Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Stroke

  • After you've had a stroke, you may be worried that you could have another one. That's easy to understand. But the good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of having another stroke. Taking medicine, doing stroke rehabilitation, and making healthy lifestyle changes can help. Take your...

  • Learn why it's important to take antiplatelet medicine after your stroke.

  • Learn what a stroke is and what problems it can cause.

  • Learn how to recognize stroke symptoms and know when to call.

  • Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots. Although they are called blood thinners, they don't really thin the blood. They slow down the time it takes for a blood clot to form. You have to be careful when you take blood thinner medicines. They can raise the risk of serious bleeding. But you can do...

  • Guides you through the decision to take warfarin or a different anticoagulant (apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, or rivaroxaban) to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants.

  • It's true—diabetes raises your risk of heart disease. That means your risks of heart attack and stroke are higher when you have diabetes. Diabetes is plenty to keep up with as it is. That explains why dealing with both heart risk and diabetes can seem like too much all at once. But it's also true that good...

  • Learn how high cholesterol raises your risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Learn what increases your risk for stroke and how you can lower your risk.

  • Learn how clot-busting medicines are used for emergencies like stroke and heart attack.

  • Learn why it's important to take blood-thinning medicine after your stroke.

  • Learn the symptoms of stroke and why it's important to call emergency services right away.

  • Learn how your self-care plan can help you manage after a stroke.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have a procedure to help prevent a stroke.

  • Learn about the range of emotions you may experience after you've had a stroke.

  • Learn how stroke rehab works and how it can help you get stronger and feel better.

  • Learn what raises your risk for having a heart attack or stroke and how you can lower your risk.

  • Getting better after a stroke takes patience and effort. See how others found inspiration to keep going.

  • Get help thinking about ways to stay positive and hopeful after a stroke.

  • Guides people not already diagnosed with coronary artery disease through decision to take statin medicine to lower risk of heart attack or stroke. Covers cholesterol and other risk factors. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Thrombolytics are medicines that rapidly dissolve a blood clot. They are used when a blood clot causes an emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. These clot-busting medicines help blood to flow normally again. Thrombolytics are used as soon as...

  • Guides through the decision to have a carotid endarterectomy or carotid artery stenting to prevent stroke if you have not already had a stroke or TIA. Lists pros and cons. Explains risks. Looks at other treatments. Has interactive tool to help you decide.

  • If you smoke, your chance of dying from a heart attack is 2 to 3 times greater than that of a person who does not smoke. About 1 out of 4 heart attacks is believed to be directly related to smoking. Smoking is a much more important risk factor for a...

  • Physical activity is one of the best things you can do to help prevent a heart attack and stroke. Being active is one part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, not smoking, and staying at a healthy weight are other ways you can be...

  • Stroke is the most common cause of disability resulting from damage to the nervous system. A stroke may affect: Movement. You may not be able to use your arms or walk. This is usually because of weakness or paralysis on one side of the body (hemiparesis). Speech and language. You may not...

  • Exercise helps lower high blood pressure, which is an important risk factor for stroke. Exercise can help you control other things that put you at risk, such as obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. It is important to exercise regularly. Do...

  • After a stroke, keep in mind that you are the most important person in your own recovery. You need to have a major say in the decisions about your care. This may be hard for you, and you may sometimes feel like sitting back and letting others take...

  • It is common for a person who has had a stroke to feel sad and become depressed about the disabilities caused by the stroke. Sometimes the injury to the brain from the stroke can cause depression. Depression is a serious condition that needs...

  • A stroke often affects movement and use of one side of the body, so getting dressed is often difficult for people after a stroke. Getting dressed may be easier if you use stocking/sock aids, rings or strings attached to zipper pulls, and...

  • Some people have speech and language problems after a stroke. These problems may involve any or all aspects of language use, such as speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the spoken word. Speech and language problems, such as aphasia,...

  • Some people who have a stroke suffer loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) after the stroke. But this is usually temporary. And it can have many causes, including infection, constipation, and the effects of medicines. If you have problems...

  • After a stroke, you may not feel temperature, touch, pain, or sharpness on your affected side. You may have: Feelings of heaviness, numbness, tingling, or prickling or greater sensitivity on the affected side. No sense of how your muscles and joints...

  • If you have a family member who has had a stroke, you may be concerned about how the stroke is going to affect your family's lifestyle. You may be concerned about finances and changes in family roles and responsibilities. Here are some ways to help...

  • Depending on what part of the brain was affected by a stroke, the way a person acts may be different from how he or she acted before the stroke. A person who was very concerned about details before a stroke may become sloppy and care little about...

  • Emotional reactions after a stroke may be different from normal emotional reactions. The reaction may have little or no clear connection with what is happening around the person. Often reactions can be easily interrupted by diverting the person's...

  • When a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, a person's ability to judge distance, size, position, rate of movement, form, and the way parts relate to the whole is affected (spatial-perceptual problems). People with these problems may have...

  • Some people who have had a stroke ignore or are not aware of one side of their body. This can happen when the stroke damages one side of the brain. Caregivers may notice signs that the person is ignoring, or neglecting, the affected side, such as:...

  • A stroke often causes memory problems. In stroke rehab, you might try ways to help improve memory. If your family member has problems with memory, you might get helpful tips from the stroke rehab team. These tips may include: Set a daily routine, if...

  • Rehabilitation after a stroke usually involves a number of health professionals. These may include the following people. Doctors and nurses Rehabilitation doctor. The rehabilitation doctor is in charge of your medical care after a stroke. This may be a physiatrist (a doctor who specializes in...

  • Discusses carotid endarterectomy surgery to remove plaque buildup in the carotid arteries to prevent stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Includes info on how surgery can help prevent future strokes. Looks at long-term aspirin treatment.

  • Discusses ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and TIA (transient ischemic attack). Describes stroke symptoms and importance of acting fast if symptoms develop. Covers stroke treatment and prevention.

  • As part of a healthy diet, eat at least two servings of fish each week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best. These fish include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines. Fish is an important part of a heart-healthy...

  • Covers risk of heart disease and stroke in women. Lists things that increase risk. Lists prevention steps, such as diet, exercise, not smoking, managing cholesterol and blood pressure, and making decisions on birth control and hormone therapy.

  • Discusses taking aspirin to prevent a first and second heart attack for people who have coronary artery disease. Covers aspirin therapy to help lower risk of a stroke. Discusses if aspirin therapy is for you. Looks at things to avoid while taking aspirin.

  • Guides you through decision to put a loved one who has had a stroke into long-term care. Lists reasons for and against. Covers types of long-term centers. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to take an anticoagulant to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides people who have not had a heart attack or a stroke through decision to take daily aspirin. Discusses benefits and risks. Looks at who can take daily aspirin. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Your doctor may talk with you about your risk for heart and blood flow problems, including heart attack and stroke. You and your doctor can use your risk to decide whether you need to lower it and what treatment is best for you. What might you be at risk for? Your doctor is checking your risk of having a...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic covers rehabilitation after a stroke. For information on stroke itself, see the topic Stroke. What is stroke rehabilitation? The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation ("rehab"). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain...

  • After a stroke, the injury to the brain can cause muscles to contract or flex on their own when you try to use an arm or leg. The sensation can be painful. It has been described as a "wicked charley horse." Because the muscle cannot move in its full range of motion, the tendons and soft tissue surrounding the muscle can...

  • After a stroke, problems with your vision, speech, or ability to move can change your ability to drive safely. So you'll need to get approval to drive again. This may be hard to accept. You may feel that this is a big loss of independence. But this approval is for the safety of yourself and others. Talk with your...

  • It is common to have trouble swallowing, also called dysphagia, after a stroke. You may not be able to feel food on one or both sides of your mouth. You may also have problems chewing or producing enough saliva. Or you may have other conditions that make eating difficult and increase your risk of choking or breathing in...

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