What causes a stroke?
Strokes occur when a ruptured blood vessel or atherosclerosis, a build-up of fatty plaque, blocks the blood supply to your brain. You may have a stroke if you have atherosclerosis in the arteries serving your brain.
You can also suffer a stroke if atherosclerotic plaque anywhere in your body ruptures. After a rupture, a blood clot can develop, break loose, and travel to your brain.
What risk factors increase my chances of having a stroke?
The top risk factors for stroke include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
Diet and exercise are also important risk factors to be aware of because they significantly contribute to the chronic conditions that cause strokes.
High blood pressure causes a two to four-fold increase in your risk for stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes nearly doubles your risk. And smoking doubles the risk of ischemic stroke and quadruples your risk for hemorrhagic strokes.
How do vascular specialists help prevent strokes?
At Advanced Heart & Vascular Associates, Dr. Chadda dedicates himself greatly to helping prevent strokes. He begins by reviewing your medical history, talking about any symptoms you may have, and assessing your risk factors.
Depending on the results of your exam, Dr. Chadda may order blood tests and perform a vascular ultrasound, an electrocardiogram, or other tests to find out if you have an underlying health condition.
Once Dr. Chadda has a complete picture of your overall health, he creates a detailed plan to help you prevent strokes. There are two ways to prevent a stroke.
The first is to lower your risk factors before chronic health conditions develop. And the second is ongoing management of existing health conditions. Both of these approaches depend on:
Planning and following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise may be all you need to prevent or treat the health conditions that cause strokes. Stopping smoking is also an important part of stroke prevention.
Dr. Chadda may prescribe one of many possible medications to lower cholesterol, restore normal blood pressure, and keep your blood sugar under control. He can also help you find the best support for smoking cessation.
If diagnostic imaging shows that you have atherosclerosis or a blood clot, Dr. Chadda may recommend a minimally invasive procedure to treat the problem. For example, he expertly performs thrombectomy to address a blood clot and angioplasty and stenting for atherosclerosis.
To learn about your risk and how to prevent strokes, call Advanced Heart & Vascular Associates or book an appointment online.