What Is a Stroke?    What Causes a Stroke?    Who Is at Risk for a Stroke?

Signs & Symptoms of Stroke    How Is a Stroke Diagnosed?    How Is a Stroke Treated?

Types of Stroke    Stroke Prevention    Life After a Stroke    Clinical Trials

Lower Stroke Risk

How Can a Stroke Be Prevented?

Taking action to control your risk factors can help prevent or delay a stroke. If you’ve already had a stroke, these actions can help prevent another one.

One step you can take is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. For example, if you smoke or use tobacco, quit. Smoking can damage and tighten blood vessels and raise your risk of stroke. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke also can damage the blood vessels.

Following a healthy diet also is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. A healthy diet is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugar.

If you’re overweight or obese, work with your doctor to create a reasonable weight-loss plan. Controlling your weight helps you control stroke risk factors.

Try to be physically active. Physical activity can improve your fitness level and your health. Ask your doctor what types and amounts of activity are safe for you.

Know your family history of stroke. If you or someone in your family has had a stroke, be sure to tell your doctor.

For more information about lifestyle changes, go to “How Is a Stroke Treated?” If lifestyle changes are not enough, you also may need medicines to control your stroke risk factors. Take all of your medicines as your doctor prescribes.

If you’ve had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), don’t ignore it. It’s important for your doctor to find the cause of the TIA so you can take steps to prevent a stroke.

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