To Help Prevent a Stroke:
- Get screened for high blood pressure at least every two years, especially if you have a family history of high blood pressure.
- Have your cholesterol checked. If you are high risk, your LDL "bad" cholesterol should be lower than 70 mg/dL.
- If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease, make sure you follow your doctor's treatment recommendations.
- Follow a low-fat diet.
- Quit smoking.
- Exercise regularly: 30 minutes a day if you are not overweight; 60 - 90 minutes a day if you are overweight.
- Do not drink more than one to two alcoholic drinks a day.
Aspirin therapy (81mg a day or 100mg every other day) is now recommended for stroke prevention in women under 65 as long as the benefits outweigh the risks. It should be considered for women over age 65 only if their blood pressure is controlled and the benefit is greater than the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and brain hemorrhage. Ask your doctor if aspirin is right for you.
Your doctor may also recommend that you take aspirin or another blood thinner if you have had a TIA or stroke in the past, or if you currently have a heart arrhythmia (like atrial fibrillation ), mechanical heart valve, congestive heart failure or risk factors for stroke.
Carotid endarterectomy (removal of plaque from the carotid arteries) may help prevent new strokes from occurring in people with large blockage in their blood vessels.
Stroke Support Group
Each session will provide a forum for everyone affected by stroke to share experiences. Through education and better understanding, stroke survivors and their caregivers will gain insight that we hope will enhance their lives. New participants are always welcome. For meeting time and location, please call UnityPoint Health – Trinity's Stroke Coordinator at (309) 779-5061.