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B.E. F.A.S.T. To Identify a Stroke
General Wellness

B.E. F.A.S.T. To Identify a Stroke

By Your Health Staff
Posted: May 23, 2023

Stroke is a serious medical condition that affects millions worldwide, often resulting in long-term disabilities or even death. By being aware of the signs of stroke and taking immediate action, we can significantly improve the chances of survival and minimize the potential for long-term damage. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is here to provide you with the critical information to help you identify a stroke, the risks and how you a take control of your health and reduce your risk of stroke.

Understanding B.E. F.A.S.T. - How to Identify a Stroke

Recognizing the signs of stroke is crucial for prompt medical intervention. One widely recognized and effective method to identify stroke symptoms is the B.E. F.A.S.T. acronym:

Balance: Sudden loss of balance or coordination

Eyes: Sudden blurred or loss of vision in one or both eyes

Face: Uneven smile or drooping on one side of the face

Arms: Weakness or numbness in one arm or leg

Speech: Slurred speech or difficulty speaking or understanding

Time: Time to call emergency services if you observe any of these symptoms

By following B.E. F.A.S.T., you can quickly assess if someone is experiencing a stroke and seek immediate medical assistance. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to stroke treatment, as early intervention can save lives and minimize long-term damage.

Knowing Your Risks - Preventing Stroke

Understanding the risk factors associated with stroke is essential for prevention. While some risk factors cannot be controlled, such as age, family history, and prior stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), several manageable risk factors should be addressed, including: 

High Blood Pressure: Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. Regular monitoring and managing blood pressure through lifestyle changes or medication can significantly reduce the risk.

Tobacco Smoke: Smoking damages blood vessels, raises blood pressure and contributes to the development of blood clots. Quitting smoking or avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke greatly reduces the risk of stroke.

Other Risk Factors: Additional risk factors include diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, and an unhealthy diet. Making positive changes in these areas, such as improving eating habits, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy weight, can significantly lower the risk of stroke.

It's important to note that approximately 80% of strokes can be prevented by managing your risk factors and making healthy lifestyle choices. Taking proactive steps to address these risk factors can significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing a stroke.


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Reducing Your Stroke Risk - Taking Charge of Your Health

Preventing stroke involves taking control of your health and adopting healthy habits. Here are some effective strategies to reduce your risk:

  • Improve Your Eating Habits: Focus on consuming a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit your intake of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium. A heart-healthy diet can help manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of stroke. 

  • Be Physically Active: Regularly exercise to maintain a healthy weight, improve cardiovascular health, and manage blood pressure. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Find activities you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, and make them a part of your routine.

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight increases the risk of several health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, which are all risk factors for stroke. By adopting a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise, you can achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reducing your risk of stroke.

  • Manage Chronic Conditions: If you have conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, work closely with your healthcare provider to manage them effectively. Follow prescribed treatment plans, take medications as directed, and attend regular checkups to keep these conditions under control.

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure and contribute to the development of other risk factors for stroke. It's important to drink alcohol in moderation, which means no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

  • Regular Medical Checkups: Schedule regular checkups with your healthcare provider to monitor your overall health and identify any potential risk factors or underlying conditions that may contribute to stroke. Your doctor can help you assess your risk profile and provide guidance on preventive measures. 

Knowing when to seek medical attention is vital. If you experience any symptoms of stroke, even if they seem to resolve on their own, call emergency services immediately. Prompt medical intervention can significantly improve outcomes.

Contact Our Stroke Team

Take charge of your health and reduce your risk of stroke. Learn more about stroke prevention, signs, and symptoms, and connect with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare for expert guidance and support. Visit our website at to access valuable resources and schedule a medical checkup. Your health and well-being are worth prioritizing.