Miriam Margolyes: Coming out 'could be linked to mother's stroke'
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A stroke can be caused by either a blood clot in the brain or bleeding in the brain. The Mayo Clinic says that “knowing your stroke risk factors, following your doctor’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle” are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada says up to 80 percent of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through your life habits, such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active.
It explains vegetables and fruit are packed with nutrients, and people should aim for 7 to 10 servings every day.
It says: “Many vegetables and fruit are particularly rich in vitamin C and in beta-carotene, which is a form of vitamin A.
“These work as antioxidants in your body, helping to slow down or prevent atherosclerosis by reducing the buildup of plaque from cholesterol and other substances in the arteries.”
The organisation also says eating vegetables and fruit provides a good source of fibre.
It advises: “Whenever possible, eat the peels, too – it will make a big difference to your total daily fibre intake. For example, a raw unpeeled apple has almost 10 times more fibre than a cup of apple juice.”
It adds: “If you’re using canned vegetables, look for ones with no-added salt or rinse them under water to remove much of the added salt.”
The best methods of cooking fresh or frozen produce is to steam, roast or grill to preserve as many nutrients as possible.
The American Heart Association says: “Diets high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels.
“Those high in sodium (salt) can increase blood pressure. And those with high calories can lead to obesity.”
It adds: “Physical inactivity can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, overweight/obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
“Aim for being active at least 150 minutes a week, but if you don’t want to sweat the numbers, just move more and sit less.”
The Stroke Association warns that the catastrophic event occurs every five minutes in the UK, but the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
The NHS says that the main stroke symptoms include changes to the face. Your face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.
Signs may also occur on the arms – “the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm”, says the NHS.
Their speech may be slurred or garbled, “or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake” and “they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them”, adds the health body.
The NHS states: “As different parts of your brain control different parts of your body, your symptoms will depend on the part of your brain affected and the extent of the damage.”
The health body adds: “If you have been diagnosed with a condition known to increase your risk of stroke, ensuring the condition is well controlled is also important for helping prevent strokes.”
It notes: “Even if the symptoms disappear while you’re waiting for the ambulance to arrive, an assessment in a hospital should still be done.
“You should be referred to see a specialist within 24 hours of the start of your symptoms.”
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