A stroke is an accident in the brain’s blood flow that occurs when there is an interruption in blood supply to parts of your brain or bleeding in the brain. When these happen, the brain tissues are denied oxygen and nutrients. Read on for tips on stroke prevention.
According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, brain cells that are deprived of oxygen start dying in less than 5minutes with extended obstruction leading to brain damage.
What Are The Causes of Stroke?
The top risk factors of stroke are:
High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke, causing about 64% of stroke incidence. Poorly controlled high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain. This could be in form of a blockage or rupture of arteries.
If you have a family member who has got a stroke before, your risk of getting one is higher than normal.
Researches recorded that stroke is more prevalent in men than women. The onset of stroke incidence is also earlier in men at the average age of 66.8 years and 70.0 years in women.
The risk of a stroke incident increases with age. After the age of 55, your risk of having a stroke doubles every 10 years.
Diabetes-associated health factors like weight gain and high cholesterol increase the risk of stroke in diabetics to 1.5 higher than normal. Read more on living right with diabetes here.
Your risk of getting a stroke is 2x higher if you are a smoker. Not only does smoking increase your risk of getting a stroke, but it also lowers your chances of surviving one.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, nonsmokers who breathe secondhand smoke from the burning of tobacco products or smoke breathed out from smokers increase their risk for stroke by 20-30%.
Lack of Exercise
Adopting a sedentary lifestyle will cause many health issues like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol which in turn increase your risk of getting a stroke.
Other risk factors for stroke include
- Heart Disaese
- Medications like blood thinners and hormone replacement therapy.
How To Prevent Stroke
While some risk factors like age, gender, and family history cannot be reversed, here are some things you can do about other factors for stroke prevention.
- Have your blood pressure well controlled if you are hypertensive.
- Quit smoking
- Controll your blood sugar levels if you are diabetic
- Check your cholesterol levels
- Maintain a healthy weigth for your age and height
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce your alcohol intake to avoid irregularity with heart beat.
- Imbibe a healthy eating habit. Chose more of vegetables and avoid saturated fats.
- Ask your doctor if you can take a daily protective low dose aspirin. It is not for everyone!
- Know the early signs of stroke and seek for help.
Early Signs of Stroke
Do not ignore such signs as:
- Sudden headache
- Unexplained dizziness
- Sudden numbness of arm or leg especially on one part of the body.
- Blurred vision
- Incoherent speech e.t.c.
The acronym FAST is used in identifying a stroke onset. It is said that acting F.A.S.T is key to surviving a stroke.
- F-stands for Facial drooping when one side of the face becomes numb. Ask the person to smile, if the facial expression is only one one side then that could be stroke setting in.
- A-stands for Arm weakness where the person is unable to raise one arm or move one side of the body.
- S-stands for Speech difficulty. The patients is unable to make a cleare statement.
- T-is for Time, indicating that its time to call your emergency help line or rush the person to hospital.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes. It’s not intended to replace medical advice from professionals.