The brain is the complex and the largest organ of the body that controls all body functions. It needs nutrients and oxygen for its proper functioning. Interruption or complete blockage of blood supply to the brain causes brain cells to die. As a result, you cannot speak, move and control your vital body functions. You are under an attack, the brain attack. This is a very critical and life-threatening situation. Call emergency there and then as your life depends on it. Seeking immediate medical attention prevents any long-term disability, brain damage, and also death.
A brain stroke can happen to anyone and at any time. But many risk factors increase the chance of having a brain stroke. The two main categories of risk factors are as under:
- Manageable Risk Factors
- Non-Manageable Risk Factors
Manageable Risk Factors:
Risk factors that we can change by adopting a healthy lifestyle are manageable. Following are some of them:
- Diet – Diet plays a great role in keeping you healthy. Any diet rich in cholesterol saturated fats, and salt is unhealthy for your body. Intake of such a diet results in the deposition of fatty acids in your arteries. They block the blood flow and results in a brain stroke. So, you need to choose a healthy diet and add more years to your life.
- High blood pressure – Higher blood pressure is also known as hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases from 120/80. This causes a brain stroke as it ruptures the blood vessels. Sometimes it causes clot formation in arteries. This blocks the blood supply to the brain, resulting in a brain attack. Keeping your blood pressure to the ideal state of 120/80 lowers the risk of a stroke.
- High level of Cholesterol – Due to high cholesterol levels, plaque starts to build up in the arteries. This decreases the amount of blood flow to the brain, and its cells start to die. Having the cholesterol level checked manages this risk factor.
- Diabetes Mellitus – Diabetes is a disease that causes high sugar levels in the blood. This is because either your body is not making enough insulin or is not using the insulin it has made. This results in a brain stroke as it damages the blood vessels.
So, Diabetic patients need medical therapy and behavior modification to reduce their risk.
- Cardiac disease – Heart diseases block the blood supply to the brain. Hence, it increases the risk of a stroke. Following the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor help you overcome this.
- Birth control pills – Birth control is a way that helps couples to prevent pregnancy. Many methods of birth control exist, among which one is taking pills. Those pills form a clot in blood vessels that leads to a brain stroke. Avoid taking such pills can save your life.
- Overweight – Obesity increases the risk of Diabetes and blood pressure. Both are the risk factors associated with a brain stroke. Regular exercise and following a healthy diet plan can help you manage it.
- Alcohol Consumption – Excessive alcohol intake results in an irregular heartbeat. This forms a clot in the arteries and increases the risk of brain attack by 5 times. Your life is precious; avoid consuming alcohol.
- Smoking – Your blood pressure rises when you use nicotine. It damages your blood vessels and heart and causes a stroke. Smoking damages your health and doubles the chance of having a brain attack. Avoid smoking and live a healthy life.
- Lack of exercise – Lack of exercise increases the risk of high blood pressure. It leads to heart problems that cause a stroke. Physical activity or exercise can help you stay healthy.
- Increased RBCs count – As the red blood cells increase in number, blood starts to thicken. This leads to clot formation and results in a stroke.
- Cardiac structural abnormalities – Damaged heart valves cause heart damage. This increases the risk of a brain stroke over time.
Non-Manageable Risk Factors:
Factors that we cannot change or modify to lower the chance of a brain stroke are non-manageable. Following are some of them.
- Gender – Stroke is more common in females than males. Moreover, the rate of death with stroke is higher in females than males.
- Age – You can have a stroke at any age, but as you grow older, the risk of having a brain attack increases. It doubles every 10 years when you reach the age of 55. No doubt, it is more common in elders, but youngers can have a brain stroke. This is because they are either obese or have high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Race – African Americans are more vulnerable to a brain attack as compared to whites. This is because their population has a great chance of high blood pressure.
- History of prior stroke – If you have a stroke in your lifetime, the chances of getting a second brain attack are higher then.
- Family history – Family history is a record of diseases that any of your family members has. Family members share behavior, lifestyle, genes that influence their risk for a disease. If anyone of your family member had a stroke, the chances that you have it too increases.
- Climatic conditions – Temperature, climate, and season are the factors that contribute to stroke. During extreme temperatures, more stroke deaths occur.
- Social and Economic Factors – People with low socioeconomic status are more susceptible to brain stroke. There is an increased chance of having a stroke in low-income people as compared to the middle class.
- Where You Live – People living in the southeastern US are more vulnerable to brain attacks. This is because of the differences in their lifestyle, diet, and smoking habits.
There are several risk factors associated with brain stroke. We can change some of the factors but not others. As your life is precious, please do not overlook the cause as it may lead to death if you find any of the risk factors mentioned above, nothing to worry about. You may find aga khan hospital karachi doctors list and book an appointment via Marham.pk