What Is a Stroke? | AFC Urgent Care | Portland

May is American Stroke Month. More than 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year in the United States. Are you at risk of being one of them?

Our team wants you to know your risk when it comes to experiencing a stroke during your lifetime, as well as ways you can help to prevent a stroke—now and in the future.

What Are the Risk Factors for a Stroke?

A stroke is a sudden interruption to the blood supply of the brain, caused either by an artery blockage or a burst blood vessel. Are you worried about your risk for stroke?

While everyone is at risk for a stroke, there are some factors that can increase your stroke risk. Having a family history of stroke, having high blood pressure, and smoking are all things that can increase your risk of stroke. In addition, diabetes, heart disease, and brain aneurysms can also increase your stroke risk.

Stroke Symptoms

  • Trouble walking

  • Issues speaking

  • Having a hard time understanding

  • Experiencing numbness in the face, arm and/or leg

How Can a Stroke Be Prevented?

As with anything, the best way to treat a stroke is to prevent it. By lowering your high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight, you can lower your risk of a stroke.

In addition, managing certain conditions like diabetes and atrial fibrillation, as well as quitting smoking can also help you to reduce your stroke risk in the future.

Tips for Lowering Your Blood Pressure

  • Increase activity and exercise more.

  • Lose weight if you're overweight.

  • Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates.

  • Eat more potassium and less sodium.

  • Eat less processed food.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Reduce excess stress.

  • Try meditation or yoga.

If you or a loved one are experiencing stroke symptoms, call 911 for immediate medical attention. If you have non-emergency medical needs, give AFC Urgent Care Portland a call before heading to our urgent care center, as we have certain protocols in place to help keep everyone safe.