These alarming figures pull an alarm bell: May be it will be one of us soon. It is therefore imperative to understand the causes of stroke, how to protect ourselves and what symptoms to look for to identify it quickly to save your life or the life of a loved one.
The causes of stroke
The major cause of stroke is atherosclerosis caused mainly by hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. These are two threats to take very seriously. Indeed, people with healthy blood pressure were 50% less likely to have a stroke than those with a high pressure.
Stress, diabetes mellitus, hypertriglyceridemia, obesity and physical inactivity are also influential factors. Prevent a stroke would therefore be by reducing these risk factors.
Prevent stroke in 5 steps
1 – Regular exercise
According to a study on more than 47.000 men and women in Finland, those with a moderate or high level of physical activity are less likely to have a stroke. Exercise helps reduce blood pressure as the heart becomes stronger and requires less effort to pump blood through the body. Physical activity can also help reduce the chance of developing diabetes and control cholesterol levels, which minimizes the risk of a stroke.
2 – Moderate drinking
Experts do not clearly say why alcohol raises blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke, but a research done at the University of Cincinnati has shown that having more than 2 drinks per day gives subarachnoid hemorrhage, a particularly deadly stroke type caused by the rupture of blood vesselon to the brain surface that tends to strike premenopausal women.
Also, researchers at Tulane University have reported a few months ago that the risk of ischemic stroke increases with alcohol consumption.
3 – Weight control
Obesity increases the chances of high blood pressure and diabetes. A recent study has shown that taking more than 22 pounds after the age of 18 increases the risk of stroke. Physical activity, a good diet and a healthy lifestyle will save your life one day.
4 – Healthy diet
Foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol may increase cholesterol levels in the blood.
Cholesterol tends to adhere to the arteries and the blood tends to stick to these places, which increases the risk of blood clots. In addition, excessive sodium intake can give a high blood pressure. Good news, eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day can reduce the risk of stroke.
5 – Stop smoking
We will never say it enough, but you have to quit smoking. Research has shown that the risk of stroke decreases significantly two years after stopping smoking and falls in nonsmokers levels five years later. Indeed, nicotine and carbon monoxide damage the cardiovascular system, leading to a high blood pressure and a higher risk of stroke.
How to identify a stroke
The next article will discuss the symptoms to look for to identify a stroke.