Each year thousands of men and women in Lee County are taken to the hospital after suffering from a stroke. In order to prevent a stroke, health experts say, it’s important to look at three things, family history, what you eat, and how often you work out.
According to Dr. Adam Heller, a neurologist on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System, hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and smoking are all modifiable risk factors that could cause a stroke. He also encourages people to avoid smoking and excessive drinking.
Clinical dietitian Cassandra Golden, says changing your diet may also lower your risk for having a stroke. “You want to lower your dietary cholesterol, that’s how much cholesterol you’re eating. Replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats in your diet, and add soluble fiber in your diet as well.”
Golden explained how much you’re eating is just as important as what you’re eating. “Usually portion sizes and then exercising can be immediate changes. You need to maintain a healthy body weight. So that’s going to be a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9.”
But there are certain things that can’t be controlled like age, gender, and family history. “Someone in a family with several primary relatives that have had a stroke, they’re going to be at increased risk of stroke, independent of those modifiable risk factors,” said Dr. Heller.
Strokes are more common for men than women, but health experts say women are steadily catching up. Doctors say it’s important to stay up to date with your annual checkups.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.