The best treatment for stroke is to prevent a major cerebrovascular event from occurring in the first place. The following risk factors can be modified to help reduce the risk of stroke.
High blood pressure is the leading cause of both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. High blood pressure should be treated and kept to a level below 140/90 mm/Hg. Both the upper and lower numbers are important. The faithful following of a blood pressure treatment plan can help prevent a stroke.
Smoking doubles your chances of suffering a stroke.
Obesity increases you chance of suffering hypertension and high blood cholesterol, a factor in developing carotid stenosis. Even modest weight gain (24 to 43 lbs over 16 years) can almost double your chances of suffering a stroke.
• Carotid Stenosis
The build up od fatty plaque on the insides of the carotid artery increases your chances of suffering an ischemic stroke.
• Cholesterol/Serum Lipid Levels
High cholesterol levels can promote carotid stenosis and lead to a stroke. A healthy diet and medications prescribed by your primary care physician can help reduce cholesterol levels to below 200.
There are also “warning signs” of an impending stroke, and stroke often does not strike unannounced.
• Prior Stroke
Stroke can strike a person twice. Suffering one stroke, regardless of its severity, increases your chances of suffering a second stroke.
• TIA (transient ischemic attack)
A TIA is a temporary cerebrovascular disruption that leaves no permanent damage. These are recognizable events and can be a predictor of a future, more devastating stroke.
A severe, sudden, unusual headache can be a sign of an hemorrahagic stroke and requires immediate medical attention.
• Although neurosurgeons treat all types of acute stroke, there are four risk factors, warning signs and conditions that are best recognized and treated by a neurosurgeon before acute stroke occurs: TIAs, carotid stenosis, aneurysms and vascular formations.