A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is either interrupted or reduced. When this happens, the brain does not get enough oxygen or nutrients, and brain cells start to die. Nearly 800,000 people worldwide, have a stroke each year. That equates to about 1 person every 40 seconds. Strokes need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible to minimize brain damage.
This article will explain why strokes occur and how they are treated, as well as exploring the different types and the steps a person can take to prevent a stroke.
Categories of Stroke:
There are three main types of stroke:
Ischemic stroke: This is the most common type of stroke. A blood clot prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the brain.
Hemorrhagic stroke: This occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and normally occur as a result of aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
Transient ischemic attacks: Also referred to as a mini-stroke, these occur after blood flow fails to reach part of the brain. Normal blood flow resumes after a short amount of time, and symptoms cease.
Some risk factors for stroke, including your age and family history, cannot be avoided. But there are still many steps you can take to prevent stroke, including getting enough exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and keeping other risk factors under control.
How to prevent stroke?
Here are some simple ways to start reducing your risks today to avoid stroke, before a stroke has the chance to strike you:-
1. Get Regular Exercise
Not getting enough exercise is associated with a wide range of health problems, including stroke. Exercise may help prevent stroke by helping to reduce other risk factors, including high blood pressure and obesity. The American Stroke Association recommends that healthy adults get at least 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise 3 to 4 days a week. This intensity implies that you should be breathing hard and your heart rate should be elevated.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can go a long way toward lowering blood pressure, which is one of the main risk factors of stroke. Being overweight or obese, eating too much salt, and eating too little potassium can drive up blood pressure. Table salt is not the biggest contributor to salt in the diet. New studies say that adopting a diet rich in potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and reduced saturated fat to help prevent stroke.
3. Manage High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Blood pressure, specifically systolic blood pressure, increases naturally with age. According to some studies, even adults who have normal blood pressure at age 55 will have a 90 percent chance of developing high blood pressure at some point in their life. Healthy habits, including exercise, eating a diet low in sodium, and maintaining a healthy weight, can help to keep blood pressure in the normal range. Having your blood pressure checked at least once a year can help you manage your risk for stroke.
4. Reduce High Cholesterol
Many scientific studies have found high total cholesterol to be a risk factor for stroke. In addition to adopting healthy eating habits that emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may be prescribed to help reduce your risk of clogged arteries. If you have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about whether statins are right for you.
5. Quit Smoking for All Times
Smoking cigarettes can double your risk of stroke. If you are a regular/chain smoker, quitting smoking, even if you have been smoking for a long time, can go a long way in helping to reduce your stroke risk.
6. Take Preventive Medication
In addition to taking medication that helps to lower high blood pressure and control cholesterol levels, if you are at a high risk of stroke, it is advisable to take anticoagulant medicines, such as warfarin, or an aspirin, only after medical consultation, to help prevent the formation of stroke-causing blood clots.
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