A stroke is a medical emergency wherein there’s a severe reduction or interruption of blood supply to a portion of the brain. Because brain cells tend to die quickly when deprived of nutrients and oxygen, a stroke can be very serious.
Here are some facts on stroke that you might want to know about:
- In the US, it is regarded as the foremost cause of serious and long-term disability. It is said that around 795,000 people in the country suffer from a stroke every year. Every 4 seconds, somebody in the US gets a stroke, and someone dies from it every 4 minutes.
- Stroke deaths are more common in females. About 60% of females who suffer from a stroke die from it. In males, only 40% die from stroke cases.
- Anyone can get a stroke regardless of age. Nearly 1/4 of all the cases of stroke happen below 65 years of age.
- Recurrent stroke is something that is regarded as common. For instance, experts say that 25% of individuals who recover from their initial stroke are likely to have another one in the next 5 years.
- It’s true that a stroke is a condition that affects the brain. However, it can have an impact on the rest of the body as well. Paralysis on one side of the body medically known as hemiplegia, for instance, may occur because of a stroke. Others may suffer from hemiparesis or weakness of one side of the body. It’s possible for stroke survivors to experience weird sensations especially in the hands and feet.
- Some stroke risk factors include age, gender, race (African-Americans are at higher risk than anyone else), and prior heart attack, stroke or TIA. Short for transient ischemic attack and also known as mini-stroke, TIA produces symptoms similar to a stroke but yields no lasting damage.
There are certain risk factors for stoke that you can do nothing about. However, embracing a healthier diet and lifestyle can considerably reduce your chances of suffering from it. Continue reading to learn some of the things that may be done to ward off this condition.
- Give up smoking – Smoking can put you at high risk of a stroke due to a couple of reasons. First, it causes your blood to thicken and this can make you more prone to developing a blood clot that can hamper the supply of blood to the brain. Second, smoking causes the buildup of plaque and cholesterol in the arteries.
- Drink alcohol in moderation – A serving of alcohol such as red wine on a daily basis is actually good for you. Too much of it, however, can cause all sorts of problems including stroke. Experts say that as soon as you take alcohol more than the recommended dose, your risk for having a stroke gets higher.
- Exercise on a regular basis – Health authorities say that exercising is an excellent stroke reducer because it reduces both blood pressure and excess pounds. Something as simple as walking for 3 hours a week, according to studies, can lower your risk of suffering from it.
- Take aspirin for babies – Provided that you are not allergic to the drug and your doctor recommends it, taking baby aspirin daily may help keep stroke at bay because it helps thin the blood and prevent blood clot formation.
- Get diabetes treated – Eventually, blood vessels end up damaged due to constant high sugar levels in the blood. This makes blood clots likelier to form. Proper diet, regular exercise and constant monitoring of blood sugar may help reduce the chances of a diabetic from having a stroke.
- Mind what you put in your mouth – Cutting back on your consumption of sodium helps in keeping the blood pressure from rising. Reducing your consumption of saturated fat by opting for lean meat is highly recommended. Make sure that your everyday diet consists of good amounts of grains, fruits and vegetables as all of them are packed with fiber.