SAY NO TO STROKE!!!

In the past one week recent times, we have seen more cases of stroke secondary to high blood pressure within a short space of time. This implies that people are not checking their blood pressure regularly or they are not taking antihypertensive medications as they should, or they have not been checking up with their doctors to know if the medications they are taking are working for them or not.

Whatever the case, stroke (cerebrovascular accident) is a serious cause of morbidity and death in our environment.

Stroke simply means there is a focal deficit in brain function. It may be as a result of a sudden short supply of blood to a part of the brain (ischemia) or a sudden bleed to a part of the brain (hemorrhage).

Some people may recover from an episode of stroke within 24hours, known as a transient ischemic attack, while others may not recover fully and would need physiotherapy to recover some functions that may be lost.

RISK FACTORS FOR STROKE

The risk factors for having stroke are classified into non-modifiable and modifiable factors.

An individual has little or no control over the non-modifiable factors, and vice versa for modifiable factors.

NON-MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS

  • Age: Commoner in people >60 years of age.
  • Sex: More common in males than females.
  • Race: Commoner in blacks.
  • Heredity: May run a familial course.
  • Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack: increases the risk of occurrence of another stroke.

 

MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS

  • High blood pressure. See the article on what your blood pressure value should be.
  • Presence of a heart disease such as heart failure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Smoking
  • Hypercholesterolemia. See the article on cholesterol.
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Excess alcohol consumption

 

Complications of stroke include but not limited to:

  • Impairment of speech
  • Weakness or paralysis of the upper and lower limbs of the affected side
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Constipation

 

PREVENTION OF STROKE

This can be achieved by some lifestyle modifications such as:

  1. Reduce salt intake, particularly added salt
  2. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  3. Stop smoking
  4. Lower fat intake
  5. Exercise regularly
  6. Lose excess weight.

Remember to check your blood pressure regularly and don’t miss appointments with your doctor. 

Stay healthy, stay stroke- free!!!

Got questions? Consult DoctorKK right here.

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