Do I have your attention now?
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We have many articles that focus on breast health and on how to properly give yourself an at home breast exam. When we hear the word “stroke” the first image that comes to mind is someone in their 60’s or 70’s. We do not associate “stroke” with us – the younger of millennial Black women. But the facts are this: strokes kill twice as many women as breast cancer does. (https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/women.htm) In honor of World Stroke Day, we are giving you the facts on prevention.
The Good News? Strokes May Be Prevented.
Here at Black Moms Blog, we focus on the health and well-being of African American mothers but you need to know that strokes do not discriminate. A stroke does not care what age, race, financial bracket, or demographic you belong to. In fact, one in four people worldwide will indeed suffer from a stroke in their lifetime. On the opposite end of that spectrum, 80% of first strokes may be prevented.
Like any disease, prevention begins with self care and doctor visits. Black women statistically suffer more when it comes to health related issues because we are least likely to go to the doctor and advocate for our health. When it comes to stroke prevention, do not be silenced if you sense that something is wrong.
Understanding The Source: Stroke Starts In The Brain.
A stroke is nicknamed as a brain attack. The brain becomes starved of oxygen when the blood flow is restricted and cut off. The brain cells are starved of oxygen and begin to die. I know this is hard to read mamas but this is serious. And matters this serious cannot be sugar coated with pretty images and light conversation. This is real. And it is happening to us everyday.
How Can You Prevent A Stroke From Happening?
Here are a few ways you can prevent a stroke from happening:
Eat colorful fruits and veggies. Fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals that help to improve brain function. Eating fruits and veggies can also help to lower your blood pressure over time.
Rest is very important. As mothers, sleep is normally the last thing on our to do list but when it comes to stroke prevention, you should be clocking around 7-9 hours each night. Try to reduce your screen time before bed and throw in a little meditation to help calm your energy for a peaceful night of rest. Mindfulness may reduce your blood pressure and increase a healthy flow of blood to your brain.
Exercise is key. When it comes to healthy living, exercising is beneficial in many ways – stroke reduction is one. By daily exercise, you are increasing your health by getting your heart pumping, using exercise to reduce stress, and actively working to reduce your blood pressure. If you are just starting out with exercise, keep it light with a 30 minute walk every morning or evening. Switch it up for variety!
Be Aware Of These Signs When It Comes To Stroke Prevention.
It’s easy to remember the most common stroke warning signs:
✔ Face – Drooping or facial numbness. Ask them to smile. Is their smile uneven?
✔ Arm – Arm weakness or numbness. Ask them to raise both arms. Does one drift downward?
✔ Speech – Slurred speech. Are they unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask them to
repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.”
✔ Time – Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately if someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away. Note the time when the first symptoms appeared.
For more information on stroke prevention and brain health resources, visit stroke.org/worldstrokeday
Stroke is a medical emergency. For the best chance of recovery, call 9-1-1 for help. Medical treatment may start in the ambulance.