Patients who suffer a stroke are often vulnerable for a second stroke. After conducting tests to analyze why the first stroke happened, your doctor will go over risk factors about a second stroke as well.
The causes of a second stroke mimic that of a primary stroke. Patients with the following are often at risk:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Obese or overweight
Each of those conditions can detrimentally impact your health and cause a first, second, or third stroke. For many patients, having a stroke is a wakeup call, and they want to take preventative steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Thankfully, there are ways to lower your risk.
Lowering the risk of a second stroke
First and foremost, it’s crucial to speak with your doctor about your specific condition. Since stroke can be caused by numerous factors, your physician may place you on medication and give concrete steps to take to stay healthy. Additionally, your doctor will likely recommend the following.
Getting active is a key step to preventing a second stroke. It’s important to incorporate cardio exercises such as walking, biking, or swimming into your everyday activity. It’s OK to start small and gradually increase the amount of exercise per day.
Stop all tobacco use
There are many resources that can help you quit. For those in New York state, try the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. Tobacco use not only increases the risk of stroke, but it also increases the risk of other health problems, so quitting is a necessity, especially when trying to prevent a second stroke.
Moderate your diet
Dieting can be difficult, especially during the holidays. Your doctor will likely recommend that you stay away from processed foods and try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Moderate salt consumption and alcohol use as well, and make sure to avoid foods with saturated fats and trans fats.
Watch your weight
Eating right and getting exercise go hand-in-hand to limiting your risk for a second stroke. Depending on your current weight, your doctor may recommend monitoring yourself to make sure you get to a healthy weight.
Try to de-stress
Stress can be incredibly difficult to manage, but it’s an important step to staying healthy after a stroke. Each of us has daily stresses from family and jobs that are sometimes out of our control. Therefore, it’s important to find a way to cope with stress and not let it affect our health. Some people like to meditate while others go for a run — find out what works for you to maintain peace of mind and reduce everyday stress.
Watch for signs
It’s also important to watch for the signs of a second stroke. Symptoms such as drooping facial features, one side becoming weak, slurred speech, and loss of balance are key indicators of stroke. Read our blog on other subtle signs to watch out for to make sure you can get help fast.