May is National Stroke Awareness Month. More than 140,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States. It can happen to anyone at any time. However, lifestyle factors can increase your risk of stroke including age, high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes.
So, what is a stroke? A stroke is known as a "brain attack" when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.
It is extremely important for you and your family to know the signs of a stroke. The biggest campaign for symptom recognition is F.A.S.T:
Face – Ask the person to smile. You can tell immediately if one side of the face droops.
Arm – Ask the person to raise both arms. Observe to see if one arm drifts lower than the other.
Speech – Slurred speech is another symptom of stroke. Ask the person to repeat a single sentence and listen carefully.
Time – Call 9-1-1 immediately. Time can be the difference between life and death or even partial and full recovery.
This month give your heart and mind some exercise and make sure to get your 30 minutes in daily.