Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Stroke is a serious medical emergency that occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off, depriving brain cells of oxygen and nutrients.
Stroke, which is a leading cause of disability, is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, Worldwide, it is the second leading cause of death.
As per CDC, globally, stroke takes the lives of more than 6.5 million people each year, and permanently disables another 5 million. Around the world, stroke kills more people each year than do HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
Many stroke survivors are often left with serious physical and mental disabilities, including memory loss, difficulty with movement, and trouble with emotions.
But the good thing is that stroke can be treated and prevented. Responding quickly can help in the recovery process, prevent disability or even death. Identifying or knowing your risk factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your chances or prevent a stroke.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent a stroke:
- Lower blood pressure - High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.
- Avoid tobacco – Smoking increases a person's risk of stroke by raising blood pressure. It also makes blood more likely to clot which leads to a stroke.
- Lose weight – Being overweight can increase your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are all contributors to stroke.
- Eat healthy foods – Eat a diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, etc. Limit saturated fat and trans fat.
- Get moving – Regular exercise lowers your blood pressure, increases your level of HDL (good cholesterol), and improve the overall health of your blood vessels and heart, thereby cutting your stroke risk.
- Drink in moderation – Heavy alcohol consumption can cause high blood pressure and trigger irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation), both of which can increase your risk of a stroke.
- Treat underlying conditions – If you have had a condition that increases your risk of stroke such as, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation (Afib), transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, etc, ensure that you get treated these medical risk factors to prevent a stroke.
World Stroke Day is observed on October 29 to raise awareness about stroke, highlight the serious nature and high rates of this condition as well as ensure better care and support for survivors.