Stroke Awareness Month: Are you at risk of stroke?
The effects of stroke can be devastating and is the leading cause of disability in the UK. For Stroke Awareness Month during May, we’re raising awareness of stroke, the risk factors associated with the disease and how you can help reduce your risk.
Our Community Stroke Team will be offering blood pressure checks and advice at the following dates and venues:
Monday 13 May
Morrisons at Netherfield, 9am - 11am
Tuesday 14 May
Stapleford Care Centre, Nottingham - 1pm – 3pm.
There will also be information on display at Park House Health and Social Care Centre and Lings Bar Hospital throughout May, so do drop by if you would like to find out more about stroke.
Are you at risk of stroke?
Stroke is the fourth biggest killer in the UK with 1 in 6 men and 1 in 5 women having a stroke in their lives. There are 400 childhood strokes a year in the UK.
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, killing brain cells. Damage to the brain can affect the way your body works, and it can also change how you think and feel.
Here are some of the main risk factors of stroke.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors of stroke and can triple your risk of stroke and heart disease. It usually has no symptoms so you should get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Diabetes almost doubles your risk of having a stroke. High levels of sugar in your blood can damage your blood vessels and nerves, increasing your risk of stroke. For more information about the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, visit www.nhs.uk/diabetes.
High cholesterol is a major factor of stroke. Having too much cholesterol in your blood can cause fatty deposits to build up in your arteries. Reducing your cholesterol levels can reduce your risk of stroke. If your risk is high, you can try making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, being more active and eating healthily. A blood test through your GP or pharmacist can confirm if you have high cholesterol.
Your risk of stroke can be increased by things we do in everyday life, including: Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight, eating unhealthy foods and not getting enough exercise. You can help to reduce your risk of a stroke by making some healthy lifestyle choices. It’s never too late to make a change.
Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat and makes your risk of stroke five times higher. If you suspect your pulse is irregular, make an appointment with your GP.
If in doubt, get checked out. Follow all the action on Twitter #MakeMayPurple
You can find out more information at www.stroke.org.uk
Reference, Stroke Association State of the Nation (2018 )