Strokes have the potential to not only have long term side effects on victims but can also be deadly.

The most concerning thing about strokes is that anyone can get them at any time. According to a study by the World Health Organization and leading stroke experts, stroke attacks claim up to 6.2 million lives every year.

Almost three-quarters of all strokes occur in people above the age of 65. The outcomes of strokes can result in permanent disability and could be fatal.

Understanding what strokes are and how we can decrease the likelihood of experiencing them is an essential step towards improving our health as well as not risking the fatal outcomes of a stroke.

What is it, And What Causes Stroke?

A stroke, or “brain attack,” occurs when blood circulation fails to reach the brain. Brain cells will then die from decreased blood flow and the resulting lack of oxygen.

An ischaemic stroke – This is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain. A blockage of a blood vessel in the brain or neck, is the most frequent cause of stroke and is responsible for about 80% of strokes.

Atherosclerosis – causes Ischaemic Stroke – whereby an artery may become blocked by progressive thickening of artery walls.

Embolism – causes Ischaemic Stroke– whereby a blood clot blocks an artery and prevents blood getting to part of the brain.

Haemorrhagic Stroke. This is where an artery ruptures and causes bleeding into the brain tissue. It can also be called a cerebral haemorrhage.

How Do I Reduce The Chances Of Suffering A Stroke Attack?

Lower Blood Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is made by the human body. It has some essential roles in the functioning of the human body but can become a problem if levels in the blood are too high.

Blood cholesterol contributes to the formation of a substance called atheroma, which sticks to artery walls and leads to atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of the arteries).

To lower blood cholesterol levels, ensure you speak with a medical practitioner about how you can personally manage it.

Eat a high-fibre diet with plenty of fresh and nutritious foods. Also, try to reduce your consumption of saturated fats. Saturated fats are usually found in animal-based and processed foods.

Exercise

Apart from watching what you eat and practising a consistent diet plan, you need to be active and get a sufficient amount of physical activity that your body needs to stay healthy.

A sedentary lifestyle with a lack of movement will increase the likelihood of obesity, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels.

These factors contribute and can lead you into experiencing a stroke. Create a plan where you are getting physical activity on a daily basis.

By maintaining a good body weight through healthy dieting and exercise, you will decrease the risk of suffering a stroke.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can significantly multiply your risk of suffering a stroke. There are numerous chemicals contained in cigarette smoke such as nicotine and carbon monoxide that can accelerate the process of atherosclerosis.

Clots are also likely to form when cigarette smoking and can cause blood to thicken and enhance clotting factors.

Cigarette smoke can force arteries to close up, making it harder for the clotted blood to move through the vessels leading to future conditions for a stroke attack to occur.

Reducing how much you smoke, and then eventually quitting, will contribute to stroke prevention.

Regular Medical Checkups

If you have high blood pressure, heart problems, obesity or suffer from a disorder, you need to speak with a medical practitioner.

If you don’t have any diseases or medical conditions, you should still get regular check-ups regardless to be safe.

As every person is different, getting one on one advice from an expert is the best way to prevent yourself from suffering a stroke.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.