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Brain Attack

February 24, 2014

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I bet if I asked you what the 4th leading cause of death was I’m willing to bet that stroke would not come to mind. According to the CDC stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in America killing 130,000 people per year and costing us almost $40,000,000,000 annually. There are multiple types of strokes such as ischemic,  hemorrhagic, transient ischemic attacks or tia. For the purpose of the post we will talk about the most common one which is ischemic strokes.

Ischemic strokes account for 87% of all strokes. Ischemic strokes occur as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. The underlying condition for this type of obstruction is the development of fatty deposits lining the vessel walls. The fatty deposits can cause a couple types of obstructions that either clog up blood vessels or send blood clots up through the vessels leading the brain until it reaches a point that is too small to pass. The health of our heart and the heart pathways directly influence the health of our brain.

According to the Cleveland Clinic the single most important risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure. Other behavior risk factors are: unhealthy diet, inactivity, obesity, consuming too much alcohol and tobacco products. Stroke is not 100% preventable but studies have shown that 80% of strokes can be prevented when working with a healthcare provider to lower individual risk. Exercising 3-5 days a week for 30-60 minutes and eating a diet high in fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains will go a long way in reducing your risk. Improve your brain health by increasing your heart health.

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