• Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text Size
  • Increase Text Size
  • PDF

Monday, May 13, 2024

I'm a Stroke Doctor: Here Are 7 Things I Would Never Do

Posted By: Advancing Care

By Ji Chong, MD

About 80% of strokes are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a stroke doctor, my years of clinical experience have taught me valuable lessons about the critical factors that can influence stroke risk and prevention. Here are seven things I would never do, and you shouldn’t either if you want to reduce your risk of experiencing a stroke.

I'm a Stroke Doctor: Here Are 7 Things I Would Never Do

  1. Skip regular check-ups: This one may sound obvious, but skipping regular doctor’s appointments is the top mistake patients can make. Regular check-ups allow doctors to detect underlying conditions that increase stroke risk. Missed appointments lead to missed chances for early stroke intervention and prevention.
  2. Live a sedentary lifestyle: Physical inactivity raises the risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, all significant stroke risk factors. Incorporating regular exercise improves cardiovascular health and lowers stroke risk.
  3. Ignore high blood pressure: Hypertension is the top modifiable stroke risk factor. Monitoring your blood pressure regularly and following your doctor's recommendations for management are essential steps in stroke prevention.
  4. Smoke: Smoking damages blood vessels and increases the formation of fatty deposits in arteries, raising the risk of blood clots and stroke. Quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk.
  5. Drink alcohol excessively: Excessive alcohol intake raises blood pressure and contributes to irregular heartbeats and stroke risk. Limit alcohol consumption to lower your stroke risk.
  6. Eat a poor diet: Diets high in unhealthy fats, cholesterol, sodium and sugar increase obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes risk, all linked to stroke. Opt for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to support cardiovascular health and reduce stroke risk.
  7. Dismiss treatment recommendations: If you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition that increases your risk of stroke, such as atrial fibrillation or carotid artery disease, follow your doctor's recommendations. Declining necessary treatment leaves you vulnerable to stroke and its consequences.

Avoiding these seven behaviors and adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce your stroke risk, leading to a longer, healthier life.

With the Hudson Valley only Comprehensive Stroke Center at Westchester Medical Center and award-winning Primary Stroke Centers in Rockland, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties, WMCHealth is the preeminent provider of stroke care based in the Hudson Valley. To better assess your risk of stroke, please connect with one of our stroke care experts at a location convenient to you.