Jane has just arrived home from the hospital. Together with her cousin, she paid a visit to their uncle, who is now confined in the Intensive Care Unit because of stroke. She recalls seeing him unconscious, hooked to the ventilator and with numerous IV lines sticking out from both of his arm. The doctor said that the patient is still in coma and hemorrhagic stroke has been found out according to the CT scan.
If only they have known this would happen, they would have rushed him to the hospital earlier. If only they have taken certain precautions before, if only.
How to prevent stroke
You can always hear people, especially those belonging in the healthcare profession that prevention is better than cure. This is not only because you will be spared from thousands of hospital bills and medications, but also for the reason that if you are aware that a particular risk factor is damaging your health and leading you to a higher risk of stroke, you can take steps to lessen the effects of that risk.
- Lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if left untreated. Monitor your blood pressure regularly and if it is elevated, seek for early treatment. The target blood pressure should be less than 120/80mmhg.
- Lose weight
Obesity, as well as the complications that may relate to it such as high blood pressure and diabetes, raises the possibility of having a stroke. Losing as little as 10 pounds can have a real impact on your stroke risk, if you are overweight. Excess weight strains the circulatory system, maintain a diet low in calories, salt, saturated and trans fats and cholesterol, and eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
This may sound cliché, but exercise does have a lot of benefits. Not only does it contribute to losing weight and lowering blood pressure, but it also stands on its own as an independent stroke reducer. A study shows that women who walked three hours a week were less likely to have a stroke than women who didn’t walk.Exercise five times a week.
- Know cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is a fatty substance in blood that is made by the body as well as comes in food. High cholesterol levels can clog arteries and cause a stroke. See a doctor if your total cholesterol level is more than 200.
- Stop smoking
Not only does it double the risk of stroke, but smoking also damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder.
- Treat atrial fibrillation problems
Atrial fibrillation is a form of irregular heartbeat that causes clots to form in the heart. It can also increase stroke risk by 500%. Those clots can then travel to the brain, producing a stroke.
- Control alcohol use, drink in moderation
Alcohol use has been linked to stroke in many studies. Most doctors recommend not drinking or drinking only in moderation – no more than two drinks each day.
Some may say that these strategies require patience and can even become sort of a hassle. However, these are but small steps with big impacts that we can take in order to save ourselves from the fatal complications stroke brings. After all, it’s better safe than sorry.