Did you know that one in 10 cases of stroke in Singapore involves patients younger than 50? The good news is that 80% of strokes can be prevented. Here are 5 tips to reduce your risk of stroke.
1. Keep Blood Pressure in Check
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can quadruple your risk of stroke. A normal blood pressure reading should be lower than 120/80.
Hypertension can result in the thickening of artery walls and build-up of plaques that can potentially disrupt your brain’s blood supply, should they break free. Besides, high blood pressure also causes arteries to weaken, increasing the likelihood of them bursting, which would lead to hemorrhagic stroke.
On top of medication, you should also make simple lifestyle changes (e.g. decrease alcohol and salt intake, regular exercise) to reduce your blood pressure.
2. Keep Blood Sugar under Control
The stroke risk is 1.5 times more in diabetics. High blood sugar can cause damage to your blood vessels over a long period of time, and lead to clot formation inside them. This results in the narrowing of blood vessels in your brain and neck, and can potentially cut off the blood supply to your brain. To control your blood sugar level, you are advised to monitor your blood sugar closely, take medication and maintain a healthy diet.
3. Eat Healthily
An unhealthy diet can elevate your risk of stroke. Hence, you are recommended to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, and go for lean proteins and high fibre foods. You should also cut down on your intake of salt, processed foods, trans- and saturated fats.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking can double your stroke risk, as it speeds up the formation of clot and increases the build-up of plaque in arteries. Consult a doctor on how to best quit smoking. You may also utilise quit-smoking aids like medicine, nicotine patches or counselling.
5. Stay Active
Did you know that sitting down the entire day can elevate your risk of hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and stroke? You are recommended to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week (e.g. brisk walking, cycling, running and doing yoga).
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