Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To prevent or slow the progression of carotid artery disease, consider these suggestions:

  • Don't smoke. Within a few years of quitting, a former smoker's risk of stroke is similar to a nonsmoker's.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
  • Limit cholesterol and fat. Cutting back on saturated fat, in particular, may reduce buildup of plaques in your arteries.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. They contain nutrients such as potassium, folate and antioxidants, which may protect against a TIA or stroke.
  • Limit salt. Excess salt may increase blood pressure in people who are sensitive to sodium. Experts recommend that healthy adults eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, increase your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the "good" cholesterol — and improve the overall health of your blood vessels and heart. It also helps you lose weight, control diabetes and reduce stress.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Control chronic conditions. Managing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure helps protect your arteries.
July 19, 2014