Stroke Risk Factors

There are some stroke risk factors that you can change or treat. Others you cannot. As the old addage says, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Knowing your risk factors can be the key to prevention. Focus on the factors you can change and you lower your risk for a stroke. Before my husband’s stroke, he had most of the risk factors that he could change, but he chose not to. It’s still not too late for him to reduce his risk factors to prevent further strokes.

Stroke Risk Factors

Factors you can change or treat:

High Blood Pressure – This is the most important risk factor, so i’s important that you know your blood pressure. Blood pressure is given in two numbers, for example 120/80. The first number (systolic) is a measurement of the force your blood exerts on blood vessel walls as your heart pumps. The second number (diastolic) is the measurement of the force your blood exerts on blood vessel walls when your heart is at rest between beats. Blood pressure that is consistently higher than 120/80 can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure). Blood pressure can be controlled with medication, diet and exercise.

Tobacco Use – Smoking of tobacco (cigarettes, pipe, cigar) is a leading cause of artery disease. Tobacco contains chemicals that constrict (narrow) the arteries and causes plaque build-up, making a blood clot more likely.

High Cholesterol – High blood cholesterol increases the risk of clogged arteries. If an artery leading to the brain becomes blocked, a stroke occurs.

Diabetes – Having diabetes increases your risk so it’s important that you work closely with your doctor to manage it. If you have diabetes, make sure your blood glucose level is below 126 mg/dL, modify your diet and never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor first.

Physical Inactivity & Obesity – Being inactive and/or obese can increase your risk of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Try to get at least a total of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity on most days.

Poor Diet – Diets high in salt can contribute to increased blood pressure, and high caloric diets can contribute to obesity. Diets high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels. A diet with five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day may reduce the risk of stroke.

Excessive Alcohol – An average of more than one a day for women or two drinks a day for men raises blood pressure and can lead to stroke.

Illegal Drugs – Intravenous drug abuse carries a high risk of stroke from cerebral embolism (a clot or other particle that lodges in the brain). Cocaine use has been linked to strokes and heart attacks. Some have bedn fatal even in first time users.

Other risk factors:

Carotid or Artery Disease – This disease affects the arteries throughout the body which become damaged by a fatty buildup of plaque inside the artery wall. The carotid arteries in the neck supply blood to the brain, and if one of them becomes blocked by a blood clot, it causes a stroke. People with peripheral artery disease (PAD) have a higher risk of stroke.

Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) – These are “mini strokes” that produce stroke-like symptoms but have no lasting effects. Most TIAs are warning signs of an impending major stroke, so prompt treatment can greatly reduce risk of stroke.

Atrial Fibrillation or other Heart Disease – Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an important, treatable stroke risk factor. In AF, the heart’s upper chambers quiver instead of beating effectively. This lets the blood pool and clot. If a clot breaks off, enters the blood stream and lodges in an artery supplying blood to a part of the brain, a stroke results..

Risk factors you cannot change:

  • Your Age – the older you are, the higher your risk
  • Being a man
  • Being African American
  • Someone in your family has had a stroke

Recovering from Stroke – How Long Does It Normally Take?

Stroke RecoveryRecovering from stroke varies with each individual because every stroke is different. One of the questions I had when Steve had a stroke was, “How long will it take for him to recover?” The answer was always, “I don’t know.” I thought the doctors, nurses and therapists were trying to hide something from me because they were being so evasive. But then I met other stroke survivors, and although there were some similarities in the way the stroke affected them, there were differences in each one of them, which resulted in variables in their recovery process too. According to the American Stroke Association, over 780,000 Americans suffer a stroke annually, and there could be 780,000 variations of stroke.

Steve made very good progress in the beginning when he was recovering from stroke. In fact, he made the most progress in the last two days before he was discharged from the hospital where he was a patient for 6 weeks in the rehabilitation unit. He started out by not being able to sit by himself without falling over. The stroke affected his core balance, and it was like teaching a baby how to sit up by himself. It took four therapists to help him stand up in this video of his first therapy session a few days after the stroke. You can see that he still has a feeding tube in because his swallowing reflex was greatly affected. His swallowing improved as time went on, but while he was in the hospital he was given pureed food until that reflex improved. By the time Steve left the hospital, he was eating a normal, but low-salt diet.

He was extremely tired while recovering from his stroke. This is quite common in stroke survivors, and you should not be alarmed if your loved one is experiencing the same thing. Their injured brain needs sleep to heal. Sometimes Steve slept so much that he had difficulty making it through his therapy sessions.

For several weeks his therapists worked on his balance and on the muscles in his arm and leg that weren’t responding. They didn’t want them to freeze up, so they were stretched every day as he lay in bed. His leg wasn’t completely paralyzed as his arm was, but it was very, very weak, and he couldn’t move his foot or toes at all. After his core balance was reestablished, he learned how to walk again. That was about 3-4 weeks into his stroke recovery.

Steve’s case was complicated by a broken ankle that he broke three weeks before the stroke. It was on the weak, left leg, so that made it more painful to stand on. It could have been worse. He could have broken the right ankle instead, then he wouldn’t be able to stand at all. But as a result of the broken ankle, he had to wear a heavy air cast which made walking more difficult. That was changed later to a brace to correct foot drop. These things hindered him from recovering from stroke at a faster pace.

When Steve left the hospital, he was admitted to a nursing home for two months to continue his stroke recovery. However, the therapists there were not as aggressive, nor as skilled in treating patients recovering from stroke. When he left there, he was able to come home. He learned to climb steps, grasp the fingers of his left hand and move his arm, get in and out of bed, and use the bathroom by himself. He continued with home health care and outpatient therapy for several months. From there we went to the Cerebral Palsy Aquatic Center for water therapy.

He’s had many setbacks with different things hindering him recovering from stroke. They included ankle pain, cellulitis in his eyes contracted while he was in the hospital; shoulder subluxation; flu while he was in the nursing home; pneumonia from ingesting a small peel of a nectarine into his lung; three seizures; depression and lack of motivation; congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, among other ailments.

At this writing, two years after the stroke, Steve is progressing, but at a slower rate. He is discouraged by the slow progress and wants to give up at times. Pain seems to be a constant companion, mostly in his left shoulder, leg and ankle. The seizures have affected his motivation and drive to get better, so he needs constant encouragement and hope.

In most cases people do get better. The effects of a stroke are greatest immediately after the stroke occurs. From then on, the speed and pace for recovering from stroke depends on the extent of the brain injury, the success of rehabilitation and the determination of the stroke survivor. The most improvement in recovery is made within 18-24 months after the stroke, so time is of the essence. However, even though the recovery process may slow down, good progress can be made for many years with continued efforts as the brain rewires itself.

Finding a Good Therapist

Good therapy will greatly help in stroke recovery, but not all therapists are the same. Try to find a rehab center which specializes in stroke therapy. We once had a physical therapist fill in for our regular home health therapist, and within 5 minutes we could tell that she had the expertise we needed. She referred us to the correct facility.

If your therapist is just so-so, keep looking, keep asking questions, talk to other stroke survivors, consult with your doctor, call other agencies, go to a cerebral palsy center and ask for referrals. Did you know that cerebral palsy is often caused by a stroke at birth or in the womb? Your local CP center will be a great source of information for you. Don’t give up and don’t settle for anything less than the best. The most improvement in recovery is made within 18-24 months after the stroke, so time is of the essence. However, even though the recovery process may slow down, good progress can be made for many years with continued efforts as the brain rewires itself.

The American Physical Therapy Association represents more than 73,000 physical therapists nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice and research. You can access “Find a PT” to find a physical therapist in your area at

How to Style a Bob Haircut

An individual must ensure that the hair is kept neat and splendid. Long hair is often hard and tiresome to style and to maintain. This may be the reason why a good number of people are currently adopting the short hairstyles and haircuts. The hair may work out wonders for an individual. Besides the fact that they enhance the looks of a person, the hair may alter the apparent age of one. Neatly kempt hair may make one look young and more gorgeous while neglected hair may make the same individual appear older than they actually are.

The bob haircut is one of the most famous short haircuts. It is a hairstyle that has been trendy for quite a long time. This hairstyle does not show any signs of running out of fashion any time soon. In most cases, short hair looks their best while smooth and sleek. Another short hair look that that is a favorite to many is the effortless wavy texture. Aside from being playful, the hairstyle is also flirty and could either be dressed up or down easily.

Styling a bob is easy. To those who do not like hair falling on the face, styling the bob is as follows. Part the hair, sending them to the side of your preference while twisting the area of the front fringe away from the face. In order for you to keep in place the twisted hair, make two bobby pins criss-cross over it. Take part of your hair, that which has been left out and let it lie on the bobby pins, this dis-allows you the sight of the hair, to your advantage. It is also possible to create this look using a braid. They are particularly better with the short blond haircuts.

Just with the same length of hair, one can also style a pinned up. Most of the short hairstyles are almost impossible to pull up into a pony tail. Bobby pins may however save you the situation. If your hair is shorter, you just need to pull the hair to the back and pin it up. It is however strange that the messier the hair, the better the outcome. It could surprise you with just how sexy you will look after doing it. There are those who prefer that no hair is left hanging on the face. Such people just have to pin any bit of hair to its place. For prom hairstyles, this hairstyle just works out perfectly. It could also work out for an evening date as it brings a sensual appeal to one.

Before choosing on a hairstyle however, there are certain factors that have to be looked at first. The occasion at which you plan to grace the hairstyle matters quite a lot and to pick a great style, go to this site. The hairstyle that you would wear to a wedding should be different from the one you would wear while going to work. The type of hair you have, based on the texture, the color and the length should also be looked at. These observed, the bobs are bound to make you look great.

Park Bom’s Plastic Surgeries Don’t Seem to Stop

With an intriguing name and smashing appearance to boot, the young South Korean actress does not seem to have enough of plastic procedures. After every few months, she looks different from what she was previously. This has made most fans a little concerned about her health. Many of them say it is not a matter of how many procedures she has had but rather when she is planning to stop because sooner or later, the surgeries will lead to serious health implications.

Park Bom plastic surgery

Park Bom claims she does them because of one or two illnesses and not for fun like some people think. Some of the procedures she has apparently had include two nose jobs, two eyelid surgeries, breast implants, facial reshaping and lip fillers. It is actually interesting how so many people are concerned about Park Bom. It is hard to determine if actually fans are just being invasive of her private affairs or if they are really concerned over the actress’ health.

Park Bom was born on the 24th of March 1984 in South Korea. Later on, she moved to the US to study and in the process learned the English language. While there, she went to the Gould Academy before enrolling for a major in psychology at the Lesley University. During the time she was at the university, Mariah Carey’s music intrigued her. At first, she wanted to be a talk show hostess but her parents did not approve of it. She therefore decided to seek help from her aunt who encouraged her into music. Secretly, she transferred to Berkelee College of Music to pursue music as a career.

Park auditioned several times to be a musician at the YG entertainment but was rejected. After trying her luck for three years, she was finally accepted as a trainee. She was one of the stars in the Big Bang singles in the song Forever With You and We Belong Together. She collaborated with Red Rock and Lexy in the song Baby Boy and Along The Way. In a Samsung Video commercial, she starred alongside Jang Geun Suk, a famous Korean pop star.

Park Bom and Jang Geun Suk

Park Bom and Jang Geun Suk

After completing I Don’t Care Promotions in August of 2011, each of the 2NE group members took a temporary break to produce solo singles. Of all of them, Bom’s solos single titled You and I was the best and it was number one on the Goan Chart. When 2011 came to an end, the song is said to have been downloaded more than 4 million times, making it one of the best selling singles in Korean history.

Still in 2011, it was rumored that Bom would have a new single titled Don’t Cry. It was released on the 21st of April and it stayed on Korea’s top digital charts for weeks. Bom is also known as a member of SBS’s reality show Roommate. This however stopped when she got addicted to drugs. The star is said to be fond of using amphetamine which seems to be having a toll on her career. Addiction and surgeries may just be her undoing.

Weslo Cadence g5.9 Treadmill Instructions For Stroke Patients

Weslo treadmillWeslo Cadence g5.9 treadmill is the ideal tool for losing weight fast and helping you improve your performance. With an easy to change incline, the intensity of your workouts will be greater and so will the results. Nonetheless, in spite of the benefits that it offers in terms of weight loss and fitness results, it is crucial to follow all the instructions given. This is because these instructions hold the key to your safety while working out and also the results you would like to see.

Some of the instructions that ought to bear in mind once the treadmill arrives at your doorstep are given below:

1. Before you begin any exercise routine based on the treadmill, it is best to consult a doctor. This is especially important to those who have attained the age of 35 or beyond as well as people with pre-existing medical conditions.

2. If any other persons will be relying on the treadmill for their exercise needs, it is your responsibility as its owner to let them know of the safe ways of using it. On the following article you can find out how to use it safely.

3. The treadmill ought to be kept indoors to prevent the action of moisture and dust against it. The partially covered patio or other place next to water are definitely not appropriate storage locations for the machine.

4. The treadmill ought to be placed on a flat surface in a manner that the free flow of air to the machine is not inhibited. You might also want to protect your floor from damage by placing a mat underneath the mat.

5. It is not safe to use the treadmill at a place where oxygen administration is being done or aerosols are being used. At the same time, always ensure that children aged 14 and below as well as pets are kept away from the treadmill at all times.

6. The treadmill should not be used by people who weigh more than 125kg. In that case, you can try treadmills from Sole. Sole F80 is one of the best treadmills in the market.

7. Whenever you are using the treadmill, be sure that you are wearing the right kind of clothes. Wear athletic shoes and never mount on it in bare feet, in stocking or sandals. You should not wear loose clothes that could somehow get stuck in the treadmill as you train.

8. Only use the treadmill with a surge processor that has been specified in the manual of the machine. If you use a non-recommended processor, the control system of the machine could just be destroyed.

9. The treadmill should never be started when you are standing on the walking belt. At the same time, you ought to bear in mind the fact that the treadmill is capable of high speeds. The speed should be adjusted gradually to avoid jumps.

10. The treadmill has a heart rate monitor which should never be mistaken for a medical device. At the same time, there are several things that could influence the accuracy of the monitor.

Of course, you will only know all the instructions for the use of this treadmill when you carefully study the manual. Be sure to do this before you begin to use it.

Plastic Surgery News

Plastic surgery news always hit the entertainment news headlines every once in a while. You will often get hear a procedure done here and another there. Keeping the fact that you have had a plastic surgery procedure done is very difficult especially to the celebrities.

Plastic Surgery Photo

There are quite a number of celebrities who have been through plastic surgery but have not been bold enough to admit it to the public. All the same, the public still gets to hear of them. The media has always been good at exposing the celebrities who have been through plastic surgery but are trying to hide it from the public. An example of a celebrity whose plastic surgery was exposed is Diane Keaton.

The celebrity life is a very challenging one. They often feel the pressure of looking good and keeping glamorous in front of both the camera and live audiences. Celebrities often have the attention of both fans and critics. In order for them to avoid criticism, they have to look good.

There are several reasons that may prompt an individual to undergo a plastic surgery procedure. Besides the cosmetic reasons, there are also the reconstructive and restorative surgeries. The restorative surgeries are those that are aimed at bringing back the original looks of an individual.

The procedure does not change the fundamental looks of an individual. Some of the reasons that may make one have the procedure is when an injury is caused to the skin and the injury tends to undermine the looks of the individual. Burns may also leave one with no choice other than to have the procedure done. There are also some skin conditions that really affect the looks of the skin of a person. To get rid of such conditions, a plastic surgery procedure may be necessary.

Politicians are also not left behind in the whole plastic surgery issue. There are certain occasions in which you will get to hear of a politician who has been through plastic surgery. John Kerry’s plastic surgery news is an example of the news that exposes politicians who have been through the procedure. His looks changed some time back in the year 2004. This could not be associated with anything else, but only to plastic surgery.

In cosmetic plastic surgeries, the surgery is done in order to change the looks of an individual. These are the most common surgeries among the celebrities. Here, some features of the body are altered to suit what the individual wants. They include nose jobs, double eyelid surgeries, face lifts, liposuctions, brow lifts and breast augmentations among many others. In the procedure, the feature in question is operated on and the shape and size altered to match what the individual wants it to be. On some occasions implants and other foreign bodies are introduced to help in holding up the feature at the position in which it is required to be.

There are many people who are of the opinion that plastic surgeries are not good. This may be the reason as to why celebrities tend to keep it from the people. This is however challenging as the news always come out and expose them.