Managing high blood pressure is the most important thing you can do to prevent stroke.
A stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack,” is when blood flow to an area in the brain is cut off. This happens when a blood vessel, that supplies blood to your brain, is either blocked or bursts. When a blood vessel is blocked or bursts, part of the brain isn’t getting the blood and the oxygen it needs, so the brain starts to die. This affects movement, thoughts, language, memory, and vision, and in extreme cases, can cause paralysis and/or permanent brain damage.
People who have high blood pressure are four to six times more likely to have a stroke. The chances of getting a stroke are directly related to how high your blood pressure is. High blood pressure weakens arteries in the brain and can cause them to clog or burst more easily, making it more likely for you to get a stroke.
Healthy lifestyle changes are an important first step for lowering high blood pressure and decreasing your risk for stroke. Here are some suggestions:
- Manage your high blood pressure by taking your prescribed medication
- Maintain normal weight
- Reduce salt intake
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Eat fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.