EARLY this week I was chatting with a friend, whom I had not talked to in a long time, so I asked his whereabouts and I was shocked to learn from him that he had suffered a stroke, that is why I had not heard from him in almost a year.
I asked him what his doctors told him, he gave me a number of reasons that could have triggered his stroke, among them is that he is a chain smoker and also suffers from high blood pressure, it is sad-but then such is life.
A few days later I had lunch with a doctor friend whom I asked more about stroke and he told me that we have an 80 per cent chance of preventing stroke, if we are careful with how we lead our lives.
One of the things that featured mainly in a discussion with my doctor friend is the poor lifestyle that some of us seem to lead. Lifestyle counts, and in stroke prevention, the sum of one’s efforts appears to be greater than singular prevention elements. Health experts have suggested that leading a low-risk lifestyle—including getting exercise, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking—reduces the risk of ischemic stroke, the most common form of stroke.
Experts suggested that it is also essential for a person to know what puts them at higher risk and to be able to immediately recognize the symptoms if they have a stroke, and fortunately much can be done to prevent such an event.
Going through the internet for further knowledge about stroke, I found out the three things that stand out as contributing factors for a stroke:
Diet; it has been said time and again about the importance of eating balanced diet food. Foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains increase nutrients in our bodies which help the body fight against such diseases like stroke and heart disease.
Quit smoking; on average smokers have double the risk of suffering from ischemic stroke than non-smokers. Recently, a study of Stroke found a dose-response in female subjects, meaning that the more cigarettes a woman smoked per day, the higher her odds of suffering from a stroke. Two packets per day boosted risk of stroke to nine times that of nonsmokers. The same study found that when subjects quit smoking, their risk of stroke returned to normal within two years. So if you are a smoker-quit now.
Exercising is a good way to keep healthy. But unfortunately, exercising does not prevent stroke from attacking even the most active person, but study has shown that people who have been exercising recover faster than non-active people.
There are symptoms that can alert someone if a stroke is attacking. Trouble with walking, you may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.Trouble with speaking and understanding; you may experience confusion. You may slur your words or be unable to find the right words to explain what is happening to you (aphasia). Try to repeat a simple sentence. If you can’t, you may be having a stroke.
Having blurred vision or seeing double and a splitting headache accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness may indicate one is having a stroke.
People with history of diabetes and high blood pressure need to be very careful with their diet and lifestyle in general; they are at a high risk of getting a stroke.