Stroke strikes FAST and you should too!
Many people don’t know that being able to recognize and respond to stroke symptoms can save lives.
A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. That’s why a stroke should be treated as an emergency.
Recognizing stroke symptoms can be easy if you remember to think FAST.
Use FAST to remember the warning signs of a stroke:
F= Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A= Arms Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S= Speech Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T= Time If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 9-1-1, or press the button on your medical alert system if you have one.
Make sure you also take steps to have a healthy life style to reduce your risk of stroke. Many people don’t know that stroke is one of the most preventable of all life-threatening health problems. By making simple lifestyle changes you can reduce your risk for a stroke.
Things you can do to prevent a stroke:
- Get moving, stay active and incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
- Don’t smoke! If you are a regular smoker, make a resolution to quit. It may be one of the very best things you can do for your health.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that is low in fat and sodium and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
- If you have a family history of diabetes, ask your doctor if you are at risk. It may be necessary for you to be tested regularly.
- If you have diabetes, it is important for you to monitor your blood sugar and weight gain, including A1C levels.
- Take medicine as directed (including insulin). Follow the treatment guidelines of your doctor and if you have any questions, make sure to ask your doctor.
- Manage your diet and exercise to control blood sugar levels.