May Is National Stroke Awareness Month

Written by Communications_Dept on . Posted in All News Items

May is National Stroke Awareness Month and all of us at Tanana Chiefs Conference want to provide you with some great educational materials that could SAVE YOUR LIFE. Understanding why strokes occur, what causes them, and how to prevent them are incredibly important. Stroke causes more than 133,000 deaths annually, an alarming number considering 80% of strokes are PREVENTABLE, mainly by monitoring your blood pressure.

If you are worried about your blood pressure or want to know more about your risk of stroke, make an appointment with your provider.


Stroke Risks


There are many stroke risk factors, however, many of them are ones that you can control, treat and improve. If you want to keep your stroke risks low, schedule regular checkups with your provider and seek treatment for any of the below condition if you have them.

  • High Blood Pressure – If you have high blood pressure (or hypertension), know your numbers and keep them low. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and the most significant controllable risk factor for stroke.
  • Smoking – If you smoke cigarettes, take steps to stop. Recent studies confirm that cigarette smoking is another crucial risk factor for stroke.
  • Diabetes – If you have diabetes (Type 1 or 2), keep blood sugar controlled. Diabetes Mellitus is an independent risk factor for stroke. Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and are overweight. This increases their risk even more.
  • Diet – If your diet is poor, eat foods that improve your heart and brain health. Diets high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels. Diets high in sodium (salt) can increase blood pressure.
  • Physical Activity – If you’re physically inactive, starting moving and being more active. Physical inactivity can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, becoming overweight, developing high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
  • High Blood Cholesterol – If you have high blood cholesterol, get it under control. People with high blood cholesterol have an increased risk for stroke. Large amounts of cholesterol in the blood can build up and cause blood clots, leading to a stroke.

Other risk factors include; Carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease, atrial fibrillation, other heart disease, and sickle cell disease.



Warning Signs


Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?


Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?


Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the person able to correctly repeat the words?


If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and say, “I think this is a stroke” to help get the person to the hospital immediately. Time is important! Don’t delay, and also note the time when the first symptoms appeared. Emergency responders will want to know.


If you are unsure whether or not it is a stroke, Call 911 anyway! DON’T WAIT.

Sometimes, other symptoms appear, separately, in combination or with F.A.S.T. signs.

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg. Especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.