Dr Haseeb Hassan, Consultant Neurologist, RTIICS, Kolkata, elaborates on stroke awareness
“World Stroke day” was on October 29. The theme for this year stroke awareness campaign was “I am Woman: Stroke affects me.” In general, heart and brain stroke is perceived as disease of elderly males and females are left out of awareness programme globally. Since, women also have similar risk of stroke and more likely to have worse outcome due to biological and social factors, we cannot leave them out of educational programme for a disease (brain stroke), which is the leading cause of disability and third leading cause of death worldwide as well as in India. Brain stroke can affect ‘Anyone, anytime and anywhere.’
Stroke, as the name suggests, appears all of a sudden. This occurs due to blockage or rupture of one of the brain artery. A person with stroke experiences sudden onset weakness of one side of the body, facial deviation, speech difficulty or suddenly becomes unconscious. The severity may vary depending on the size of the block in brain artery. Usually, minor symptoms like slurred speech or heaviness of hand is mistaken for gastric problem or BP surge. Actually, these are warning symptoms for major stroke.
Ignoring minor stroke or even stroke-risk factors can be dangerous. High blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, heart disease are major risk factors for stroke. If one or more risk factors are present in an individual, or if a person have suffered previous minor stroke, a supervised treatment can dramatically reduce the risk of stroke. Rabindranath Tagore hospital provides a special package for ‘preventive stroke.’
Rabindranath Tagore Hospital provides a ‘Comprehensive Stroke Care Programme’ for all kinds of stroke, with 24x 7 Emergency facility, scanning facility, ICUs, team of neurologists and neurosurgeons and rehabilitation team. If a patient reaches within three hours of stroke onset, a dedicated stroke team provides special injection for dissolving the clot. This is the most effective treatment known, but can only be given in selected patients within 4.5 hours. It increases the chance of disability free survival by many folds.
With its ‘Comprehensive Stroke Care Programme’, Rabindranath Tagore Hospital continues its commitment to much needed stroke services in this part of the country.
Prevention of stroke
- < Keep your blood slippery and reduce the risk of a stroke naturally
- < Hydrate: Proper hydration helps to keep your blood lubricated. Dehydrated people have sludgy blood. Make sure you always drink plenty of water. The most common recommendation is to drink at least eight 8 oz glasses of water daily.
- < Avoid fatty foods. Follow a healthy, low-fat diet. First and foremost, keep your sweets under control. Second, avoid trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils used in processed and fried foods.
- < Do not drink more than one to two alcoholic drinks a day.
- < Exercise regularly. Exercise helps to keep all systems healthy. It promotes beneficial blood viscosity and opens up capillaries for ideal blood flow.
- < Get your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure is a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke. Even moderate reductions can lower risk.
- < Have your cholesterol checked. If you are at high risk for stroke, your LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol should be lower than 100 mg/dL.
- < Quit smoking! Smoking causes sludgy, viscous, and inflamed blood. Stopping smoking can improve your heart health, tremendously.
- < Relax: Anger and stress fuel the flames of inflammation in the arteries and blood. Moderate your emotions.