1. Top 3 reasons for having a stroke? High blood pressure, high blood pressure and high blood pressure [ref. 1].
Your blood pressure, if normal, can protect you.
[Source: Public Health England, Jan. 2017]
2. Check your own risk of a stroke or heart disease in next 10 years
Want to do it now? Takes just a few minutes, using latest UK research and tool ‘QRisk 3‘ developed by doctors & academics in the UK NHS, based on data from many thousands of doctors/GPs across the country [2017, ref. 16].
3. Prevent strokes with 7 steps
3.1. If you smoke, stop now, using a free NHS local stop smoking service. Stop smoking options: Public Health England guidance, August 2018. Almost as important a cause of strokes as high blood pressure. Smoking one cigarette per day carries a risk of heart disease and stroke much greater than expected: around half that for people who smoke 20 per day. No safe level of smoking exists for heart and stroke diseases. So quit instead of cutting down . Within four to five years of quitting smoking, stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker [WHO].
3.2. Improve your lifestyle, with a healthier diet, less alcohol, more exercise, (so lose weight), cut down on caffeine, reduce the salt you eat, and, get a good night’s sleep. “Lifestyle management is the main reason for high blood pressure, and we have to come to grips with it.” [Nov. 2017, 35]
3.4. Want to know more about preventing yourself having a stroke, what it is like to have a stroke and its problems? Look at Jim Whyte’s video story.
3.5. See your GP if:
- You notice a sudden change in your heartbeat, and if your heart rate is often lower than 60 or above 100 beats per minute. Always seek medical help and advice if you have a fast heartbeat” (over 100 beats a minute), says the NHS about Atrial fibrillation.
- Or if you’re experiencing other symptoms of ‘atrial fibrillation’, such as dizziness or shortness of breath see NHS guide.
- You have chest pain.
3.6. Go to hospital very quickly after a suspected stroke. The NHS tells you about tests in hospital to confirm the diagnosis, find the cause, and brain scans to find which part of the brain is affected . Everyone with suspected stroke should receive a brain scan within an hour.
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