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How To Prevent a Brain Aneurysm

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For some patients, hereditary factors play a role in the development of their brain aneurysm(s), making it difficult, or even impossible, to prevent any from forming. However, genetics or a family history of aneurysms is just the start. There are many factors, hereditary and non-hereditary, that can cause an aneurysm to form or rupture.

While we don’t have much say in whether we will inherit the genes or biological makeup that can lead to the development of an aneurysm, there are habits and health-related choices we can make to help reduce the likelihood of developing one.

To help prevent the development of an aneurysm, it’s important to focus on:

  • Avoiding habits like smoking, drug use, and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Improving your diet
  • Lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing conditions like diabetes
  • Reducing your stress levels


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Improve Your Diet

Food plays one of the biggest roles in the quality of our health. Those who eat a cleaner, more balanced diet are far more likely to reap the benefits of an all-around healthy body, such as:

  • Better weight management
  • Healthier vessels and arteries
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol

When it comes to aneurysm development, these mentioned side effects of a clean diet help significantly reduce the likelihood of one forming.

Antioxidants and Aneurysms

Antioxidants help protect cells and tissues from becoming damaged and deliver anti-inflammatory-like benefits to the body. Studies have shown that the fewer antioxidants a person consumes, the more likely they are to develop an aneurysm, since inflammation and a lack of antioxidants can lead to higher blood pressure and weaker artery walls.

Incorporating anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich foods into your diet is crucial to help your blood pressure remain low and your artery walls remain strong.

Antioxidants come in several forms, including:

  • Carotenoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin A
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

How Can I Improve My Diet?

Diets like the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diet consist of foods and ingredients that are naturally high in these antioxidants, so consider making a dietary switch to either of these for your overall health and the health of your vessels and arteries.

To start improving your diet, focus on swapping out foods that are highly processed and full of sodium, sugar, starches, and trans fats with foods like:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean proteins
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
Man checking a blood pressure in the morning

Lower Your Blood Pressure

As mentioned, blood pressure plays a factor in whether a patient could develop an aneurysm or not. Your artery and vessel walls can only handle so much pressure, especially in areas where they have weakened. If the pressure on these areas persists or increases, there is the possibility of them ballooning out to form dangerous aneurysms that have the potential to burst.

In addition to aneurysms, high blood pressure is linked to other serious health issues like heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is not an overnight development; it usually develops over the course of several years and can be attributed to:

  • A high-stress lifestyle
  • A tobacco habit
  • An unhealthy diet, especially one that is high in sodium
  • Excessive alcohol and coffee consumption
  • Little to no physical activity
  • Poor weight management

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure?

If you have high blood pressure or want to ensure you do not develop high blood pressure, you can make certain changes to your lifestyle, including:

  • Exercising regularly (150 minutes of movement per week is recommended)
  • Improving diets and reducing sodium intake
  • Managing stress levels
  • Quitting or avoiding using tobacco
  • Reducing alcohol and coffee intake

If you have made these lifestyle changes and are still experiencing high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe a daily diuretic, beta blocker, or other medication to control your blood pressure.

Men hand caught a burning cigarette causing smoke, concept stop

Quit Smoking

Tobacco use is not one of the leading causes of preventable diseases in the United States—it’s THE leading cause of preventable diseases, including aneurysm formation. Tobacco smoke, specifically, directly impacts your artery walls and causes them to weaken.

The components in cigarette and cigar smoke work to break down your arterial lining, significantly increasing the possibility of the wall ballooning out to form an aneurysm. But it doesn’t stop there—your body will try to rebuild the walls by building up plaque and forming blood clots. This can lead to even more wall weakening and can even lead to total arterial blockage, a major factor in heart attacks and stroke.

Facts About Smoking and Brain Aneurysms

  • Smoking increases blood pressure.
  • Smoking damages artery walls.
  • Smokers with the inherited “aneurysm development” genes are five times more likely to develop one than non-smokers who also have the genes.
  • One study shows that more than 82% of those who experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm were or currently are smokers.

If you are a current smoker, we encourage you to quit as soon as possible. For help quitting, check out these helpful resources:

For more advice on preventing a brain aneurysm from developing, talk to the team at Georgia Neurosurgical Institute.

Our renowned neurosurgeons understand the environmental, physical, and genetic factors that can play a part in brain aneurysm development and can help provide preventative advice. We also offer diagnostic testing, analysis, and treatment for brain aneurysms. Protect your health by scheduling an aneurysm screening or consultation with us today: Call 478-743-7092.

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