Stroke Prevention

BE FAST Reminder of Stroke Signs

B - Balance
Is the person suddenly having trouble with balance or coordination?

E - Eyes
Is the person experiencing suddenly blurred or double vision or a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes?

F - Face Drooping
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

A- Arm Weakness
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S - Speech Difficulty
Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T - Time to call 9-1-1
If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately

Sources: American Stroke Association and NIH

Video source: American Heart Association

Explore the website to find current stroke-related research studies. Many researchers are actively recruiting participants. On the website, type in your diagnosis and what country you live in to search for research studies near you. 

Talk to your doctor about preventing another stroke

Controlling your blood pressure:

  1. Purchase a blood pressure monitor that meets standards for your age and health conditions. Check out for a list of approved self-blood pressure monitors.
  2. Meet with a medical professional to learn how to use your blood pressure monitor, what your normal blood pressure range should be, and how often you should check your blood pressure.
  3. Take medications your doctor prescribes and eat a low sodium diet.

Source: Harvard Health Publishing

Lower your cholesterol:

  1. High cholesterol is a controllable risk factor of stroke. It can be controlled with the help of medical professionals.
  2. Have your cholesterol tested regularly. 
  3. If your doctor recommends a low cholesterol diet, explore foods that will lower your cholesterol. Examples include the Mediterranean Diet, the DASH Diet, or the Healthy For Good Program.  

Keep your blood glucose levels in check:

  1. High blood glucose is associated with larger, more severe strokes and a poorer recovery. 
  2. Follow your doctor's recommendations for checking your glucose levels
  3. If your doctor recommends a diet that lowers and controls your blood sugar, explore the Diabetes Diet or the Diabetic Diet

Reference: Olsen TS. Blood glucose in acute stroke. Expert Rev Neurother. 2009 Mar;9(3):409-19. doi: 10.1586/14737175.9.3.409. PMID: 19271949.

  1. Exercising daily, enough to break a sweat, can reduce your chance of another stroke by 27%. 

Resource: Harvard Health Publishing

Smoking, abusing alcohol, and illegal drugs are three of the most preventable factors of a stroke. Click on the links below to find resources to quit:

  1. National Smoking Cessation Hotline
  2. Alcoholics Anonymous 
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse

Page last updated 1/2021