At Florida Hospital Kissimmee, it is our hope that by understanding the warning signs and risk factors for stroke, we can help you and your family members prevent one. With your help, we can continue our work to decrease the number of Central Florida residents affected by stroke and become a healthier community overall.
Ways to Help Reduce Your Risk
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (five or more servings a day)
- Eat a moderate amount of meat (limit to two three-ounce servings a day)
- Limit your sodium (salt) intake
High cholesterol can cause the arteries to become so clogged with plaque and other fatty deposits that blood flow can be reduced or completely blocked.
- Lose weight
- Eat a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Limit foods such as whole milk, ice cream, cream, butter, egg yolks and cheese; high-fat processed meats like sausage, bologna and hot dogs; solid fats like shortening, margarine and lard; fried foods; and baked goods.
Diabetes increases the risk of stroke, even when glucose levels are under control. If you have diabetes, it’s important for you to carefully manage it and control any other risk factors you can. Your doctor can help you manage your personal situation through nutritional advice, lifestyle changes and medicine.
Exercise is central to a healthier heart and can help prevent stroke; control blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity; and lower blood pressure in some people.
- Exercise three to five times a week for 30 minutes within your target heart rate.
- Look for ways to include exercise in your daily activities such, as taking a brisk walk, biking,swimming, dancing or aerobics.
- Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
High blood pressure puts stress on blood-vessel walls and can lead to clots or bleeding in the brain. Have your blood pressure monitored every month and make sure it stays under 140/90. If your blood pressure is consistently higher, check with your doctor about ways to better manage it.
Smoking raises the risk of stroke by damaging blood vessels. Quit smoking to reduce your risk of stroke by 50 percent after two years. Within five years, your risk drops to close to that of a non-smoker.