May is Stroke Month
Each May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Here at Wake Forest Baptist Health we take this time of year to increase public awareness of stroke. Below are tips to increase your knowledge of stroke:
Warning Signs of Stroke
The five most common warning signs of stroke are:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding someone speaking to you.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of balance.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room if you have any of these symptoms. The ability to recover from a stroke depends on getting treatment as quickly as possible. Every minute is important.
Reduce Your Risk of Stroke
Although some risk factors for stroke are beyond our control, others are influenced by lifestyle. Here are ways to reduce the risk of stroke:
- Control blood pressure.
- Normal blood pressure is considered below 120/80.
- A blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is considered pre-hypertension. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.
- Maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- LDL (bad cholesterol) should be below 100.
- HDL (good cholesterol) should be above 40.
- Total cholesterol below 200 is optimal.
- Control sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea.
- Don't smoke.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Limit to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
- One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
- Maintain a healthy weight and know your body bass index (BMI).
- A healthy BMI is between 19 and 24.
Visit the Comprehensive Stroke Center website for more information.