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Today Is World Stroke Day. Here’s What You Need to Know

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Do you know the signs of a stroke? Would you know what to do if you or someone else were having stroke symptoms? If you don’t, then pay attention: Today is World Stroke Day and “FAST” is the acronym you need to know so you can act fast in the event that these symptoms appear. “FAST” stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time and U.S. News & World Report gives you the inside information on early warning symptoms that you should not ignore.

In other words, act FAST if you see someone’s Face drooping; if their Arms are numb or weak on one side; or if their Speech is slurred or odd-sounding words are tumbling out. These are signs of a stroke and the bottom line is Time is of the essence to ensure survival and recovery.

This is a good reminder of an instance when you need to seek emergency medical help right away, rather than taking a wait-and-see approach. If you’re having a stroke, there’s no time for procrastination, as there are medical interventions that can prevent long-term, enduring damage to your brain — or even death.

While stroke is usually associated with middle-aged and senior citizens, the sad fact is that younger and younger people are having strokes. Just five years ago, new research showed that the rate of strokes among those younger than 55 nearly doubled between 1993 and 2005. At the time researchers blamed chronic health conditions like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure on the rising numbers.

The study’s authors also pointed out that the risk factors for having a stroke are largely lifestyle-related, including what you eat, whether you exercise and how much stress is in your life. With stroke being the No. 1 cause of long-term disability and a leading cause of death in the U.S., what this shows is that there are things you should do now to lessen your chances of having a stroke in the future.

Even small changes can make a difference, beginning with making it a point to move more and sit less. Stop smoking, if you do. And, of course, make sure you consume a balanced diet consisting of whole, fresh foods, preferably grown and raised organically. Start out positively by simply ditching processed foods and sugars from your diet. My fitness plan and my book, “Fat for Fuel” can help you learn how to teach your body to metabolize fats for fuel, rather than to depend on glucose for survival.

Also, when choosing foods, make sure to include those that include abundant levels of magnesium, such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocados, kale, nuts and seeds, fruits and berries and more. Magnesium helps your body detox and synthesize glutathione.

It also plays a vital role in your body's mitochondrial performance, and in improving your energy level, and compelling evidence suggests that correcting levels of magnesium intake can help prevent numerous critical health issues. In fact, researchers in China found that more than 1 million people across nine countries who consumed the most magnesium tested out with a 10 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, a 12 percent lower stroke risk and a 26 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.

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