Strokes happen if the brain doesn’t have a steady supply of blood. After exhausting their oxygen, neurons begin dying within minutes. Here are the most common causes of strokes and what to do about them.
There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Both become more likely if your blood pressure is too high.
Typically, someone has a stroke after an artery gets clogged. This is often the result of poor cardiovascular health. When visiting the doctor, ask them to check your blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is above 130/80, it’s time to take action. Letting it remain above that would increase your odds of stroke. So, start doing a little cardio at the end of each day. Going for a walk can have positive impacts on your blood pressure, too.
Cholesterol is another common culprit behind strokes. If your LDL levels get too high, you’re more likely to suffer from clots. This type of cholesterol sticks to the veins more than HDL does. So, if your levels remain high, a clot could happen near the brain.
You can reduce your cholesterol by changing what you eat. Start by removing as many processed foods as possible and replacing them with plants. For most people, a plant-based diet has a positive impact on cholesterol. Usually, it will decrease LDL while simultaneously increasing HDL levels.
Obesity has quickly become one of the leading causes of stroke. When your BMI exceeds 30, you are obese. Carrying around that much weight is difficult on the bones and body. Unless some weight is lost, it won’t take long to notice its damaging effects. Eventually, it can even change your epigenetic profile, making weight loss more difficult.
The best way to lose weight if you’re obese is by increasing your activity. Also, stop eating as often. Increasing your activity level will boost your metabolic rate, even at rest. So, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day.
You can join a gym and take a few classes to learn the basics of exercise. Once you’ve built a foundation, it might be easier to go by yourself. Some people find going with a friend feels more enjoyable, too. Experiment with whatever you’re doing to see how things change. If you’ve never gone to the gym, figuring out what to do can take a bit at first.
Besides obesity, diabetes is another weight-related condition that increases stroke risk. Most diabetics were born with the condition, but it can be developed later on. Eating a diet loaded with sugar increases the odds of developing type II diabetes. So, make sure to avoid eating too much sugar, especially if overweight.
Visit the doctor and ask them to check your insulin response. If developing diabetes, they’ll know by seeing how your insulin levels react to sugar.
Unless you’ve developed it already, it’s possible to reverse prediabetes. Controlling your sugar intake is the most important thing. But, you can also improve insulin response by being more active, too.
Finally, nothing has a bigger impact on stroke risk than smoking. Frequent smokers are way more likely to suffer from one of them. As such, we’d suggest dropping the habit if it’s something you’ve taken up. Doing it for too long could raise the odds you’ll suffer from a stroke someday.
When struggling to quit, visiting the doctor could help. They’ve invented medications to help assist with nicotine cessation. Sometimes, it’s what you need to get over the first part of recovery.
Not to mention, smoking has a ton of other negative impacts on your health. It reduces the efficiency of your lungs, decreasing VO2 MAX.
Fortunately, as soon as you stop, your lungs begin healing.
Strokes are nothing to joke about. They’ve crippled millions, and they’re a major health risk for more. We’ve given you some advice on what to do when trying to lower stroke risk. Following it should help you reduce the odds you’ll suffer one. But, you have to be diligent with everything we’ve told you. Consistency makes it all more effective.