7 Ways to Reduce the risk of Stroke

A stroke may happen to anyone at any time when the brain cells are deprived of oxygen and the blood flow to a part of the brain is completely inhibited. This is when the brain cells begin to die and in severe cases, the abilities controlled by the concerned part of the brain are completely lost.

The extent of damage differs from person to person. It may be anything from a temporary weakness to permanent paralysis of limbs. Complete recovery is possible in most cases. However, two-thirds of the survivors end up with some kind of disability post the attack. Out of many underlying medical conditions that add to your risk of stroke, a few can be controlled.

Here are a few ways to reduce the risk of stroke.

Blood pressure

  • Blood pressure contributes largely to the risk of stroke in both men and women.
  • Reducing salt intake, eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, taking blood pressure medications as prescribed by a physician, and exercising regularly help to control blood pressure.


  • The ideal BMI is 25 or less.
  • Obesity and other complications increase the risk of stroke.
  • Maintaining 1500-2000 calorie intake in a regular diet is optimal depending on activity level.

Drinking habits

  • One drink per day may reduce the chances of stroke.
  • However, more than two drinks per day increase the risk of stroke sharply.
  • Red wine contains resveratrol that is considered to protect the heart and brain.
  • Portions should be maintained as follows: the standard-sized drink is a 5-ounce glass of wine, 12-ounce beer, or 1.5-ounce glass of hard liquor.

Atrial fibrillation

  • Irregular heartbeats resulting in clot formation in the heart are called atrial fibrillation. These clots can sometimes travel to the brain to cause a stroke.
  • It has been found that atrial fibrillation carries a five-fold risk of stroke.
  • Symptoms may be shortness of breath and palpitation.
  • In case you find any such symptoms occurring, it is advised to contact a physician immediately.


  • Diabetes increases the risk of stroke by 4 times.
  • 2/3rd of the population with diabetes dies due to stroke or heart attack.
  • Close monitoring of blood sugar and careful insulin use helps reduce the risk of complications.
  • In addition to diet and exercise, those with diabetes may need metformin (Glucophage, others) or other diabetes drugs.


  • Smoking stimulates the process of the formation of clots in a number of ways.
  • It thickens the blood and increases the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries.
  • Healthy diet, regular exercise, and giving up smoking help to reduce the risk of stroke significantly.

Cholesterol and atherosclerosis

  • High cholesterol builds up plaque that thickens blood reducing blood flow in the arteries and hence accelerating the risk of stroke.
  • Along with exercise and a healthy diet, taking prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs helps to reduce the risk of stroke.

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