Proper management of Diabetes via following the right diet, exercise, weight control and medication often prevent the occurrence of strokes
The onset of non-communicable diseases (NCD) has spread it’s tendrils amongst unsuspecting mankind, with the major chunk of the race suffering from one or the other form of NCD. These lifestyle-related diseases have reared their ugly head, sending goals of peerless health into toss, while putting lives at stake. Strokes of all kind fall under this category, but where we need to throw light is on Brain Stroke. It is an open thing that stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in India, with estimated prevalence rate of stroke range being 84-262/100,000 in rural and 334-424/100,000 in urban areas.
How is it caused?
A stroke often takes place when the brain is cut off from the necessary blood flow that it requires, thereby leading to malfunctioning of the body and lack of response. This leads to halt in proper functioning of the body, and if not controlled — death. Causes can vary from a blocked artery (ischemic stroke), the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke) or a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain (transient ischemic attack or TIA).
How to prevent it?
Fortunately, a healthy lifestyle and apt management of health are the solutions to combating a host of ailments including brain strokes. These healthy lifestyle recommendations include:
- Control hypertension: This is the first step to prevention of stroke as hypertension can aggravate to stroke. Activities such as exercising, stress control, weight management and limiting the amount of sodium keeps the blood pressure in check.
- Cut off cholesterol and saturated fat: Saturated fat is no good for our body and this point proves that. Food teeming in trans-fat and cholesterol often clog the arteries, disrupting the flow of blood. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans-fats, may reduces the hindrances in passage of blood.
- Quit tobacco: Smoking is an unsightly habit that does far harm than good — effecting how the body functions. It weakens the efficacy of the heart and often raises the risk of stroke. Hence, it would be a prudent idea to cut off this ugly habit.
- Control Diabetes: Diabetes works hand in hand with all the heart-related issues as it involves excess in blood pressure and fat. Proper management of diabetes via diet, exercise, weight control and medication often prevent the occurrence of stroke.
- Maintain a healthy weight: All this boils down to apt weight management — rise in weight often leads to complications in blood, organs and the whole body. A burgeoning weight brings in other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, creating the need to lose weight.
- Consume a fruit and vegetable rich diet: What we eat reflects aptly on the state and output of the body. As mentioned before, improper diet, laced in fat and cholesterol laden food, increases the risk of heart issues, creating space for strokes to take place. Here, Mediterranean diet, which emphasises olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables and whole grains, may be helpful.
- Exercise regularly: Sedentary lifestyle is often the bane of all things that are hale and healthy and it is said that inactivity often increases the chances of stroke. Therefore, it is advised to incorporate regular exercises in your daily routine.
Preventing stokes may not be the mountain of a task-knowing the risk factors, following doctor’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
The writer is Dr Sunil Singla Senior Consultant, Neurology at Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon