We've learned that having Migraines increases our risk of stroke. That makes it even more important for us to learn about stroke and discuss reducing our risk factors for stroke with our doctors.
Saturday, October 29, is World Stroke Day. The theme of the day is One in Six: Act Now! It highlights the reality that one of every six people worldwide has a stroke. Stroke is the second-leading cause of death in the world behind heart disease. In the United States, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of one every three to four minutes.
The World Stroke Organization, which sponsors World Stroke Day annually, encourages us to Act Now by taking these six challenges to lower stroke risk:
- Know the risk factors for stroke— high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high blood cholesterol — and keep them in a healthy range.
- Be physically active.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to stop now.
- Learn to recognize the warning signs of a stroke and how to take action.
The symptoms of a stroke include:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech;
- sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
- sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination;
- or sudden severe headache with no known cause.
It's essential that stroke be recognized and treated as soon as possible. Delay in treatment can result in more damage done by the stroke. The American Stroke Association urges:
"Learn to recognize a stroke,
because time lost is brain lost."
For Migraineurs, recognizing a stroke can be more difficult because Migraine and stroke can have many of the same symptoms. If you're ever in doubt as to whether the symptoms you're experiencing are Migraine or stroke, if you're experiencing new or frightening symptoms, or if you're having an unusually severe Migraine or headache, get to the emergency room immediately.
"World Stroke Day." The American Stroke Association. October 18, 2011.