World Stroke Day is marked annually on 29 October to raise awareness about the medical condition. The aim of World Stroke Day is to create awareness about the danger associated with strokes and how it can be reduced due to better understanding among the public regarding the risk factors and signs of stroke.
Brain stroke is also known as a silent killer, affecting about one in four people worldwide. The medical condition is the third most leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally.
The risk of reduced blood supply to the brain during a stroke or blood leaking from blood vessels in the condition depends on a number of factors such as genetic factors, obesity, alcohol intake, drugs, high blood pressure, and cardiac issues.
What are the symptoms of a stroke?
Stroke results in sudden onset of weakness of limbs, vomiting, dizziness, trouble in walking, and loss of consciousness.
Slurred speech, sudden severe headaches with no identifiable cause, impairment of memory, loss of dexterity in fingers, and trouble in understanding speech are also symptoms of a stroke.
The medical condition can often occur silently, with the symptoms developing over a span of months.
Ways to mitigate stroke:
With some basic precautions, people can reduce the likelihood of strokes. This World Stroke Day, let’s focus on the simple ways through which we can reduce the chances of suffering from the medical condition:
Exercise regularly: Just exercising five times a week for a span of 30 minutes can reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Around one million strokes annually are linked to inadequate physical activity.
Change your diet:
Making minor changes in your diet can help maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol levels, reducing the likelihood of stroke. A Mediterranean diet is said to be the best in terms of maintaining cardiovascular health and reducing strokes.
Smoking is a major cause of increasing strokes. Quitting the habit will benefit you and the health of non-smokers around you as well.
Reduce consumption of alcohol:
Excessive consumption of alcohol is linked to over one million strokes annually. Consuming excess alcohol either regularly, or even going on an alcohol binge sometimes can increase the likelihood of strokes.
Regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol:
Monitoring your cholesterol and blood pressure regularly can help indicate your risk levels for strokes. High BP and cholesterol levels increase the likelihood of a person suffering from strokes, and can even result in fatal outcomes.
Problems in blood pressure and cholesterol can be controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medication. This in turn can lead to better stroke prevention.
Managing stress and depression:
About 1 in 6 strokes are linked to mental health issues. An increased amount of stress and depression can almost double the risk of strokes and TIA (mini-strokes), particularly, in middle-aged or elderly people.