Thursday, July 14, 2011

Educate yourself about stroke prevention

A few days ago, I saw a notice about a series of screenings by a commercial venture at a local church building. You've probably seen ads for this in newspaper inserts or in your mailbox. This bothers me a great deal.

Why? Because this type of screening, without advice from your doctor, is not an effective way to prevent strokes. For a total of $240, you supposedly get carotid artery screening, heart rhythm screening, abdominal aortic aneurysm screening and peripheral arterial disease screening.

Now, that sounds all well and good, except....

If you have zero stroke risk factors, you don't need these screenings. If you do have stroke risk factors, then you should have already talked to your doctor about what to do about these risk factors and what tests are needed.

If you don't trust your own doctor to provide meaningful help in that decision-making process, you need another doctor.

Follow this link to get details about stroke risk factors. For your future and the ones you love.

Those factors include cholesterol and high blood pressure - and if you don't know those numbers, that's a sign you need a visit to a doctor, not fly-by-night screeners. Circulation problems - a simple exam can give a doctor the information needed to justify additional screenings - the right ones. Another risk factor is diabetes. Again, there are specific symptoms of diabetes that should lead you to a doctor visit.

Educate yourself. Don't give in to scare tactics.

By the way, I don't blame the church allowing this company to use its building. I'm sure this was pitched very cleverly. But after you review the risks you think you need to take some steps to avoid a stroke, talk to your doctor instead.


Linda said...

I had not heard of this kind of thing before and am a little bit shocked. Bless the churches for trying to help but I do hope they shift their efforts to education forums rather than direct medical care events.


Jeff Porter said...

Where I live, it's a common piece of advertising. I'm sure the company makes a *lot* of money on this.