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:
• A 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.
For more advice and help, feel free to consult a doctor via The Reliance Care App.