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Keeping Strokes at Bay: Your Guide to a Healthier Heart

Tips to maintain a healthy heart and prevent strokes

Before we explore the many ways you can prevent another stroke, let’s understand what a stroke is. You know, strokes can be pretty scary. Cerebrovascular incidents manifest as disturbances in the regular cerebral blood flow. Sometimes, the issue is a blood clot, which medical experts call an ischemic stroke. Other times, it’s when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, and that is medically known as hemorrhagic stroke.

Certain things make strokes more likely to occur. A majority of these factors can be managed through medical intervention or modifications in one’s lifestyle. These encompass conditions such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and the issue of excess weight. Notably, a history of stroke elevates the risk of a recurrent event. It is prudent to delve further into an examination of these factors.

Lifestyle Changes

a. Keep That Blood Pressure in Check

While it might be expected that the detrimental effects of high blood pressure on cardiac health are widely recognised, it is evident that a significant portion of the population does not prioritise its management. The imperative is to undergo regular medical assessments to monitor blood pressure and to adhere to prescribed pharmaceutical interventions. Additionally, the adoption of a heart-healthy diet is recognised as an effective means to ameliorate and regulate blood pressure.

b. Kick the Habit

You know, smoking is like a buddy in crime when it comes to strokes, especially if you’ve had one before. Those nasty chemicals in cigarettes mess with your blood vessels and make it easier for blood clots to crash the party. Quitting smoking is a super effective move to drop the chances of having another stroke.

c. Shed Those Extra Pounds

While the discourse often centres on weight reduction for cosmetic purposes, it is paramount to shift the focus towards overall well-being. Excessive weight places an additional burden on the cardiovascular system and escalates the risk of stroke. Extreme, rapid weight-loss strategies are not recommended. Instead, the prudent approach involves the maintenance of dietary equilibrium and regular physical activity to attain sustainable weight reduction. In cases of uncertainty, it is advisable to seek guidance from healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate course of action.


Here is how you can transform your diet to prevent stroke;

a. More Fruits and Veggies, Please!

Fruits and veggies are like little health superheroes. They’re packed with nutrients, fibre, and antioxidants that help your heart and keep inflammation (a big stroke risk factor) at bay.

b. Go for Whole Grains

Swap out the white bread for whole wheat, and choose brown rice over the white stuff. Whole grains are high in fibre and can help control blood sugar and cholesterol.

c. Say No to Greasy Fats

Those greasy, fried foods and snacks loaded with bad fats aren’t your heart’s friends. Cutting back on saturated and trans fats can help prevent artery clogs and lower your stroke risk.

d. Watch the Salt

Salty food definitely tastes bad, but it is also bad for your blood pressure. Salt can make your blood pressure higher. So, be mindful of how much salt you eat and try using herbs and spices to add flavour to your meals.

Regular Exercise

Exercise isn’t only for sports pros; it’s for anyone who wants to avoid a stroke. With professional guidance, try to get regular and moderate exercise each week. Good cardio is a great way to keep your heart healthy, control your weight, and lower the risk of having a stroke.

Medications for Stroke Prevention

In addition to lifestyle changes, your doctor at Parul Sevashram Hospital, one of the best hospital in Vadodara for Cardio, may suggest medications to give your heart extra protection. Here are some common ones:

a. Antiplatelet Drugs

Doctors commonly prescribe drugs like aspirin, clopidogrel, and dipyridamole to prevent blood clots, especially in people who had an ischemic stroke before.

b. Anticoagulants

Warfarin and other anticoagulants are like your body’s bouncers; they keep the clots out. They’re typically used when you’re at risk of blood clots, especially in conditions like atrial fibrillation.

c. Blood Pressure Meds

If you’re in the high blood pressure club, consider these medications your pals. ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and diuretics are like your trusty sidekicks in the battle to control your blood pressure.

d. Cholesterol Fighters

Statin drugs like atorvastatin and simvastatin help your body take down high cholesterol levels. Lower cholesterol means lower chances of artery clogs.

Preventing recurrent strokes is like giving your heart a VIP pass to a healthier, happier life. Making lasting changes to your lifestyle, from managing blood pressure to eating right and staying active, can significantly lower your stroke risk. And don’t forget the meds your doctor recommends; they’re like a safety net for your heart.

As World Stroke Day approaches, let’s remember that each small step we take to prevent strokes doesn’t just benefit us – it also strengthens our connection with organisations like the PSH Stroke Rehab Centre. By sharing this knowledge and taking action, we can work together for a healthier, stroke-free future.

Written by Parul Sevashram Hospital | 10 October 2023