A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced.
The interruption deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrients, leading to the death of brain cells.
A stroke may be caused by the bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke) or a blocked artery (ischemic stroke).
The main factors that make us predisposed to having a stroke are age, lifestyle, and genetics.
Having a parent or close relative who has had a stroke, puts you in a risk spectrum of people who may be predisposed to experiencing same.
People over the age of 45 are more susceptible to having a stroke.
While you cannot change your genetic makeup or reverse your age, you can focus on many other stroke risk factors that you can control.
When you know that a certain risk factor predisposes you to a higher risk of stroke, you can be proactive in managing that risk.
Below are health tips for reducing stroke risks
- Lifestyle modification involving healthy meals, reduced salt intake, physical exercise targeted at losing weight for overweight or obese people, stopping cigarette smoking and significantly cutting down alcohol intake.
Regular checking of blood pressure and blood sugar
People with hypertension or diabetes should adhere strictly to their medications (they shouldn’t skip or stop their medications for any reason).
Going for regular medical check-ups
As people approach their late 40s and 50s. The same applies for people with a family history of hypertension, diabetes, stroke or a heart attack.
Signs and symptoms of a stroke.
The signs of a stroke can develop over hours or days. The symptom usually depends on the area of the brain affected and the type of stroke.
Signs and symptoms of a stroke may include:
• Sudden and severe headache
• Trouble understanding speech or speaking
• Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
• Problems breathing
• Sudden weakness
• Loss of consciousness
• Loss of balance or coordination, Dizziness, trouble walking, and unexplained falls
• Paralysis or numbness of the face, legs, or arms, especially on one side of the body
Remember, during a stroke every minute counts. If you think you or someone else a stroke, consult a doctor immediately.
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