The Migraine-Stroke Connection: Severing the link between migraine headaches and blood clots to the brain.
Studies prove that there is a high correlation between complex migraines with aura and stroke. Particularly, middle-aged women who suffer from frequent complex migraine attacks are likelier than female non-migraineurs of the same age to suffer from a stroke or heart attack.
Yet, while a migraine aura may mimic the neurological symptoms of stroke- partial paralysis, incoherent speech, visual distortions, head pain, and loss of mobility- there is one crucial difference between the two.
Go Ask Alice: Migraine Auras in Wonderland
A stroke, like a migraine, is the result of fluctuating blood flow to the brain. But while a migraine attack leaves no lasting damage, a stroke may result in brain damage or death.
The most common symptoms of stroke are:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, or feebleness on one side of the body, affecting either the face, arm, or leg
- Sudden visual problems
- Sudden slurred speech
- Sudden lack of comprehension
- Sudden loss of balance
- Sudden headache
Don’t become a stroke victim.
Even if you fall into the stroke risk category, that doesn’t mean that your fate is sealed. With some simple changes in diet and exercise, you can drastically reduce your likeliness to suffer from a stroke.
Here are five health tips for stroke prevention:
- Eat less sodium. Switch your saltshaker with a bottle of salt substitute, or experiment with herbs. Rosemary and basil add flavor without adding sodium. Forgo salty snacks such as potato chips, French fries, and processes lunchmeats. Read nutrition labels; you’d be surprised at the number of sweet foods that contain large amounts of sodium.
- Eat more foods with potassium. Experts believe that potassium-rich foods are significant in maintaining heart health. Bananas, sweet potatoes, tomato paste, and many other fruits and vegetables are all excellent sources of potassium.
- Go easy on the alcohol. Men should consume no more than two alcoholic beverages per day, and women should limit their drinking to once a day.
- Exercise regularly. Even twenty minutes of low-impact, aerobic exercise per day is better than no time spent at all. A high correlation exists between sedentary lifestyles and morbid obesity, stroke, heart attack, hypertension, and a long list of other ailments.
- Keep your weight down. If you are obese, then make an effort to commit yourself to losing weight. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have very high success rates. Many overweight individuals have dropped pounds just by cutting out all refined flours and sugars from their diet. Regardless of which diet plan you choose, portion control and exercise are critical. If you have lost weight, try to stay on track- yo-yo dieting is a major contributor to heart disease.
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