According to the Ministry of Health, strokes are one of the leading causes of death and acquired disability in Brazil. For this reason, warning signs require special attention. Above all, preventive measures, which include the cultivation of a healthy lifestyle without excess.
A stroke kills one person every six seconds worldwide, and 1 in 4 adults will suffer from the disease according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
In Brazil, the disease kills about 70,000 people a year. In Pará, from January to August 2020 alone, there were 2,626 hospitalizations for the disease in the Unified Health System (SUS). Thus, on average, 328 people are hospitalized per month in the State. In Belém alone, there are 1,146 hospitalizations per year and the city has a monthly average of 143 people.
Characterized by a change in the blood circulation in the brain, the ischemic stroke, caused by the lack of blood in an area of the brain, due to the obstruction of an artery, and also the hemorrhagic stroke, caused by the rupture from a cerebral vessel, causing bleeding in a point area of the nervous system.
Neurologist Antônio de Matos warns that the population does not know how to identify the symptoms or recognize the risk factors which, if observed, can reduce the incidence of the disease.
“Out of ten strokes, four are due to the narrowing which leads to the obstruction of one of the arteries or the displacement of particles accumulated inside and transported to the brain. The origin of this accident is very similar to heart disease. Habits and lifestyle are crucial in keeping the arteries healthy,” he observes.
In fact, this has also been an alert from the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery, as a means of preventing strokes, since some risk factors that contribute to its occurrence cannot be changed, such as age, whose incidence increases with age, and sex, of which men are the majority of victims.
WHAT ARE THE CARE?
“When we talk about prevention, it means that certain factors can be avoided or controlled through lifestyle changes. In addition to reducing the risk of stroke, certain precautions are also reflected in the quality of life, such as adopting a healthier diet, with more fruits, vegetables and natural products, and less salt, sugar, fat and alcohol, which cause problems in the arteries and reduce blood flow, which increases the risk of stroke. Regular physical exercise also reduces the risk of vascular disease and influences the improvement of diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, which are risk factors for stroke. Stopping smoking, consuming less alcohol and drinking plenty of water are also part of the prevention measures”.
WHAT ABOUT PREVENTION?
In conclusion, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking are some of the factors that increase the risk of stroke. This is why prevention is so important.
“If you belong to one of these risk groups, it is important that there is regular follow-up at the health center, control of your diet and practice of physical activities regularly, in order to minimize the risk of stroke. “It is important to pay attention to food education and changing habits, in order to prevent not only strokes, but many other diseases. Without forgetting, also, periodic medical consultations and routine examinations”, remembers the neurologist.
The patient who is affected by a stroke may manifest symptoms such as headache, dizziness, tingling on one side of the body, impaired speech, paralysis on one side of the body, in addition to deviation of the mouth . “When faced with one or more of these symptoms, you should seek emergency services immediately. The faster the service, the lower the risk of sequelae”.