Can you tell if someone is at risk of stroke? While there’s no way of really telling that someone will have a stroke sooner or later, there are signs that can say if you are at a high risk. Knowing these warning signs and knowing your risks can allow you to make the necessary lifestyle and health changes to lower your risk.
Strokes are often called brain attacks. This is because what happens to your brain is similar to what happens to the heart during a heart attack. It can hit you very suddenly, even when you least expect it. And the effects can be fatal and debilitating. You may end up having disabilities and you can be at an increased risk for having a stroke again.
10 Warning Signs of High Stroke Risk
Here are 10 warning signs that you may have a stroke sooner or later:
1. Uncontrolled hypertension. Many people have high blood pressure, but not everyone is aware of their condition or is taking steps to have it under control.
2. Smoking. Smoking causes many health problems, and stroke is one of them. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from ischemic stroke, wherein a blood vessel is blocked, reducing oxygen in the brain, or, abnormal bulging or aneurysm that causes hemorrhaging in the brain. This risk is compared to the risk of non-smokers.
3. Migraines. Those who have episodes of severe headaches with aura, or visual disturbances, have a higher risk for stroke than those who have migraines without.
4. Family history. If you have a relative who suffered a stroke, then your chances of suffering the same is high.
5. Your own history. If you have suffered and survived from a stroke in the past, your chances for getting a stroke again is very high.
6. Having “ministrokes.” There are fleeing “mini” strokes that are short-loved and usually painless so people don’t seek medical attention.
7. Unhealthy diet. High levels of an amino acid called homocysteine play a role in high risks for stroke. Those with a diet high in folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are found to have low levels of homocysteine and at a low risk for having a stroke as well.
8. High blood sugar. Erratic blood sugar levels, high blood sugar, and uncontrolled diabetes can damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of stroke.
9. Sedentary lifestyle. There are many disadvantages for not having an active lifestyle. Keeping yourself fit significantly decreases your risk of stroke.
10. High stress levels. Stress leads to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, which all are also warning signs that lead to stroke. Whether stress is explicit as flying off the handle or constantly trying to chase after deadlines, impress your boss, or pay off debts, for example, this can be harmful to your health.
Looking out for these warning signs can help you make necessary lifestyle changes and even lower your risks.