Here are some steps you can take for better stroke prevention:
- Control your blood pressure. High blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for stroke and heart disease. 120/80 or less is optimal.
- Find out if you have atrial fibrillation.
- Find a healthy outlet for stress, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
- Exercise regularly at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Eat plenty of low-fat, high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
- Don’t smoke. If you do, quit!
- If you have narrowed arteries, your doctor may suggest anti-clotting medications such as aspirin or a prescription drug to reduce the chance of clots. Surgical procedures, such as carotid endarterectomies and carotid stenting, are sometimes used to widen narrowed vessels in the neck.
- If you have diabetes, take steps to control it. This disease can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of stroke.
- If you drink alcohol, drink moderately.
- Know the symptoms of stroke.