Many factors increase the likelihood of experiencing a brain aneurysm. For example, since smoking and high blood pressure are risk factors, quitting smoking and managing blood pressure are preventive measures.
A brain aneurysm refers to an area in the wall of an artery in the brain that becomes weak, thin, and bulging. When this happens, the aneurysm may rupture, which can have serious consequences, such as a stroke.
Around 6.7 million people in the United States currently have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Ruptured aneurysms account for 3–5% of all new strokes.
This article discusses how to prevent a brain aneurysm and explains how blood pressure, diet, and smoking may play a role. It also examines whether weight can increase the risk and describes the causes, treatment, and outlook of a brain aneurysm.
To prevent a brain aneurysm, a person can take steps to address the risk factors. While it is impossible to modify some of them, such as genetics and age, it is possible to change others.
- high blood pressure
- alcohol consumption
Other modifiable risk factors
Additionally, health conditions, such as diabetes and high cholesterol, contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. This condition can raise the risk of an aneurysm, so managing these risk factors can also help.
With the above in mind, the following approaches can help reduce the risk of an aneurysm:
- managing high blood pressure
- reducing inflammation
- decreasing alcohol consumption
- quitting smoking, if applicable
- avoiding the use of recreational drugs
- managing diabetes
- managing high cholesterol
The stress from inflammation and the force of the blood flow that high blood pressure causes can lead to damage in the arterial wall and the widening of an artery, which can result in an aneurysm.
For this reason, doctors consider strict blood pressure control very important in managing the condition. The authors conclude that this may improve the outlook.
Additionally, medications and appropriate lifestyle practices can help control blood pressure.
- vitamin C
- B vitamins
- vitamin E
- omega-3 fatty acids
Foods that are plentiful in these nutrients include:
- whole grains
Two diets that meet the above nutritional requirements and reduce inflammation include the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, which refers to Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
Additionally, former smokers have a significantly higher risk than those who have never smoked. This suggests that in terms of brain aneurysm risks, smoking has some effects that do not resolve once a person quits.
- infections that can cause moving blood clots, such as endocarditis, which refers to inflammation of the inner heart lining
Treatment depends on several factors, such as the size of the aneurysm and whether a rupture has occurred. Small unruptured brain aneurysms
Surgery and endovascular coiling are two types of treatment for ruptured or larger unruptured aneurysms. Surgery involves placing a tiny clip on the neck of an aneurysm, preventing blood flow and removing the risk of bleeding.
Endovascular coiling is
Once an aneurysm erupts, nearly
A person interested in learning how to prevent a brain aneurysm can take various steps to reduce their risk factors. Such measures include quitting smoking, managing high blood pressure, and following a nutritious, antioxidant-rich diet.
Although obesity may not be a risk factor, it has links to other serious health problems, so doctors always recommend weight management.
Causes of the physiological effects that can lead to an aneurysm may include various factors, such as tumors, trauma, or lifestyle practices.
A small aneurysm may not require treatment, but a larger or ruptured aneurysm needs surgery or endovascular coiling.
The outlook for an aneurysm is serious, so a person needs to follow preventive measures to help reduce the risk.