Stroke Prevention Specialist in Washington DC
A stroke occurs when there’s an interruption in the blood flow to your brain. When the brain is starved of oxygen, cells quickly start dying, which triggers a stroke. Strokes are potentially life-threatening. If you survive a stroke, you may have permanent, life-altering disabilities.
According to the CDC, stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults. This is unfortunate because about 80 percent of strokes are preventable.
What are Stroke Prevention Specialists?
If you are interested in stroke prevention, we can help you take steps to avoid potential setbacks in your health.
As stroke prevention specialists we are trained to work with you to see potential areas in your health that may lead to a stroke in the future.
You can greatly reduce your risk for stroke by making lifestyle changes to help control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and, in some cases, by taking medication. You may also be a candidate for surgery.
Expert Tips to Avoid Stroke
Because stroke is so common, every person is essentially at risk for stroke. Use these expert tips to help you avoid stroke:
- Manage high blood pressure and know your systolic and diastolic blood pressure
- Be physically active
- Eat a healthy diet low in sodium with plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Know your numbers including cholesterol levels, blood sugar, or daily caloric intake
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke
- Limit alcohol use
- Prevent or manage your other health conditions, especially high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity
- Blood-thinning agents such as aspirin help prevent platelets from forming a clot in your arteries
- Cholesterol-lowering medications called statins may also stabilize plaque to avoid rupturing
- Undergo surgery to remove plaque build up from your artery before it becomes dislodged, such as transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR)
- Talk with Dr. Trujillo to evaluate your specific risk for stroke
What Causes a Stroke?
When blood is unable to flow to the brain, a stroke occurs. Every year, about 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke. This means there are many who would benefit from stroke prevention measures.
Specifically the following individuals may benefit from stroke prevention:
- Desire to avoid stroke – If you are worried about having a stroke, we would love to work with you to analyze your health and lifestyle factors that may put you at risk
- Family history of stroke – If a closed loved one has had a stroke, you may benefit from stroke prevention
- Previously had a stroke – Having one stroke means you have a greater risk of having another
- You have risk factors associated with stroke – Your age, sex, and ethnicity may also play a factor in a future stroke
- You have unhealthy habits – smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and not getting enough exercise
- History of carotid artery disease – general buildup of plaque in the neck arteries that supply blood to the brain that may break off and block blood flow
What are the Symptoms of Having a Stroke?
Another part of avoiding stroke is to know the signs when a stroke occurs. Responding quickly in an emergency can make all the difference for someone.
An easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke and how to respond is with the acronym F.A.S.T.:
F = Face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?
A = Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
T = Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Stroke treatment can begin in the ambulance.
The more you are educated about stroke, including the signs and causes, the more empowered you will feel navigating your health and future.
How Can a Recurring Stroke be Prevented?
We would love to talk to you about your options for stroke prevention.
Our specialists may talk to you about your lifestyle, goals, and key health indicators.
We may also give you a portable cardiac monitor that tracks your blood flow, or you might need an implantable loop recorder. This device sits in your chest, recording data about your heart function for up to three years.
If you have carotid artery disease, this puts you at increased risk for a stroke. If this is the case, you may benefit from a minimally invasive catheterization procedure like balloon angioplasty. This nonsurgical intervention opens up your arteries to improve blood flow.
PFO Closure to Reduce Risk of Stroke
We also are highly skilled to perform a PFO Closure or Patent Foramen Ovale Repair. This procedure is very common for those with recurring strokes. If you have patent foramen ovale, that means you have a hole in the heart that didn’t close the way it should after birth.
A PFO Closure is a procedure that’s done to close the flap in the wall. During this procedure, a catheter with a closure device is inserted through the leg vein up to the heart, where the device is left to close up the flap. This procedure can help prevent strokes using the latest technology.
The Latest Advancements to Avoid Stroke
There are many options to help ease your mind and help you avoid stroke. Our specialists are highly trained in the latest advancements in stroke research to educate, inform, and empower you for your future.
Schedule a Consultation with a Stroke Prevention Specialist in Washington DC
If you have suffered from one or more strokes, contact cardiologist Dr. John Trujillo to discuss your management options. For more information on the causes of a stroke and the prevention methods, please call (301) 634-4800 or request an appointment online to visit our cardiology clinic in Washington DC.