Fitness Facts: Stroke awareness

By Connie Colbert
GCU Director of Health Services

Connie Colbert

May is Stroke Awareness Month. Did you know that …

  • Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the fifth-highest cause of death in the United States every year.
  • A stroke can happen at any age, at any time.
  • Every 40 seconds, a person in the United States has a stroke.
  • 1 in 3 women has high blood pressure (which is the biggest stroke risk factor) and doesn’t know she has it.
  • Not all women are equally affected by stroke; Black women are more likely to have a stroke than any other racial or ethnic group of women in the U.S.
  • Up to 80% of all strokes are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You are at a greater risk for a stroke if:

  • You eat a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol
  • You do not get enough physical activity 
  • You drink too much alcohol (more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men)
  • You smoke
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have diabetes
  • You are obese
  • You have high cholesterol

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is reduced or blocked completely, which prevents brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.

A stroke can be broken into two main categories:

  • Ischemic: This type of stroke occurs when blood flow to part of your brain is blocked. The block is usually caused by a blood clot that gets stuck in a narrow blood vessel. When oxygen cannot get to an area of the brain, tissue in that area may get damaged.
  • Hemorrhagic: This type of stroke makes up about 13% of stroke cases. It is caused by a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. The blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue.

Most importantly, know the signs

It will save a life – yours or someone else’s.

Every minute counts when a stroke happens. Calling 9-1-1 right away can help you or a loved one get the lifesaving treatment needed to reduce the risk of death and serious disability from a stroke.

A stroke is an emergency requiring professional care immediately to achieve the best outcome. Nearly two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke. Early treatment leads to less brain damage, reduced disability rates and fewer deaths.

The word F.A.S.T. can help you remember and recognize the warning signs of a stroke.

  • F = Face drooping. Is one side of your face sagging? Is your smile uneven?
  • A = Arm weakness. Do you have numbness or weakness in one of your arms? Attempt to hold your arms outstretched at waist level. Is one of your arms drifting downward?
  • S = Speech difficulty. Are you slurring your words? Are you unable to produce or understand speech and communicate how you normally do?
  • T = Time to call 9-1-1. If you or someone you’re with shows any of these warning signs, immediate action is vital. The faster you get care, the better your chances of a positive outcome.

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Chapel

GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. (1 John 3:1)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/