Health + Wellness

Understanding stroke and its risks

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Tips to help prevent suffering a stroke

A stroke is also known as a ‘brain attack’ and anybody can suffer from a stroke at any point of time. Stroke takes place when the brain does not receive sufficient blood flow.

It is an emergency that requires immediate medical treatment. Once symptoms such as body numbness or face “drooping” starts appearing, the person should seek treatment within 3 hours. Delaying the treatment could result in losing control of your body functions.

The impact of the stroke varies from person to person. It depends on the area of the brain that is affected and the percentage of damage to it. A minor stroke might lead to short-lived numbness of limbs whereas a major one could result in permanent body paralyzation.

To prevent a stroke, it is best to find out the main cause or triggers and counter them with these tips:

Start an exercise routine

Besides playing a significant role in losing weight, exercise is also a key factor that can reduce the risk of a stroke. Go for a walk after your breakfast or gather a few friends to play football together. Climb up the stairs instead of using the elevator.

Reduce alcohol consumption

Too much alcohol leads to an increase in both blood pressure and stroke risk. Instead of binge drinking, aim to consume 2 drinks for men and 1 drink for women within 24 hours. The size of your glass also plays a part in the amount of alcohol intake. 12-ounces of beer is equivalent to 1 drink whereas 1.5-ounce of hard liquor is enough for the day.

Eat healthily

Lessen the amount of red or processed meat that you consume daily and replace it with chicken or fish. Always remember to eat lots of fruits and vegetables daily. Switch white rice with brown rice. Snack on nuts or seeds if you feel like chewing on something. Avoid sweets, chocolates or even chips so that your sugar and salt intake can be reduced as well.

Keep other medical conditions in check

If you have diabetes or blood pressure, take your medications as prescribed. High blood pressure is one of the significant factors contributing to the risk of stroke for both men and women. You can manage your blood pressure by restricting your salt consumption in your diet as well as abstaining from high-cholesterol foods such as muffins, cheeseburgers and ice cream.

For diabetics, maintain your blood sugar within your doctor’s recommended range by following a low-sugar diet, exercise and to consume medications when advised.

Say no to smoking

Purchasing a box of cigarettes is similar to you purchasing poison for consumption. Smoking increases clot formation in your body by storing plaque in your arteries as well as thickening your blood flow. By quitting smoking, it can reduce your risk of stroke. Do not be ashamed if you fail to quit the first time round. A majority of smokers go through several attempts before they are able to give up on this bad habit. You can also look at taking nicotine pills or patches to aid you in the quitting process.

(Photo credit: skubmic @ Flickr)




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