk
These are some of the common risk factors for stroke:
- You smoke.
- You have high blood pressure.
- Your cholesterol level is Reference higher than average.
- You have diabetes.
- You are overweight.
- You do not exercise on a regular basis.
- You drink Reference large amounts Opens New Window of alcohol.
Treat any health problems you have
- Manage high blood pressure or high cholesterol by working with your doctor.
- Manage diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels within a target range.
- If your doctor recommends that you take aspirin or a blood thinner, take it. This can help prevent a stroke.
- Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
- Don't smoke or allow others to smoke around you. For more information, see the topic Reference Quitting Smoking.
- Limit alcohol to 2 Reference drinks Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
- Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight makes it more likely you will develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes. These conditions make a stroke more likely.
- Do Reference activities that raise your heart rate. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
- Eat a balanced diet that is low in cholesterol, saturated fats, and salt. What kind of diet you use (What is a Reference PDF Opens New Window document?) depends on your individual risks, your doctor's recommendation, and your preference.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 4, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation