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Stroke Insights and Answers > Lifestyle Changes

Key Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Stroke Recurrence: Managing Risk Factors

What Lifestyle Changes Should I Make To Reduce The Risk Of Another Stroke?

One out of 4 stroke survivors will have another stroke. To reduce the risk of another stroke and promote overall health, there are several lifestyle changes you can make:

  • Manage blood pressure: High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for strokes. Work on a plan with your healthcare provider to lower your blood pressure if it is elevated. Managing Blood Pressure after Stroke
  • Control cholesterol levels: High cholesterol levels can cause plaque buildup in the arteries. This increases risk for stroke. Work with your doctor or nutritionist to make changes to your diet to reduce your cholesterol levels. How Blocked Arteries Lead to Strokes
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity increases the risk of stroke. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be physically active: Engaging in regular exercise can help control your weight. Consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Aerobic Exercise after Stroke
  • Eat a nutritious diet: Post-Stroke Nutrition which includes things like eating whole foods, maintaining a balanced diet, and meeting your caloric needs is important for your lifestyle and prevention of stroke recurrence.
  • Quit smoking: Quitting smoking reduces your risk for stroke. Consult with a healthcare provider if you need assistance for kicking the habit. The Link between Smoking and Stroke
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption raises your blood pressure and can increase your risk for stroke.
  • Manage diabetes: If you have diabetes, it is important to control your blood sugar levels and take any prescribed medications.
  • Take prescribed medications: Take medications as directed by your healthcare provider in order to lower certain risk factors that may be associated with stroke, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Get regular check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your overall health, manage risk factors, and make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

What Should I Know about Stress and Stroke Risk?

Stress can contribute to an increased risk of stroke and may affect your stroke recovery. It is important to note that stress is one of many factors that can contribute to stroke risk. It is often intertwined with other risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, and unhealthy lifestyle habits. Managing stress and adopting effective stress management techniques can help reduce your risk of stroke, improve your overall health, and help you cope with the aftermath of a stroke. Strategies such as regular exercise, relaxation (e.g. meditation, deep breathing exercises), engaging in hobbies, social support, and seeking professional help when needed can contribute to stress reduction and better stroke prevention outcomes. If you are experiencing chronic stress, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance and support.

Can I Drink After a Stroke?

The decision to drink alcohol after a stroke should be made with your healthcare provider. While it’s understandable to have questions about resuming alcohol consumption, it’s important to consider the potential effects and risks, as they can vary depending on individual circumstances, the severity of the stroke, and any pre-existing health conditions. Certain medications can negatively affect alcohol processing. Overconsumption of alcohol can have detrimental effects on the brain and may potentially lead to concerning behaviors.

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