Stroke not only lands as the fifth leading cause of death in America, but it’s the number one cause of long-term disability. Research also shows that dehydrated stroke patients have worse outcomes than those who are hydrated. In one study, half of all stroke patients that were admitted to the hospital arrived dehydrated.
Learning what causes a stroke and how to avoid it can save your life.
How does a stroke happen?
When you’re healthy, your blood carries nutrients and oxygen to your brain freely, without any disruption. If the flow of your blood vessels gets blocked by a clot or if the vessel ruptures, your brain can’t get the blood it needs, which causes your brain cells to die. The outcome of a stroke depends on the region of your brain that is affected.
Can dehydration cause a stroke?
Dehydration causes your blood to thicken, making flow to the brain difficult. When your blood tries to get through blocked blood vessels, a stroke can occur.
Studies show that those who are well hydrated when they suffer a stroke have a greater chance of a better outcome.
Daily recommendations for staying hydrated include drinking a minimum of one cup of water for every 20 pounds of your body weight. It’s important to start your morning with water and to stay hydrated throughout the day.
What else can I do to prevent a stroke?
As you get older, you’re more susceptible to having a stroke. Even though you can’t reverse time, you can exercise the following actions to help you avoid ever having one:
- Take your blood pressure regularly to keep it in check
- Keep your cholesterol level within a healthy range
- Keep your blood sugar low
- Lose weight if you’re overweight
- Stay active
- Eat a healthy diet
- Don’t smoke
- Decrease your alcohol intake if you drink
- Talk to your doctor about your medications
If for any reason you feel like something isn’t right with your body, you should seek professional medical help immediately.
When you come in to see us at Neurology Consultants of Arizona, Dr. Shayya and the rest of our team talk to you about your lifestyle and ways to prevent stroke. We assess your risk and develop a plan of action for you to stay healthy and avoid a stroke from happening.