Are You at Risk for a Stroke?

PregnantWomanIf you are pregnant, you might want to think twice before reaching for a diet soda to quench your thirst.

According to a new study, there’s been a huge jump in the number of women suffering strokes during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth.  Researchers claim there’s been a 54% increase in the number of pregnancy-related stroke hospitalizations documented in the United States in the last decade.

Health experts say they can’t pinpoint the exact reason behind the alarming rise in pregnant stroke victims, but they have a few ideas, including the fact that more women these days are overweight when becoming pregnant.  Excess weight can increase the likelihood of diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for strokes.

However, one of the most noteworthy takeaways from the research is its connection to diet soda.  Many health experts maintain pregnant women are asking for trouble if they drink copious amounts of diet pop during pregnancy.  Researchers found that people who admitted to drinking diet soda on a daily basis were 48% more likely to have a stroke than people who swore off all soda.

Doctors say pregnant women should view the findings as a “wake-up call.”  Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this soda-stroke connection:  Drink water instead.  Doctors urge pregnant women to hydrate with water rather than diet soda or other sugary, carbonated beverages.  The all-natural drink is not only good for mom and baby; it’s also readily available, cheap and will go a long way to protect a pregnant woman from other maladies, including dehydration, constipation, nausea, cramps and headaches.

Consuming water is especially important for pregnant women in their third trimester when dehydration can trigger preterm labor.  Experts recommend drinking at least eight to ten, eight-ounce glasses of water each day; more if you are exercising or being exposed to high temperatures, as you need to make up for the fluid you lose sweating.


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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.