Stroke is caused due to partial or complete obstruction of blood flow to a part of the brain, leading to permanent cell death. While a minor stroke might sometimes even go unnoticed, a severe stroke can have permanent and even life-threatening consequences for the patient. Signs of a stroke include weakness on one side of the body, loss of control, tingling or numbness of your facial muscles, severe headaches, loss of vision and an unsteady gait. Given how severe the symptoms of stroke can be, stroke prevention is considered essential by medical experts.
While you may be genetically predisposed to being at high risk of suffering a stroke, there are certain lifestyle-related factors at play too. While the genetic causes of stroke can’t be controlled, you can definitely make efforts for stroke prevention by making certain changes to your lifestyle.
Following are a few stroke prevention steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling prey to the causes of stroke:
- Maintain healthy body weight
Obesity is a silent killer – it comes with a whole set of complications including high blood pressure and diabetes, which increase your chances of suffering a stroke. Your stroke prevention efforts must begin with achieving a BMI of 25, which is considered ideal. However, don’t give up just yet; even losing a few kilos will go a long way.
- Keep a tab on your blood pressure
High blood pressure is proven to be one of the leading causes of strokes in both men and women. To reduce your risk of strokes, monitor your blood pressure regularly. If you find that it is elevated, seek medical help and follow doctor’s advice to get your blood pressure levels back to normal. You can also do small things such as reducing your salt intake, adding more fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet, and reducing your intake of high cholesterol foods to lower your blood pressure levels. While a blood pressure level of less than 135/85 is preferable, getting your levels as close to this will help you in your stroke prevention efforts.
- Exercise regularly
You should exercise at least 30 mins a day five times a week to ensure that your body is functioning optimally. Exercise will not only keep you fit, but will also ensure that your blood circulation and pressure is normal, increasing your likelihood of stroke prevention.
- Monitor your blood sugar and insulin levels
Many people who have diabetes don’t take care of their health even after their condition has been detected. Consistently high blood sugar level damages your blood vessels over time, increasing the likelihood of clotting, which is one of the leading causes of strokes.
- Say goodbye to your bad habits
Eating unhealthy or junk food often and smoking are indirect causes of strokes as they cause various health problems. While an occasional drink, especially a glass of wine, can actually reduce your chances of a stroke, drinking alcohol often can contribute to your risk of a stroke. The older you are, the more harmful these bad habits are for you. If stroke prevention is your goal, then kick these bad habits at the earliest.
It’s not enough to just be aware of the causes of stroke; you must also ensure that you make the best efforts for stroke prevention to keep yourself safe and healthy. Don’t wait for your health to deteriorate before making these small changes in your lifestyle. After all, isn’t stroke prevention better than risking the various dangerous symptoms of stroke?