.Experts worry as 200,000 Nigerians suffer stroke annually

 Dr Levin Damisah, a Public Health Physician, says eating healthful meals, snacks and drinks, in addition to other healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent stroke.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, Damisah described stroke as damage to the brain, as a result of interruption of blood supply.

“Stroke is a medical emergency resulting from blockage or interruption of blood supply to areas of the brain.

“Symptoms of stroke include trouble walking, speaking and understanding, as well as paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg.

“Early treatment with medication like tPA (clot buster) can minimise brain damage, while other treatments focus on limiting complications and preventing additional strokes,” he said.

According to him, lifestyle factors that increase the risk of stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, heavy drinking, high salt,  high fat diet and lack of exercise.

Damisah further told NAN that certain lifestyle choices should be inculcated, to prevent stroke or to keep survivors alive much longer.

“Stroke can be avoided if proper precautions such as regular use of Blood Pressure medications for people diagnosed with hypertension, adopting a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and adequate sleep.

“Good and sustained blood pressure control is key to preventing stroke,” he added.

He said that keeping a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity, abstinence from smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, checking cholesterol and controlling blood pressure, were habits that should be embraced to avoid the disease.

He noted that stroke was a fairly common disease in Nigeria that used to be known to affect only people who were advanced in age or ageing, but that it was no longer the case.

“Stroke is commonly associated with aged people, but in recent times younger people have begun to get hypertensive and obese too.

“These combined risk factors predispose younger people to develop stroke also.

“Sickle Cell disease is also a known cause of stroke in the youngsters, but not common,” he said.

NAN reports that stroke could lead to long-term health challenges.

However, depending on the speed of the diagnosis and treatment, a patient could experience temporary or permanent disabilities, after a stroke. 

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