Continued from previous page.

6) Have a healthy diet

An unhealthy diet increases the risk of stroke, as well as high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and high cholesterol. Excessive salt and alcohol consumption contributes to high blood pressure. Start today with a healthier diet that has an appropriate calorie intake and is high in fibre and low in cholesterol; reduce your salt intake.

7) Exercise regularly

Stroke risk is higher with a sedentary lifestyle. Aim to have at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Find an exercise regime that suits your lifestyle and personality. Regular exercise helps to reduce obesity and also aids in the prevention and management of high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

8) Take your medication as instructed

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, it is important to take your medication as instructed by your doctor, even if you feel fine. High blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can be effectively controlled with medication. Not taking the prescribed medication will increase your risk of stroke.

9) Have regular health screening

It is recommended to screen for high blood pressure and obesity once every two years or more frequently as advised by the doctor, from age 18 years old and above. Check for diabetes and high cholesterol once every three years or more frequently as advised by the doctor once you are 40 years old and above. By adopting a regular health screening regime, these stroke risk factors can be detected early.

10) Know the signs of stroke — remember FAST

A stroke is sometimes preceded by warning symptoms called a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). A TIA is an attack of stroke symptoms that resolves completely after a few minutes. However, a TIA is often followed by a stroke which can cause disability and death. Thus, it is important to go to a hospital emergency department as soon as possible if you experience symptoms of a TIA.

Remember FAST to recall the symptoms of stroke or TIA:

F is for facial drooping when the person is asked to smile;

A is for arm weakness where the arm drifts when raised;

S is for speech that is slurred or cannot be understood; and

T is for time to act fast by calling 995 and getting to a hospital as soon as possible.

See page one for four fast facts about stroke.

Read the previous page for the first five tips to prevent stroke.

Ref: L20

Check out other articles on stroke:

When Stroke Strikes During Sleep

Beware of Mini Stroke – TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack)

Suffered a Stroke? 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

What to Expect When a Stroke Occurs

Dealing with Complications After a Stroke

Testing Language Problems in Stroke Victims