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Think F.A.S.T. when it comes to strokes

3/8/2019, noon
The idea of a stroke can be frightening because it comes without warning and can change your life forever.

What’s the connection between stress and stroke risk?

According to the American Medical Association, roughly 80 percent of doctor visits are stress-related, but what about major, deadly conditions like stroke?

A University of Michigan study found that men who were more physiologically reactive to stress as measured by high blood pressure were 72 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.

However, while stress is linked but not firmly established as an independent risk factor for stroke, it’s important to note that stress is linked with several firmly established risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, smoking and obesity.

It’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of a stroke as soon as possible. The quicker you can spot the symptoms, the sooner you’ll receive medical attention and the better your chances of recovery.

The symptoms are generally the same regardless of the type of stroke. The F.A.S.T. guide is an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke and check on a possible stroke victim.

• Face drooping. Typically, one side of the face will droop or become numb. Ask the person to smile. If it’s uneven, that’s a sign.

• Arm weakness or numbness. A stroke will leave one arm weak or numb, making it difficult for a person to hold both arms up at the same level. See if one arm stays lower than another.

• Speech difficulty or slurred speech. A stroke causes confusion and makes it hard to understand speech. Check on whether the victim can repeat a simple sentence clearly.

• Time to call 911. As soon as you recognize these symptoms, call 911. Even if these symptoms are only temporary, get the sufferer proper treatment. Keep in mind the exact time the symptoms started so you can reference it later.

By understanding the root causes of a stroke, you can minimize your risk of having one.