Many Americans may not be aware that stroke is the third leading cause of death, as well as the leading cause of disability in the United States. Therefore to raise awareness about this illness, the American Stroke Association has recognized May as being American Stroke Month.
Since Sherman Hospital has been the regional heart and vascular center of the northwest suburbs for over 35 years and has been providing the community with excellent heart and stroke care, we want to take part in Stroke education and appropriate heart care.
With that in mind, Dr. Muhammed Ghumra of Sherman Health’s Neurological Staff has offered important facts and information about stroke and American Stroke Month:
May is Stroke Awareness Month, and represents the united effort of the healthcare community, government officials, community groups and others interested in eradicating the devastation of stroke. Stroke is currently the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and nearly 700,000 Americans suffer from strokes annually.
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
Risk factors that one can control/treat with the help of healthcare providers include: high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation or other heart disease, a high red blood cell count, tobacco use, carotid or other artery disease, a history of TIA’s (mini strokes), and sickle cell anemia.
Lifestyle changes can make the biggest difference in reducing your risk of having a stroke:
- If you smoke, stop. Smoking doubles the risk of stroke.
- Get Exercise.
- Eat wisely.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep your blood pressure in check.
- Find out if you have high cholesterol.
- Control your blood sugar.
For more information, contact the American Stroke Association at 888.4.STROKE, or Access Neurocare in Elgin at 847.931.4626.