Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Aging gracefully - or at least while sleeping - might be important

Sleep well?

I must admit that the older I get, the more often I wake up in the middle of the night. Thankfully, I usually go right back to sleep after a small excursion.

Still, measuring sleep quality, especially for seniors, might important information in managing one's stroke risk. Recent research suggests that for seniors, poor sleep may mean higher stroke risk:
Researchers examined the autopsied brains of 315 people, average age 90, who had undergone at least one full week of sleep quality assessment before their death. Twenty-nine percent of them had suffered a stroke, and 61 percent had moderate-to-severe damage to blood vessels in the brain.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Young and old: Do you know what to do?

I was 39 when my stroke hit, and I freely admit that I knew very little about strokes at the time.

And people in that age bracket have strokes every day. And that numbers have been going up.

It's disheartening to hear, then, how most young adults are not stroke savvy:
When asked what they would do if experiencing the hallmark symptoms of stroke, only about one in three people under age 45 said they would very likely head to the hospital.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why watch the salt? Read the latest facts

How much salt do you need? Probably less than you consume.

If you are a typical American consumer, chances are 9 out of 10 that you consume too much sodium. The problem? It can contribute to high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of strokes.

This has been in the news before, of course, but habits are hard to break. Read more how Americans still consume too much salt:
More than 90 percent of children and 89 percent of adults consume more sodium than is recommended in the new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new guidelines advise no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of salt a day -- about a teaspoon -- for most adults.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Stroke and faith - a survivor's story

Photo from Sean P. Anderson via Flickr
Another story of a stroke survivor, and a reminder that strokes pay no attention to someone's station in life, occupation, wealth, notoriety - when a stroke hits, it hits.

Kevin Sorbo recounts place of faith in stroke recovery:
"I was a broken man," Sorbo said. "But I have been revived, redeemed and most certainly I have been reborn. I have been reborn through faith and the hope that comes from that faith."
His testimony included the story of his battle back from three strokes in 1997, the background for his book True Strength. Sorbo described his journey from his TV portrayal of Hercules — the strongest man in the world — to his realization that he was just a mere mortal.
"When those strokes hit me, I went from what I thought was a physical specimen to a guy who couldn’t even stand up without falling down," he said. "My life changed forever in the snap of a finger, or the crack of a neck, in my case. This is where faith and hope come in."

Friday, January 08, 2016

How would you cope with saying just two words?

I feel for this man - a stroke takes away most of his speech ability and leaves him with physical issues.

It's hugely frustrating when you can understand what is said, but you respond only with difficulty. I struggled after mine, and the man in the story below is having a far worse time in that sense. But as mentioned here more than once, aphasia doesn't decrease intelligence.

Follow this link to read about the man who can only say yes and no:
It's not strictly true that Graham can only say "yes" and "no". He can say "and", "no" and "mmm", which means yes, and he also makes an "urr" sound. When he says "and urr…" it means he has something else to say and wants you guess what it is. ...

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

How you or someone you care about can prevent a stroke

Photo from meddygarnet via Flickr
High blood pressure - as you likely know - is the leading cause of strokes. Once this becomes controlled, stroke risks get reduced.

How? One helpful tip is an obvious one: Take your medicine as prescribed.

Does someone you care about have a unpleasant side effect? That's entirely possible. But before abandoning hope, encourage that person to talk to a doctor. More and more research shows blood pressure control's importance - even if it's not super-high. Check out this recent story about high-risk patients should get blood pressure meds: