A stroke is a condition where the blood supply to a part of your brain is reduced or interrupted, lowering oxygen and nutrient supply to that part. As brain cells can die within minutes, it is an emergency, and immediate treatment is essential. This helps to prevent brain damage and complications. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent stroke by making some lifestyle changes. If you had a stroke before, these modifications would avoid the risk of its recurrence.
Here are a few lifestyle changes that can help:
Consuming A Healthy Diet
An unhealthy diet can increase your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which are risk factors for stroke.
A high-fiber and low-fat diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains are seen to be protective against stroke. Besides, you should also limit your salt intake to no more than 6g a day.
Being Physically Active
A healthy diet and exercise are the best way to maintain a healthy weight and prevent high cholesterol levels and hypertension. For most people, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises a day for most days of the week or 150 minutes a week have a beneficial effect. However, if you are recovering from a stroke, it is best to discuss your exercise plan with your rehabilitation team.
Smoking increases the tendency of your blood to clot and narrows your arteries, increasing the risk of stroke. You can reduce this risk by stopping smoking. Besides, not smoking will also boost your health and reduce the risk of complications such as heart diseases and lung cancer.
Curb Your Alcohol Intake
Consuming alcohol in excess increases your blood pressure or causes irregular heartbeats, which are risk factors for stroke. Moreover, alcoholic drinks have high calories and trigger weight gain. It is seen that heavy drinking may increase your risk of stroke by 3 times. Abstinence from alcohol is best way to avoid these issues. However, if one must, no more than one drink a day should be taken. However, if you have not yet recovered from a stroke, it is best to avoid it.
It is impossible to avoid stress but it can be managed. Stress though will not cause stroke directly, but it makes one prone to diseases like cardiac conditions, smoking, unhealthy eating etc. which in turn can lead to stroke. We should try to identify our stress triggers and learn to avoid them. Fifteen minutes of meditation every day also helps in managing the stress.
Treating Underlying Conditions
If you are diagnosed with any health condition that increases your risk for stroke, such as hypertension, diabetes, increased cholesterol or cardiac condition treating it will significantly lower the incidence of stroke. Lastly, if the lifestyle changes fail to manage health conditions that may increase your tendency for stroke, your doctor may advise medications. For instance, cholesterol-lowering medications if your cholesterol levels are higher despite the lifestyle modifications.