Lifestyle habits that may increase the risk of brain stroke
On World Stroke Day, people who have certain lifestyle habits are prone to this disease. Studies in India have shown that over 10-15 per cent of people under 40 suffer from brain stroke.
Studies in India have shown that over 10-15 per cent of people under 40 suffer from brain stroke. (Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
By Daphne Clarance: Over the past few years, people under 45 have been experiencing brain stroke due to various lifestyle habits.
Studies in India have shown that over 10-15 per cent of people under 40 suffer from brain stroke. This calls for awareness among people, especially on World Stroke Day, for the younger population to switch to healthier life choices.
“More young patients are experiencing stroke because of their lifestyle. This includes unhealthy food patterns and increasing stress in their professional and family lives. This makes them prone to stroke,” advises Dr Jaideep Bansal, Director & HOD, Neurology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh .
A stroke is the sudden loss of brain cells or death of brain cells because of blood plaque. It may be because of the blockage of the artery from the inside that is called a clot or it can be cholesterol or maybe because of haemorrhage or the bursting of the artery, which can cause the stoppage of the blood flow to that artery. Over 80% of strokes are ischemic strokes ie the arteries get blocked due to lifestyle habits.
The blood in the arteries has several substances. The inner surface of the arteries is smooth which is why, when stagnation in the blood occurs, a clot is formed in the arteries. This leads to a stroke. There are two types of stroke — modifiable and non-modifiable strokes.
Non-modifiable strokes are caused due to age-related changes. The thickening of the artery, anyway, occurs due to age, which cannot be stopped. Genetic factors also play a role in non-modifiable strokes.
Modifiable risk factors involve diabetes, alcohol consumption, obesity, cholesterol and drug abuse. “These unhealthy habits can lead to the thickening of the artery – ischemic stroke or the formation of plaque. The plaque is the formation of fatty tissue inside the wall plaque. of the artery and due to this, the inner wall of the artery doesn’t remain smooth. This can lead to friction in the flow of blood cells and become a clot,” says Dr Jaideep Bansal.
LIFESTYLE HABITS THAT INCREASE THE RISK OF STROKE
Alcohol consumption: “If the person has been consuming alcohol for a long time, there will be changes in the artery. They are prone to stroke as well as heart attack,” says Dr Bansal. Limiting alcohol in one’s lifestyle or eliminating it can help one be less prone to brain stroke.
Smoking: Smoking is a high-risk factor in brain and heart diseases.
Sleep: “Sleep early and get up early. There is an area in the brain that understands time. It manages the body in terms of daily routine. Wake up at a fixed time and sleep at a proper time. If you get up at 5 am or sometimes 7 am, then your brain will remain confused.” says Dr Bansal, adding that several hormones are released during sleep that gets interrupted when a person has an erratic sleep schedule.
Dietary habits: Completely eliminate junk food and have a high-fibre diet including fruits and vegetables. “Even with digestion, the brain prepares the body for it. This will lead to better digestion of the food. But if you don’t have a fixed time for your meal, the brain will be disturbed. The brain needs to know what the body needs and wants and when it wants. Drink enough liquids and have a high-fibre diet every day, which means eating lots of fruits and vegetables.”
Stress: Stress is a modifiable factor, the elimination of which can greatly improve a person’s lifestyle. “This affects a lot of the younger population. Stroke in young people leads to disability because of brain stroke. This not just has health issues but can lead to the lack of manpower in the economy,” he adds.
Regular exercise: Squeezing in 30-45 minutes of exercise in the day. Don’t do rigorous exercises and start with light exercises. “Sedentary life is a risk factor for stroke, not just obesity,” he says.
“Knowledge about brain stroke is important as it can lead to disability, leaving a person crippled. These changes in lifestyle can prevent the condition,” adds Dr Bansal.