Survived a stroke? Here's what you need to know

It's the scare of a lifetime.

And if you've survived a stroke and come out the other side -- miraculously, with no real damage -- consider yourself lucky.

But I also want you to consider something else: You're not out of the woods yet!

It might SEEM like you got off scot-free.

Turns out, maybe you didn't. The latest research shows how folks who survive a stroke with no obvious damage could face serious and even potentially deadly risks later on.

And those risks could linger for YEARS.

The study compared a group of more than 26,000 patients who had survived a stroke or a mini-stroke to more than 260,000 folks who never had one.

But if you'd met them out in street, you wouldn't be able to tell one from the other.

These stroke survivors had no damage or complications.

Or so they thought.

Clearly, something was wrong even if it didn't show up on any test. Within a year, they were much more likely to die... suffer a heart attack or new stroke... or end up in a care facility.

In fact, they had DOUBLE the risk of these serious complications and were SEVEN TIMES more likely to suffer a new stroke.

The risks didn't end at the one-year mark, either.

It lingered -- and by five years, the stroke survivors were still more than 50 percent more likely to suffer from those dangerous complications, including death.

If you've survived a stroke yourself, that might seem like some pretty scary news.

But let's turn this into a positive now, because I suspect I know the reason for all of this -- and it's something you can avoid.

Since the stroke seemed so minor, many of these folks didn't see it for the wake-up call that it was supposed to be. They DIDN'T make any changes -- and, as a result, the conditions that set the stage for that first stroke didn't get any better.

And that's why they REMAINED at risk.

So, if you've already had or ever do have a stroke,don't brush it off -- even if it left no damage behind.

Take action, and get serious about your health.

It may have been a "mini" stroke this time, but you might not be so lucky the next time around.

Of course, your doc can give you the advice you need on the specific actions you can take to cut your risk, but the basics are the same for everyone.

Lose a little weight... eat a little better... and move a little more.

For some one-on-one assistance with stroke recovery, include a diet custom-crafted to slash your risk of ever facing a second stroke, and make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!