The causes of stroke and TIA are identical. I’m going to talk about the causes, but you may hear me use the term stroke or TIA and I point out they’re exactly the same thing here. The same case, the same risk factors that we’re going to be talking about. So the first and foremost was factor is high blood pressure. The single biggest risk factor for stroke. If your blood pressure is way too high, you can actually have stroke symptoms simply from the high blood pressure. We call that hypertensive emergency. So blood pressure needs to be addressed. Diabetes is an important one. Diabetes increases the risk of stroke by six times in some studies and so making sure the diabetes is well controlled through diet, exercise and medications as needed. The next big issue is going to be cholesterol paying very careful attention to cholesterol, wanting that total cholesterol less than 200 and your LDL, which is your bad cholesterol, low lower than a hundred preferably. There’s an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. This is the most common irregular heart rhythm in adults. It gets more common as we get older. And it is the most common cause from your heart to cause a stroke, where a blood clot can form in the heart and then be ejected out of the heart up into the brain. And then there are a few that go together, specifically a physical inactivity and obesity. They’re both risk factors for stroke. I’m wanting to address them. Activity wise, we should be doing between about 30 minutes, four to five times a week. And lastly, smoking is critically important. This is the number one worldwide preventable cause of death, and certainly risk factor for stroke.
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