Ten ways to help prevent a stroke

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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