Family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments that can influence their health and their risk for disease. Stroke risk can be higher in some families than in others, and your chances of having a stroke can go up or down depending on your age, sex, and race or ethnicity. The good news is you can take steps to prevent stroke. Work with your health care team to lower your risk for stroke. But what is stroke, really? You only heard someone getting stroke but do you know what cause it and if it can be prevented. You’d probably be wondering, can stroke happen to those who has a family history of it or is it a poor lifestyle choice?

What is stroke? A stroke, or “brain attack,” happens when blood circulation is blocked and not reaching the brain. Due to lack of oxygen, because of decreased blood flow, brain cells can die, in a matter of minutes. Once deprived of oxygen the brain will begin to die off within five minutes. There are two broad categories of stroke: those caused by a blockage of blood flow and those caused by bleeding into the brain. A blockage of a blood vessel in the brain or neck, called an ischemic stroke, is the most frequent cause of stroke and is responsible for about 80 percent of strokes. These blockages stem from three conditions: the formation of a clot within a blood vessel of the brain or neck, called thrombosis; the movement of a clot from another part of the body such as the heart to the brain, called embolism; or a severe narrowing of an artery in or leading to the brain, called stenosis. Bleeding into the brain or the spaces surrounding the brain causes the second type of stroke, called haemorrhagic stroke. Two key steps you can take will lower your risk of death or disability from stroke: control stroke’s risk factors and know stroke’s warning signs.

Warning signs are your body sending your brain a message that it is not receiving enough oxygen. If you are experiencing one or more of the signs below, don’t wait around, get a relative or call a doctor right away!

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

Other danger signs that may occur include double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs may last only a few moments and then it’ll disappear. These brief episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks are sometimes called “mini-strokes.” Although brief, they identify an underlying serious condition that isn’t going away without medical help. Unfortunately, just ignore this “mini-strokes”, please don’t. Seek medical help immediately to save your life!

There are two types of risk factors;

  1. Can’t be modified by medical treatment; &
  2. Treatable risk factor.

Having a risk factor for stroke doesn’t mean you’ll have a stroke. On the other hand, not having a risk factor doesn’t mean you’ll avoid a stroke. But your risk of stroke grows as the number and severity of risk factors increases.

Here are some risk factor that cannot be modified by medical treatment:

  1. Age. Stroke occurs in all age groups.  Studies show the risk of stroke doubles for each decade between the ages of 55 and 85.  But strokes also can occur in childhood or adolescence.  Although stroke is often considered a disease of aging, the risk of stroke in childhood is actually highest during the perinatal period, which encompasses the last few months of fetal life and the first few weeks after birth.
  2. Gender.  Men have a higher risk for stroke in young and middle age, but rates even out at older ages, and more women die from stroke.  Men generally do not live as long as women, so men are usually younger when they have their strokes and therefore have a higher rate of survival.
  3. Family history of stroke or genetics.  Stroke seems to run in some families.  Several factors may contribute to familial stroke.  Members of a family might have a genetic tendency for stroke risk factors, such as an inherited predisposition for high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes.  The influence of a common lifestyle among family members also could contribute to familial stroke.

Some of the important risk factor of treatable stroke:

1. High blood pressure, or hypertension. Hypertension  is by far the most potent risk factor for stroke. Hypertension causes a two-to four-fold increase in the risk of stroke before age 80.  If your blood pressure is high, you and your doctor need to work out an individual strategy to bring it down to the normal range. Some ways that work: Maintain proper weight. Avoid drugs known to raise blood pressure. Eat right:  cut down on salt and eat fruits and vegetables to increase potassium in your diet. Exercise more. Your doctor may prescribe medicines that help lower blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure will also help you avoid heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure.

2. Cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking causes about a two-fold increase in the risk of ischemic stroke and up to a four-fold increase in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.  It has been linked to the buildup of fatty substances (atherosclerosis) in the carotid artery, the main neck artery supplying blood to the brain. Blockage of this artery is the leading cause of stroke in Americans. Also, nicotine raises blood pressure; carbon monoxide from smoking reduces the amount of oxygen your blood can carry to the brain; and cigarette smoke makes your blood thicker and more likely to clot. Smoking also promotes aneurysm formation. Your doctor can recommend programs and medications that may help you quit smoking. By quitting, at any age, you also reduce your risk of lung disease, heart disease, and a number of cancers including lung cancer.

3. Heart disease. Common heart disorders such as coronary artery disease, valve defects, irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation), and enlargement of one of the heart’s chambers can result in blood clots that may break loose and block vessels in or leading to the brain. Atrial fibrillation—which is more prevalent in older people—is responsible for one in four strokes after age 80, and is associated with higher mortality and disability. The most common blood vessel disease is atherosclerosis. Hypertension promotes atherosclerosis and causes mechanical damage to the walls of blood vessels. Your doctor will treat your heart disease and may also prescribe medication, such as aspirin, to help prevent the formation of clots. Your doctor may recommend surgery to clean out a clogged neck artery if you match a particular risk profile. If you are over 50, NINDS scientists believe you and your doctor should make a decision about aspirin therapy. A doctor can evaluate your risk factors and help you decide if you will benefit from aspirin or other blood-thinning therapy.

4. Warning signs or history of TIA or stroke. If you experience a TIA, get help at once. If you’ve previously had a TIA or stroke, your risk of having a stroke is many times greater than someone who has never had one. Many communities encourage those with stroke’s warning signs to dial 911 for emergency medical assistance. If you have had a stroke in the past, it’s important to reduce your risk of a second stroke. Your brain helps you recover from a stroke by asking the unaffected brain regions to do double duty. That means a second stroke can be twice as bad.

5. Diabetes. In terms of stroke and cardiovascular disease, having diabetes is the equivalent of aging 15 years. You may think this disorder affects only the body’s ability to use sugar, or glucose. But it also causes destructive changes in the blood vessels throughout the body, including the brain. Also, if blood glucose levels are high at the time of a stroke, then brain damage is usually more severe and extensive than when blood glucose is well-controlled. Hypertension is common among diabetics and accounts for much of their increased stroke risk. Treating diabetes can delay the onset of complications that increase the risk of stroke.

6. Cholesterol imbalance. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) carries cholesterol (a fatty substance) through the blood and delivers it to cells.  Excess LDL can cause cholesterol to build up in blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis.  Atherosclerosis is the major cause of blood vessel narrowing, leading to both heart attack and stroke.

7. Physical inactivity and obesity. Obesity and inactivity are associated with hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.  Waist circumference to hip circumference ratio equal to or above the mid-value for the population increases the risk of ischemic stroke three-fold.

So as you can probably tell by now, stroke can happen because of family history/background  or poor lifestyle choices. But the big difference is between these two is that, 1) you can control it from happening, and 2) you can prevent it from happening. Lucky for you, Vivix by Shaklee can help you minimize and also prevent this terrible episode from happening to you!

  1. Vivix helps protect and repair cells from DNA level that are broken, dead, abnormal due to millions free radicals.
  2. Vivix helps activate cells that are involved in main genetics that has degenerated by encouraging the cells to become healthy.
  3. The 4 main ingredients in Vivix promotes the growth of mitochondria (ie energy extraction) in every cell in our body.
  4. Vivix is ​​also 10 times stronger than resveratrol alone (which is the content in muscadine grapes) and greatly helps cell integrity and cell life.
  5. Vivix helps reduce cholesterol in the blood and prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). This LDL oxidation causes cardiovascular / heart attacks.
  6. Highter content of antioxidants that help strengthen the body’s defense system.
  7. Elderberry extract helps in protecting the body against cardiovascular disease, strokes and heart attacks.
  8. Purple carrot extract helps in blood circulation, platelets, and lipoproteins which can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  9. V helpful in preventing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and help to maintain ideal body weight.
  10. Vivix users have shown evidence that Vivix helps a lot in the recovery of stroke patients.

For more info on Vivix, please contact Mommy J for a free consultation and great deals on all Shaklee products!

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