From 28 October to 3 November 2020, South Africa will commemorate World Stroke Week and World Stroke Day to raise awareness about the symptoms of a stroke and the importance of taking treatment for recovery.
World Stroke Day, 29 October
It is said that one in four people will have a stroke.
“A stroke can happen to anyone, at any time and anywhere,” writes the World Stroke Organisation. “Today stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide and the second leading cause of death, but almost all strokes could be prevented.”
The organsation says that 14.5 million people will have a stroke and 5.5 million people will die as a result of it in 2020.
“While 80 million people have survived stroke worldwide, many stroke survivors face significant challenges that include physical disability, communication difficulties, changes in how they think and feel, loss of work, income and social networks.”
In South Africa, strokes claim nearly 70 lives daily according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Cut Stroke in Half
The World Stroke Organisation is leading the development and implementation of an integrated prevention strategy that has the potential to cut stroke in half by 2030. With a focus on low and middle-income countries where a stroke is not only more prevalent but has the most devastating impact the strategy includes:
- Access to low-dose combination therapy for patients at medium risk of stroke
- Development of stroke specialist Community Health workers
- Access to innovative mobile technologies that support access to prevention information
Watch your weight
Like other non-communicable diseases, many strokes can be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes and taking control of health conditions that raise your risk for a stroke. These include maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, making the right food choices (such as reducing fatty, salty and sugary food intake in favour of vegetables and fruits), daily physical activity and managing daily stress. Being categorised as overweight increases your risk of stroke by 22% and if you are obese that risk increases by 64%. This is because carrying too much weight increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes which all contribute to higher stroke risk.
TIPS FOR ACHIEVING AND MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WEIGHT
- Aim for a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. Making small but sustainable long-term changes in your eating and physical activity habits is the only way to lose weight and keep it off. Avoid faddy diets that promise fast weight loss, it is unlikely that will be able to stick to these and you may not get the nutrients you need.
- Eat a healthy diet. Increase your consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables of foods, whole grains and avoid sugars and saturated fats.
- Get moving! Make physical activity a part of your daily life. 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day on most days of the week will reduce your risk of stroke and help you to manage your weight.
- Stay motivated using online apps to track food intake and exercise can help keep you on track.
Read the original article on The South African