Monday, December 17, 2012

Stroke Recovery and Tips to avoid another Stroke

image credit: Google Images

We are pleased to feature this guest post by Alanna Ritchie

One in four Americans who has a stroke will have a second stroke, which may be more severe, and often deadly, as they may affect parts of the brain that have already been injured by the original stroke. Of the nearly 800,000 strokes that occur every year, around 185,000 of them happen to people who have had a stroke before. Strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, and part of the stroke recovery process requires taking whatever preemptive steps are possible to stop another stroke from happening.

Eight Tips to Prevent Strokes
Some stroke risk factors like age and medical history cannot be changed. Others risk factors are in your control, allowing you to take steps ahead of time to lessen the likelihood of recurrent strokes. These controllable risk factors include lifestyle changes. Unchecked, an unhealthy lifestyle can have physical consequences, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood sugar (diabetes) and high blood fats (hyperlipidemia). Making lifestyle changes is a vital way you can protect against future strokes.

Change lifestyle habits to prevent strokes with these tips:
  1. Stop using tobacco products and avoid areas where others are smoking.
  2. Stay active for 30 minutes a day, even with low-impact exercise like housework, walking around the neighborhood or gardening.
  3. Spend time planning meals to make sure you consume at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
  4. Shy away from sugar and manage diabetes closely, if you've been diagnosed, as people with diabetes are four times more likely to have a stroke.
  5. Strictly monitor alcohol use, as studies show that over two drinks a day may lead to increasing the risk of stroke much as 50 percent.
  6. Snack on whole-grain crackers and fresh fruit instead of foods with high amounts of salt, fat or sugar.
  7. Schedule a yearly doctor's appointment to check blood pressure, blood sugar, blood fats and weight.
  8. Speak to your doctor if you've been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF) -- an irregular heartbeat -- to see about taking medications to reduce stroke risk.
Medication to Prevent Strokes
Doctors may prescribe medications to treat and prevent strokes, depending on the overall health and pre-existing conditions of patients. Taking medication can be a precaution that stops health problems from becoming exacerbated to the point of causing strokes.

Types of medication to help prevent stokes include:
  • Antiplatelet agents, like aspirin
  • Medication that lowers blood fats
  • Medicine to control blood pressure, like calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors
  • Medications to control blood sugar, for people who have diabetes
  • Blood thinners like warfarin and Pradaxa

Risks Associated with Pradaxa

Be sure you are aware of possible side effects before taking a new medication. Trials, studies and reports of adverse events together have shown that Pradaxa is associated with increased risk of heart attack and may lead to uncontrollable bleeding events that can be fatal.

In 2010, Health Canada approved Pradaxa (dabigatran), which offered patients an alternative to high-maintenance blood thinners like warfarin. Boehringer Ingelheim spent millions advertising Pradaxa as a convenient alternative to other drugs, but reportedly minimized its dangers.

In just one year, 2011, the FDA received reports of 817 adverse events involving Pradaxa. The same year, QuarterWatch, a publication for the nonprofit Institute of Safe Medication Practice, compiled reports from additional sources, gathering a total of almost 4,000 adverse events. Of this data, 542 cases were fatal.

Alanna Ritchie writes about dangerous prescription drugs and medical devices for

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for giving nice information regarding stroke recovery. Keep it up with sharing such useful information with us.
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