May is Stroke Awareness Month

Strokes strike fast and you should too!  Many people do not know that being able to recognize and respond to stroke symptoms can possibly save lives.  Stroke should be treated as an emergency because there is treatment that can be given within the first three hours after symptoms start.  Recognizing stroke symptoms can be easy if you remember to use "FAST":  FACE-ask the person to smile to see if one side of the mouth droops; ARMS-ask the person to raise both arms.  Does one arm drift downward?  SPEECH-ask ther person a simple phrase.  Does the speech sound strange or slurred?  TIME-if you observe any of these signs, it is time to call 911!  For more information go to www.stroke.org/awareness


High blood pressure, also called hypertention, is a leading risk factor for stroke.  Yet, nearly 60 million Americans have high blood pressure, and almost a third doesn't know they have it!  Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year - more often if you have a history of high blood pressure, have had a heart attack, are diabetic or are overweight.  Know your family medical history and make sure to follow up if you have a family history of the disease.  If you have high blood pressure, be sure to watch your diet, exercise and use of medication.  Read more at www.stroke.org/risk.


Next time you think about burgers and fries, think about this:  there are many things, including foods high in saturated fat, that can cause arteries to become blocked through the gradual build up of cholestorl, called plaque.  Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat that is made by the body.  It is found in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells.  While your body needs some cholesterol to form cell membranes and some hormones, too much can block normal blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.  There are two types of cholestrol, LDL and HDL.  Know your numbers!  Combined HDL and LDL should be below 200.  Maintain healthy numbers by eating a diet low in saturated fat and incorporating exercise into your routine!  For more imforation visit www.stroke.org/awareness