When someone has a stroke, the blood supply to the brain stops. Immediate steps need to be taken so that brain damage, disability or death does not occur.
Up to 6.5 million people worldwide die from this condition every year. Also, one in four adults over the age of 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime.
While a stroke might happen suddenly, a series of lifestyle habits or health conditions can predispose anyone to it. If you have someone in your family who has suffered a stroke, the possibility exists that you are genetically predisposed to have one.
A stroke might have occurred if you notice any of the following symptoms
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
It is important to get medical attention within three hours of noticing any of the symptoms above as it can mean the difference between life and death for such a person.
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Due to the severity of stroke when it happens, here are some ways you can prevent it;
Maintain Low Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for stroke. If high blood pressure is uncontrolled, it can double or even quadruple your risk of having a stroke.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Obesity increases your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure, two conditions that are associated with it. If you are overweight, decreasing even 5kg can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke.
Exercise More: Exercise contributes to losing weight and lowering blood pressure, but it also stands on its own as an independent reducer.
Stop Smoking: Smoking cessation is one of the most effective lifestyle modifications that will greatly lower your risk of stroke, along with a good diet and regular exercise.
Manage Blood Sugar Properly: High blood sugar and glucose spikes can increase the risk of developing a stroke. If you already have diabetes, the risk is heightened. It is important to take measures that allow you to keep your sugar level at the required level.
This ailment is a silent killer. While it is predominant among elderly people, young people who don’t take adequate care of their health can suffer from it. Don’t forget to schedule regular health check-ups to identify issues that might put you at risk of getting a stroke.