Welcome to the month of May, it is Hypertension and Stroke Awareness Month

Most recently, in April, one of my favorite movie director/producers, John Singleton passed away. Sadly, he died of a massive stroke. This should be a wake-up call to many, as he was only 51 years young!

 A stroke occurs when a blood clot or a blood vessel rupture interrupts blood flow to the brain. The brain cells die without oxygen and nutrient- rich blood.  Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States.  Take a peek below for signs and symptoms of stroke:

    • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, leg esp. on one side of body
    • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
    • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
    • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
    • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Risk Factors:

    • Heredity
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Ethnicity
    • Hypertension
    • High cholesterol
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Excessive body weight
    • Previous stroke or TIA

80% of strokes are preventable. About 8 of every 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure.  High blood pressure(Hypertension) is known as the “silent killer”, 1 in 6 adults are unaware that they even have high blood pressure.   

The definition of blood pressure is the measurement of force applied to arterial walls that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. If the blood pressure is high, this can damage your heart and/or blood vessels and cause health problems. At age 50, people without high blood pressure(hypertension) have a life expectancy 5 years longer than those with hypertension.

What are your risk factors for Hypertension?

    • health conditions (i.e. diabetes)
    • lifestyle
    • family history

What you can do TODAY to help decrease your risk of hypertension and stroke:

    • Follow a Healthy diet: low carb, low fat, low sodium (<1500mg/day)
    • Get Regular exercise (150 mins of moderate-intensity activity/week)
    • Maintain a healthy body weight (Optimal BMI 25)
    • Monitor blood pressure regularly (Normal <120/80)
    • Avoid smoking tobacco products
    • Avoid excessive alcohol use

“YOLO, so start NOW!”

Yours in Health,
Dr. Darby

Sources: CDC, American Heart Association