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Stoke Warning Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Prevention.

Each year in the United States about 795,000 people suffer a stroke, of which 80% could have been prevented.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is stopped, causing brain cells to die. There are two kinds of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.
  • Ischemic strokes happen when a blood clot or plaque buildup blocks a blood vessel in the brain.
  • Hemorrhagic strokes result from blood vessels breaking and leaking into or around the brain.

What are mini-strokes?

Before having a ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, some people experience Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), also known as “mini-strokes". These are mild strokes that result from a brief interruption of blood flow to the brain.

Major causes of Ischemic stroke:

  • High Blood Pressure
    • An important measurement of how much force the blood places on the insider of your arteries as it pumps through. We use a standard blood pressure cuff to measure this.
  • Atrial Fibrillation
    • A non-invasive procedure used to detect irregular heartbeat (a major risk factor for stroke), an Atrial Fibrillation screening is performed by attaching EKG electrodes above your wrists and ankles. Learn More
  • Carotid Artery Disease
    • Simple, painless and non-invasive, this screening uses cutting-edge Doppler color flow ultrasound technology to create images of the carotid arteries while also measuring blood flow through them. Learn More
  • Other Risk Factors
    • Lipid Panel (Cholesterol)
    • Glucose (sugar, an important marker for Diabetes)
    • C-Reactive Protein

Life Line Screening screens for all of the above major causes, painlessly and quickly to help identify a person risk for diseases that lead to stroke.

Warning Signs

Often there are no warning signs for stroke, but if you experience any of the following symptoms you should seek medical care immediately:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arms or legs, particularly on one side of the body
  • Sudden loss of speech or trouble understanding speech
  • Sudden unexplained memory loss
  • Sudden dimness or loss of vision in one eye
  • Sudden onset of double vision
  • Sudden severe, acute headache
  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance

Risk Factors

Men and women of all ages and races have strokes, but there are many different factors that increase your risk of stroke:

  • Age (3/4 of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65)
  • Gender (males have an increased risk)
  • Family history of stroke
  • Race (African Americans are at an increased risk)
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Poor diet
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Physical inactivity
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Drug abuse
  • Head and neck injuries

Stroke Prevention

The best way to truly understand your risk for stroke is to know all of your risk factors, including the ones inside your body that you may not know about because you can’t see them or feel them.

Are you at risk for a stroke?

We offer five preventive screening to help you understand your stroke risk.

  • Carotid Artery Disease Screening
    • Simple, painless and non-invasive, this screening uses cutting-edge Doppler color flow ultrasound technology to create images of the carotid arteries while also measuring blood flow through them.  Learn More
  • Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) Screening
    • A non-invasive procedure used to detect irregular heartbeat (a major risk factor for stroke), an Atrial Fibrillation screening is performed by attaching EKG electrodes above your wrists and ankles. Learn More
  • Complete Lipid Panel Screening
    • A simple finger-stick screening, this procedure measures three different kinds of lipids in your blood (HDL, LDL and triglycerides) as well as total cholesterol. Your lipid levels are important in determining heart health and stroke risk. Learn More
  • Glucose Screening
    • A quick and easy finger-stick screening that measures blood sugar levels following eight hours of fasting, our Blood Glucose test helps identify diabetes —a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke — as well as monitor blood sugar levels for those already diagnosed with the disease.  Learn More
  • C-reactive Protein Screening
    • A simple finger-stick screening that measures C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in your blood, this test can help determine heart disease and stroke risk levels. As a part of your immune system, CRP levels become elevated because of infection or inflammation.  Learn More

Who should have a stroke screening?

  • Anyone over age 50
  • Anyone over age 40 with risk factors

How often should I get a stroke screening?

  • Annually
*Recommended guidelines only. Consult with your physician.

How do I prepare for a stroke screening?

  • Wear a shirt that is open at the collar and short-sleeved
  • Do not wear a turtleneck
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