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Stroke - Topic Overview

After you have had a stroke, you are at risk for having another one. But you can make some important lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of stroke and improve your overall health.

  • Manage high blood pressure or high cholesterol by working with your doctor.
  • Manage diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels within a target range.
  • If your doctor recommends taking aspirin or a blood thinner, take it.
  • Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Don't smoke or allow others to smoke around you.
  • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight makes it more likely you will develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes. These conditions make a stroke more likely.
  • Do activities that raise your heart rate. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, fish, and foods that are low in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.

Learning about stroke:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

Living with stroke:

End-of-life issues:

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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