Stroke prevention: risk of diabetes and high blood pressure

A stroke and its consequences can be prevented if you live a healthy life and avoid certain risks such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Difficulty speaking, slurred speech, fixed gaze and uncontrolled mouth movements – if you or others notice these symptoms, you should call 112 quickly. There are five typical symptoms that could indicate a stroke. Then every minute counts for the person to be treated in the hospital. In many cases, stroke can be prevented if you minimize certain risks in your daily life.

Stroke: Certain factors can promote it

Severe headaches and dizziness are typical for a stroke. (icon image)

© AntonioGuillem/Imago

In Germany, around 270,000 people suffer from a stroke every year. However, more than 70 percent could be prevented if those affected lived healthier lives. “Certain factors can promote the development of a stroke. Not everyone can be affected, such as genes or age. An accurate family history is still the best ‘gene test’ at the moment,” explains MD Sven Kolfenbach, internist and head of internal medicine at Helios Klinik Jerichower Land in Burgh.

Prevent stroke: 70 percent of strokes are preventable with ten tips

To reduce the risk of stroke as much as possible, you should pay more attention to the following ten factors that affect your daily life:

  • 1. Avoid high blood pressure
  • 2. Reduce obesity
  • 3. No smoking
  • 4. Reduce stress in everyday life
  • 5. Drink less or no alcohol
  • 6. Get your cholesterol checked
  • 7. Assess the risk of developing diabetes and treat diabetes correctly
  • 8. A balanced diet low in fat and sugar
  • 9. Enough exercise (150 minutes to 300 minutes of exercise per week)
  • 10. Medically correct cardiac arrhythmia, especially atrial fibrillation

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Prevention expert Bettina Begerow from the German Stroke Foundation knows how everyone can reduce the risk of stroke as much as possible: “A healthy lifestyle is still of the greatest importance in prevention.” Classic risks such as being overweight, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis are the excesses of an unhealthy lifestyle.

How to recognize a stroke

Diagnosis of a stroke – the earlier it is detected, the greater the patient’s chance of recovery and survival. There are four typical symptoms that doctors and relatives can use to check if someone has recently had a stroke. © picture-alliance / dpa
Smile: Patients with a stroke can often no longer smile properly, their mouths become crooked.
Smile: Patients with a stroke can often no longer smile properly, their mouths become crooked. © dpa
Speaking: Anyone who has had a stroke is usually no longer able to form coherent sentences.  So if you stutter and have problems with your language, you may be having a stroke.
Speaking: Anyone who has had a stroke is usually no longer able to form coherent sentences. So if you stutter and have problems with your language, you could be having a stroke. © dpa
Arms: “Just raise both arms!” Anyone who has had a stroke is usually no longer able to raise both arms independently.
Arms: “Just raise both arms!” Anyone who has had a stroke is usually no longer able to raise both arms independently. © image alliance / dpa / Armin Weigel
stroke
Tongue: “Show tongue.” Protrusion no longer works properly, tongue is curved and moves from side to side. © dpa
stroke
Risk factors and possible triggers of stroke: high blood pressure, heart disease, especially atrial fibrillation, lack of exercise, diabetes, smoking, obesity. © dpa
stroke
Factors that naturally cannot be influenced are age, gender (men are more at risk) and simply predisposition. © dpa

This article contains only general information on the relevant health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no case does it replace a doctor’s visit. Unfortunately, our editors are not authorized to answer individual questions regarding clinical images.

Rubric list image: © AntonioGuillem/Imago

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