You could be at death’s door… and not even know it.
In fact, a startling 35 percent of Americans—mostly seniors—are being hit by this silent killer right now. And 97 percent of those folks don’t have a clue they need to be rushed to their nearest emergency room.
So what IS this silent killer? Mini-strokes.
A mini-stroke can last a matter of minutes or hours. But don’t let the name “mini-stroke” fool you into thinking it’s a minor-league health problem. Having one DOUBLES your risk of a full stroke.
Strokes are the nation’s fifth leading cause of death. And one of the top causes of both long- and short-term disability.
Not only does it put you on the fast track for a full stroke, but it also causes brain-cell death that doubles your risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Then, to add insult to injury, experts say mini-strokes could cut your life expectancy by up to 20 percent. Which means if you were going to live until 80, you might have just lost 16 years of your life.
Yet most folks don’t know about how common this silent killer is. Or what to look for.
How to spot a mini-stroke before it’s too late
A blocked artery to the brain triggers both mini-strokes and full strokes. But in the case of a mini-stroke, the blockage will be temporary, lasting just minutes or hours.
And their symptoms are similar too. Mainstream medicine has come up with a handy list of symptoms for a mini-stroke using the acronym FAST.
F stands for face: One side of your face may be temporarily paralyzed. So you can’t smile with both sides of your mouth. And your mouth or eye on one side of your face may droop.
A stands for arm: One arm may be immobilized or very weak.
S stands for speech: You may not be able to talk clearly. Instead, your words will come out slurred or garbled.
T stands for time: As in, “time to call 911.”
If you have these symptoms, you want to get help right away. Do not ignore it.
There are other frequently overlooked mini-stroke symptoms too—all sudden and temporary—including:
- loss or blurring of vision
- loss of balance or coordination
- difficulty swallowing
- severe headache
The headache symptom is actually the most overlooked because it’s often confused with a migraine. But that “migraine” could actually be a mini-stroke.
Here’s the difference. Mini-strokes happen suddenly, while migraine headaches appear more gradually. Mini-strokes come with a loss of vision, not additional visual symptoms like flashing lights or zigzagging lines.
And you’ll have a history of migraines dating back years. Anyone who’s over 50 and is suddenly having migraine headaches for the first time should see a doctor right away.
3 simple ways to slash your risk
The good news is there are a few simple ways you can slash your risk for a mini-stroke starting today. And they’re all easy to do.
1. Get moving:
Here’s some research that should bring you to your feet. Just taking a brisk, hour-long walk, five days a week, slashes your risk of stroke in HALF.
Does that sound like too much of a commitment? Aim for half of that—a thirty-minute walk instead—and you’ll still cut your risk by 24 percent.
But keep in mind any exercise can help. Climb the stairs. Go for a swim. Or park farther from the store when you shop.
2. Heat it up:
Do you enjoy relaxing in a nice hot sauna? Now you have an excuse to do it more often. A recent study revealed that folks who go to the sauna four to seven times per week had a 61 percent lower risk of strokes—mini or full.
3. Pick produce:
Mom was right… again. She always told you to eat your fruits and veggies. And, as usual, she was right. Turns out eating lots of produce can slash the risk of stroke by a THIRD. All you need to eat is a half-pound—eight ounces—of fruit and veggies a day to get these results.
Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke. Every hour will do as much damage as three and a half years of aging. But knowing what to look for can help you get help faster. And that means you’ll have a far better chance of stopping the damage before it’s too late.
And taking the three simple steps above can help slash your risk of ever having to face losing your independence… or your life… to a stroke in the first place.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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