AVOIDING A BRAIN STROKE ATTACK
Brain stroke is a condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain fails resulting in the death of the brain cells.
Brain stroke can be classified primarily into ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke is the result of a clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain or a blood vessel leading to the brain. This is the most common form stroke occurring in 85% of the patients. The other type of stroke is the hemorrhagic stroke which is due to bleeding inside the brain or in the membranes surrounding the brain due to rupture of the blood vessel in the brain. This is not a very common type occurring in 15% of the patients.
Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in patients. It is believed that stroke cannot be prevented, which is definitely a myth. It is definitely preventable in up to 80 percent of the cases. However, it must be noted that the effects of the stroke can definitely be reversed, almost 100 percent, only if addressed immediately.
Causes Of Stroke:
- High blood pressure.
- Overweight.(leads to increased blood cholesterol levels)
- Inadequate physical activity.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Atrial fibrillation.
- Uncontrolled blood sugar.
- High blood cholesterol.
Now that the causes of stroke have been listed, let us understand ways you can avoid a brain stroke.
Prevention Of Brain Stroke:
- Blood pressure control: High blood pressure is one major reason for brain stroke in both men and women. Uncontrolled blood pressure almost doubles the risk of stroke. It is imperative that you monitor and ensure that you maintain your blood pressure at 120/80 mmHg level.Common tips that will help you achieve optimal BP.
- Lower your salt intake. Reduce it to a maximum of half a teaspoon a day.
- Avoid junk food.
- Take a healthy and balanced diet. Include lots of fruits, vegetables, cereals, and low-fat dairy.
- Keep yourself active by exercising for at least 30 minutes every day.Activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming are a few options you can try.
- Smoking is responsible for narrowing of the blood vessels resulting in high blood pressure. Hence, quit smoking.
- Consult with your physician regularly and monitor your vitals if already hypertensive
- Maintain a healthy BMI: Obesity or being overweight and the complications of being overweight (hypertension, diabetes, etc.) increases the risk of stroke. Hence, try and maintain a healthy body mass index(BMI). To achieve this:
- Stick to a diet plan that is well balanced. Avoid fatty foods. Your aim must be to consume approximately 1500 to 2000 calories a day. Include lot of vegetables in your diet, as these are rich in fiber but less in calories and hence will help fill your appetite.
Exercising is a great way to reduce weight and become healthy. Commit yourself to a daily fitness routine for at least 30 minutes every day. You may choose activities like walking,swimming, etc or better yet, practice your favorite sport.
- Quit smoking / Drink in moderation: Smoking increases your risk of stroke. Hence quitting smoking will definitely reduce the risk of stroke. Also alcohol needs to be consumed in moderation. Excess alcohol intake will increase your risk of stroke.
- Control blood sugar levels: High blood sugar tends to damage the blood vessels due to which clot formation becomes more likely. Hence it is essential to maintain your blood sugar levels at the normal level. You must also regularly check your blood sugar levels as suggested by your physician to ensure that it is maintained at the normal levels. It is very important to take your pills, follow a balanced diet plan, and exercise adequately in order to maintain normal blood sugar.
- Address atrial fibrillation: Due to irregular heartbeat, clots are formed in the heart, which are likely to travel through the blood vessels into the brain causing stroke. Hence, it is very important to treat atrial fibrillation in order to reduce the formation of clots in the heart which in turn will reduce the risk of stroke.
- Control your cholesterol levels: High blood cholesterol causes plaques to form in the blood vessels resulting in impaired blood supply to the brain leading to death of brain cells. It is very essential, therefore, to ensure that cholesterol levels are also in the normal range. Again, exercise and diet play a vital role in the control of cholesterol levels.
- Detoxification once in a year: In Ayurveda there is a concept called shodana(purificatory therapies) which are advised 3 times a year depending on the season. As it is practically difficult to go through with 3 courses of shodana in a year it is atlease advasibale to undergoe one shodana course a year in a view of removing the accumulated free radicals and toxins in our body which in the long run helps reducing the chance of a stroke.
Being aware of the risk factors and managing them is the key to prevent a stroke attack. However, if one experiences stroke despite this, then the key to recovery is to identify the symptoms fast and seek immediate medical attention, since quicker the stroke is treated, the better are the chances of the patient recovering.