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Stroke Awareness Month 2013
Stroke is an emergency and a brain attack, cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age. Eastern North Carolina has one of the highest stroke death rates in the nation. Most North Carolinians do not know the symptoms of stroke, even though they say they would call 911 if they thought someone was having a stroke.
SPOT A STROKE
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs and symptoms of a stroke. When you can spot the signs, you'll know quickly that you need to call 9-1-1 for help. This is important because the sooner a stroke victim gets to the hospital, the sooner they'll get treatment. And that can make a remarkable difference in their recovery.F.A.S.T. is:
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time to call 911
If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
Beyond F.A.S.T. — Other Symptoms you should know
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Stroke Prevention Guidelines
- Know blood pressure (hypertension)
High blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if left untreated. Have blood pressure checked yearly by a doctor or at health fairs, a local pharmacy or supermarket or with an automatic blood pressure machine.
Visit here to find more information about blood pressure.
- Stop smoking
Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. It damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. Stopping smoking today will immediately begin to decrease risk.
Visit here to find more information to stop smoking.
- Know cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is a fatty substance in blood that is made by the body. It also comes in food. High cholesterol levels can clog arteries and cause a stroke. Make sure you get your cholesterol levels checked and ask your doctor what your cholesterol levels mean.
Visit here to find more information about cholesterol.
- Control diabetes
Many people with diabetes have health problems that are also stroke risk factors. Your doctor can prescribe a nutrition program, lifestyle changes and medicine to help control your diabetes.
Visit here for more information about diabetes.
- Manage exercise and diet
Excess weight strains the circulatory system. Exercise five times a week. Maintain a diet low in calories, salt, saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Visit here for more information about eating smart and moving more.
- Act FAST at the first warning sign of stroke
If you have any stroke symptoms, seek immediate medical attention
Visit here to find more information about the warning signs of stroke.