A stroke is a brain attack that stops the flow of fresh oxygen-rich blood to certain parts of the brain. The brain cells start to deteriorate when the oxygen supply is cut off thus rendering that particular part of the brain invalid. The abilities controlled by the brain in the affected area are also lost leading to memory loss or loss of muscle control. A major stroke attack can lead to permanent paralysis depending on the extent of the damage done to healthy brain cells. It is possible for people to recover from a stroke attack completely. However, a majority of the patients suffer from some form of physical incapacity making it one of the largest cause of adult disability.
In the country, a stroke attack is the fifth leading cause of death. Statistics show that 800,000 people every year experience one form of the stroke with a mortality rate of one death every four minutes. Stroke risk reduction is one of the more pressing concerns as statistics indicate 80% of the attacks can actually be controlled with timely care, treatment, and making a few lifestyle changes.
Here are a few easy ways to reduce the risk of suffering from a stroke in the future:
- Blood pressure
Controlling one’s blood pressure is one of the easy stroke risk reduction techniques employable at an affordable rate. The factors that control blood pressure can be easily monitored and managed at home. Reducing salt intake to just half a teaspoon per day, avoiding high cholesterol foods, incorporating more fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish are changes that one can make in the diet to ensure low sodium levels in the diet. It is also a good idea to quit smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and establish a healthy exercise routine to further manage stress. Blood pressure medications taken under the proper guidance of a certified medical professional will also help control blood pressure to a certain extent.
- Weight management
Obesity or generally being overweight can increase the risk of any medical condition, especially the chances of suffering from a stroke attack. Obesity increases blood pressure and the risk of suffering from diabetes. For most people, doctors recommend no more than 2000 healthy calories per day supplemented with a proper and rigorous exercise routine. Consult with a dietician or nutrition specialist to understand exactly how many calories are needed by the body depending on the level of daily activity and current body mass index.
- Manage diabetes
Diabetic people are at high risk of suffering from a stroke attack. Elevated glucose for prolonged periods can cause an imbalance in normal blood sugar levels that can lead to further health complications. Taking medications and insulin supplements under proper supervision will help manage and counter the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes as one of the precautionary measures for stroke risk reduction.
- Manage cholesterol
Cholesterol is both good and bad depending on whether high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels dominate the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels or vice versa. HDL is the good cholesterol, the type one’s body will benefit from in the long run. High levels of LDL, on the other hand, can block vital arteries that increases blood pressure and inadvertently increasing the risk of suffering from a stroke.