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What does sodium have to do with stroke?

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Today, October 29, is World Stroke Day. Most people know that too much sodium can increase your risk of high blood pressure, but did you know that it can increase your risk for stroke too?

World Stroke Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness about stroke warning signs and the importance of taking action immediately. Even though stroke is the #4 cause of death and leading cause of disability in our country, many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke, and on average, every four minutes, an American dies from stroke.

If you know how to spot a stroke and what to do if you see one, you may save a life - possibly your own! Take a minute to learn the F.A.S.T. stroke warning signs from this American Heart Association/American Stroke Association video:

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke:

  • Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

You can also download the F.A.S.T. infographic and mobile app. For more information, visit the American Stroke Association’s World Stroke Day webpage.

Make it a healthy day!