Abuja – Dr Peter Alabi, the Chief Medical Director of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, says people with stroke are at a greater risk of having another if not properly managed.
Alabi said this on Sunday while delivering a lecture at the Health Week organised by the Knights of Saint Mulumba, Gwagwalada sub-council.
The CMD, who spoke on stroke and its management, delivered the lecture at St Paul Catholic Church, Gwagwalada.
He described stroke as a condition where the brain cells die because of lack of oxygen, adding that it could be caused by an obstruction of flow of blood or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain.
Alabi explained that the risk factors of the disease include hypertension, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, cardiac disease, alcohol, obesity, age as well as family history.
He said the common symptoms of stroke are sudden weakness, clumsiness, heaviness or numbness on one side of the body, hand or face.
Others include dizziness, loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes and unusual severe headache.
He advised stroke survivors and their families to engage in programmes that would educate them on the disease.
“Education of the patient and the family about stroke and its consequences is an important step of rehabilitation and it begins as soon as a patient is medically stable,’’ he said.
To reduce the risk of recurrent stroke, he said survivors should adopt a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, healthy diet and managing the medical conditions given to them.
He stressed that before embarking on any physical activity, such patient should consult a specialist to recommend the suitable type of exercise.
Alabi also said high blood pressure was the most important risk factor for stroke, warning that those with the condition should avoid alcohol and smoking of cigarettes.
“People should avoid excess alcohol and smoking of cigarettes because they have a lot of effects on the body system, especially on the heart and brain,’’ he said.
Mrs Josephine Agbonika, the President of the Ladies of the Church, said the lecture was rewarding.
She advised those with high blood pressure to avoid alcohol as well as sugary and salty food while engaging in recommended physical exercise.
Also speaking, Mr Okoye Valentine, the Deputy Grand Knight, said the lecture was an eye opener on the management of hypertension and stroke.
He recommended that such lectures should be held at least twice a year. (NAN)