Know the Warning Signs of Stroke

By Meddling Maude on January 8, 2014

Although stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability, a recent poll estimated that 30 percent of women and 36 percent of men would not recognize its symptoms. Today, I want to change that!

Recognizing the symptoms of stroke is essential, because swift medical attention may reduce the risk of brain damage, disability or death. So, when it comes to stroke, you have to act FAST! “FAST” is a good way to remember the signs of stroke.

F stands for “face drooping.” Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven? If so, it could be the first signs of a stroke.

A stands for arm weakness. Any weakness or pain – in the arm or leg, especially if it occurs on only one side – could signal the need for medical attention.

S stands for speech difficulty. Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly? Shortness of breath can also signal a stroke.

Is someone is experiencing one or more these symptoms it’s Time to call 911. Check the time so you can tell emergency personnel when the first symptoms appeared. Acting FAST is the best way to help a stroke victim survive.

And here’s some ways you can avoid getting a stroke in the first place:

Exercise regularly

Among other benefits, regular exercise lowers blood pressure and an elevated blood pressure in one of the biggest risk factors in stroke.

Drink in moderation

Having more than two drinks a day is associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage, a particularly deadly type of stroke caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the surface of the brain.

Control your weight

Obesity if a major risk factor in stroke, particularly since overweight people usually have higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two risk factors for stroke.

Eat well

The usual rules apply here – a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fats, etc. Also, use olive oil instead of butter or other unhealthy fats. A study of more than 7,600 French adults age 65 and older found that those who regularly use olive oil cut their chance of stroke by just over 40 percent.

Stop smoking

If you smoke, stop. ‘Nuff said.