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World Stroke Day 2022 exclusive: BEWARE of warning signs! Make THESE lifestyle changes to avoid a stroke

When the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, a stroke happens. On World Stroke Day (October 29, 2022), let's take a look at what can cause a stroke, what to do, and how to modify our lifestyle to minimise risks.

  • Blood pressure and high blood sugar need to be kept under control to prevent stroke
  • Time is crucial and it's important to reach the nearest stroke-ready centre within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke for definitive treatment
  • Every year, World Stroke Day is observed on October 29 to raise awareness about stroke

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World Stroke Day 2022 exclusive: BEWARE of warning signs! Make THESE lifestyle changes to avoid a stroke

World Stroke Day 2022: Every year, World Stroke Day is observed on October 29 to raise awareness about stroke and about its prevention and treatment. The website of the World Stroke Organization - which says they are the only global body solely focused on stroke - goes on to say this about stroke: "Stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Without blood, brain cells can be damaged or die. The impact of stroke can be short- and long-term, depending on which part of the brain is affected and how quickly it is treated. Stroke survivors can experience wide-ranging disabilities including difficulties with mobility and speech, as well as how they think and feel."

It's important to identify stroke early, as it can otherwise cause long-term disability and even death. Dr Sahil Kohli, Senior Consultant-Neurology, Max Hospital Gurugram, talks to us about early signs of stroke, prevention, and lifestyle changes required to beat stroke.

World Stroke Day 2022: Early signs of stroke

The acronym FAST can be kept in mind while trying to identify and treat stroke, suggests Dr Kohli. F stands for facial weakness, A for sudden onset arm weakness, S is a sudden onset speech problem, and T stands for Time, as time is crucial. "One most important thing is to reach the nearest stroke-ready centre within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke for definitive treatment," says Dr Kohli. 

Also read: World Stroke Day 2022: Date, theme, history, significance and importance

World Stroke Day 2022: Lifestyle changes to prevent stroke

Dr Kohli says a whopping 80% of all strokes can be prevented if we take care of our lifestyle. Here are a few important things to keep in mind, as suggested by Dr Sahil Kohli:

1) Blood pressure and high blood sugar need to be kept under control. If you are above 40, go for regular check-ups. If you have BP and sugar issues, have prescribed medicines and follow a healthy lifestyle to keep them in check. 
2) Quit smoking. It's as simple as that! 
3) Alcohol intake should be in moderation. Red wine is a better choice here. 
4) Keep your weight in check and be mobile. 30 minutes of regular exercising where you do moderate workouts like walking, cycling, and aerobics are very good for your health. Doing yoga at least five days a week can minimise the chances of stroke. 
5) If you already have had a stroke, do NOT discontinue or stop a medication without consulting your neurologist. 

World Stroke Day 2022: Unhealthy foods to stay away from

1) Saturated fats, and trans fats can increase cholesterol levels and make you vulnerable
2) A high-sodium diet can raise blood pressure, which is dangerous. Start with reducing salt intake to about half a teaspoon a day.
3) As obesity is a cause, be conscious about having a high-calorie diet that comprises burgers, cheese, and icecreams.
4) A diet that includes five or more servings of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of stroke.
5) Junk food and carbonated drinks are strict no! Processed foods contain a lot of salt while carbonated drinks like colas, sodas as well things like ketchup have a lot of empty calories.

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