IT’S never too late to strike out against a potentially devastating brain attack. Like close cousins, heart disease and stroke emerge from a mixture of nature (genes), nurture (environment and upbringing), and personal choice (smoking, exercise, etc.)
For most of us, personal choice largely determines whether a stroke lies ahead. Guidelines on the prevention of stroke suggest that cutting unhealthy personal choices and following a healthy lifestyle can cut the risk of having a stroke by 80 percent.
Though we can’t change certain things such as age, gender, race and genetic predisposition, there are many high-risk factors those prone to stroke can change.
Stroke can be fought on many fronts. A single thrust is good; a multi-pronged attack is even better. Here are a dozen things you can do to prevent risk:
- Know and control blood pressure
- No smoking or drugs and drink alcohol in moderation
- Lose weight if needed
- Exercise more frequently
- Identify and manage atrial fibrillation
- Treat transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or mini-strokes aggressively
- Treat circulatory problems like peripheral artery disease, sickle cell disease, or severe anaemia
- Know and control your blood sugar and cholesterol
- Adopt a healthy diet low in sodium and rich in potassium
- Know the F.A.S.T. warning signs of stroke