The #1 Sign You Are About to Have a Stroke in the Next 12 Months + Risk Factors
Updated: Oct 14
This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in January of 2020. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBMOM9KT6SI&t=15s
Bob: Today we’re going to talk about the number one sign you’re about to have a stroke in the next 12 months. Plus, we’re going to go over risk factors for a stroke. Very important stuff, so you want to listen to this.
Brad: That’s right.
Bob: Okay, so I have a personal experience with this, this actually happened to my father-in-law. So, what we’re talking about, the number one sign is if you have a TIA, that’s a transient ischemic attack. They’re also known as...
Brad: Mini strokes.
Bob: Yeah, it’s like a mini stroke. It’s a warning, one out of three who have a TIA actually end up having a stroke in the year following.
Brad: And you can actually have a mini stroke, have the symptoms and recover from it, all within minutes and not even know you’ve had it unless you’re familiar with the symptoms. So you’re going to have numbness or tingling, one-sided problems: right side or left, facial droop, possibly speech problems, but it takes care of itself and then you go back to normal and you think, oh well.
Bob: Yeah, to go further on that, you might have blurriness in one eye or double vision. You might have dizziness or decreased coordination, like something’s suddenly not working. Or you might have a sudden severe headache, especially if you’re not one that normally gets a headache. It can be, you know generally people I think that have a TIA know that something’s not right, because it’s pretty severe. I misstated that a little bit, Brad. In the year after the TIA, one out of three, who had a TIA, had a stroke. But half of those had had it the year after. So, one out of three had a stroke, but some of them it may have been two years after.
Brad: Oh I see.
Bob: You know what I mean? So, if you do the numbers it’s actually about 15 to 17% had it in the next year.
Brad: So, if you had those kinds of symptoms, don’t ignore them, go to the doctor.
Bob: I have to tell the story, my father-in-law, this happened to him when he was alive. He ended up having one, we were right there, it was a kind of family gathering.
Brad: You witnessed the TIA.
Bob: I witnessed it, and I said, “I think you had a TIA,” and obviously we took him into the hospital and they believed he had one too. His blood pressure was way out of control. His cholesterol was way off the charts. And he smoked at that time. I sat down with him and I had the talk, even though I was the son-in-law, I felt like it was my place.
Brad: Sure, well you’re the professional.
Bob: Well, and I said, you know, “you’ve got a warning shot here John.” I said, “you've got a chance at not having a stroke here by taking control of your life.” So, he smoked at the time and I give him credit, he stopped smoking right at that time. He has passed away since, but not from a stroke. So, we’re going to make a recommendation for a book. I’ve seen this one recommended a number of times now, it seems like if there’s any one book that’s going to work for helping you stop smoking, it’s this one, by Allen Carr. It’s helped apparently millions of people stop smoking. Allen Carr’s “Quit Smoking Without Willpower.” Just as a testimonial on the top here it says, “If you want to quit... it’s called the Easyway,” by Ellen DeGeneres. She’s a big advocate of this too.
Brad: Sure, and then you can get that, we’ve got that in our favorite book section too.
Bob: Yeah, Mike will put a link to it below, so. All right, so these are some of the risk factors that are going to put you at risk for a TIA or a stroke. If your blood pressure’s out of control. If you’re one of those people that thinks, ah you know, I don’t need to deal with medications or diet or anything like that or lifestyle adjustments, think again. You want to get that blood pressure into a range that is acceptable. Number two, your blood sugars are high, especially with uncontrolled diabetes. That can damage the blood vessels, which can cause strokes.
Brad: Ahhh, sure, so yeah, the stroke, for people who don’t know, it’s either a blood vessel in your brain ruptures open or gets plugged up. Typically, they get plugged up, I believe is more common.
Bob: It is. That’s why they can do the TPA or the treatment right away. And by the way, that’s why its very key, if you have symptoms like this, to get to the hospital immediately. Because they can offer a medication that can actually reverse the symptoms.
Brad: It can make a big difference in recovery.
Bob: Yeah, big difference. I’ve seen people that, literally, it seemed like they didn’t even have a stroke. It happened to a good friend of mine.
Brad: Oh really?
Bob: Yep, they got him in right away, and they administered it and to this day you can’t even see that he had it. If you smoked, like the one I talked about, with my father-in-law, it’s one of the highest risk factors. If you quit, it actually can reverse over time. The bad symptoms and signs can reverse over time if you stop smoking. It’s almost like you never smoked at all, if you quit long enough.
Brad: Yeah, that’s one nice thing about smoking, is you can quit, and it can reverse.
Bob: Yeah, yeah, so we should have smoked in our early years and then we could’ve quit.
Bob: No, no, of course not, lol. Number four, high cholesterol, you want to have optimal levels. I think it’s below 100 for your LDL, above 50 for you HDL,and below 200 for your total.
Brad: They’ll let you know, that’s for sure.
Bob: Your triglycerides have to be one below 150. And number five, obesity. Weight loss occurs, I just want to put this in here because a lot of people think that you lose weight by exercising. Yes, you can lose some weight, but really the main way to lose weight is with diet. You lose weight at the table and you gain strength at the gym. You know that’s still the way to think about it. Some, I guess you could say like, supposedly I think it was Coke or Pepsi, they were putting out advertisements saying that the reason you’re gaining weight is because you’re not being active enough, and they don’t want to blame the sugar drinks for it. I mean, seriously, and so what they do instead is they blame that you’re not being active enough, and its really not so. If you drank maybe less sugary drinks and less fatty foods, you might do a lot better.
Brad: We both know people who are extremely active, they’re not obese but,
Bob: But they can’t get their weight down.
Brad: Yeah, and it’s just because pizzas and sugary stuff and you know, I used to do it myself. It’s fun, you know, you go work hard and then you go have a big pizza.
Brad: You thought you deserved it.
Bob: You thought you could eat what you want, and that’s just not how it works unfortunately.
Brad: Especially as you get older.
Bob: Yeah, there’s a little less cheating going on there, so.
Bob: All right, thanks everybody.
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