World Stroke Day 2020: Here are 5 lifestyle-related factors that increase your risk of having a stroke

World Stroke Day: A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.

Here are five risk factors for stroke that can be modified, treated, or medically managed. Read below to know more.

Are you someone who doesn't follow a healthy lifestyle? Beware! You might be increasing your stroke chances. Stroke is dangerous and deadly - one of the top 5 killers and a leading cause of disability worldwide. But, you can control and treat several risk factors easily at home by changing or tweaking your lifestyle. Let's dive into these risk factors and how to keep yourself safe.

A stroke is an emergency medical condition where your brain cells die due to inadequate or interrupted blood flow leading to a lack of oxygen and nutrients inside your brain. Strokes are also termed as Cardiovascular Accident or Brain Attack. There are generally two different types of strokes:

  • Ischemic Stroke: In types of strokes, the brain cell death in an affected area is caused due to the lack of blood supply to a part of the brain because of a blockage in a blood vessel. This is one of the most common strokes that affects almost 80% of the total number of stroke patients worldwide.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: These types of strokes are caused by the rupturing of a blood vessel that bleeds into the brain. The leaked blood then causes increased pressure on the brain, thus leading to cell death in the affected portion. This is a rare type of stroke but can be dangerous and can cause a person's death.

What are the symptoms?

A stroke needs to be diagnosed and treated immediately to reduce the damage it can cause to your brain. So, here are the essential signs and symptoms of a stroke that you must look out for:

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  • Sudden loss of vision.
  • Abnormal speech or difficulty in speaking to someone.
  • Unstable walking or loss of balance.
  • Sudden loss of energy to even lift your hands.
  • Sudden chronic headache without any cause.

Lifestyle-related factors that increase your risk

Risk factors are the behaviors or traits that make you more susceptible to develop a disease or condition. Having one or more risk factors doesn't really mean that you will definitely develop a condition, but it surely means that you are more prone to develop one. A stroke can lead to severe repercussions. Hence, it is very important to take small but effective steps that can prevent the chances of having a stroke. Here are 5 such lifestyle-related risk factors that can be modified or tweaked to get rid of the chances to suffer from a stroke.


Smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death. It thickens your blood and causes plaque to build up inside the walls of your arteries. This causes blockages and thus leads to a stroke. Quitting smoking is one of the most crucial lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce your risk of having a stroke.


Being overweight or obese are the leading causes of developing hypertension and diabetes, the two main risk factors for stroke. When you gain weight, your body's metabolism changes and thus creates issues like high cholesterol and excess circulation of lipids. Over time, this damages the blood vessels present in your brain and heart. This increases your chances of having a stroke. Exercising regularly and maintaining a proper diet is important to keep a check on your weight.


As discussed, diabetes increases the risk of having a stroke, especially because of the damaging effects it has on the small blood vessels. A person suffering from diabetes has a high blood glucose level that leads to the formation of fatty deposits inside the walls of the blood vessels, which in a way restricts blood flow and thus creates pressure which causes a stroke.

Hypertension or high blood pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the primary causes of stroke. To avoid the risk of stroke, you must control your blood pressure. A healthy person's blood pressure should be less than 140/90. You can achieve this by tweaking a few bad habits into good ones. Reduce your salt intake, avoid foods that can cause high cholesterol such as cheese, ice-cream or fats foods. Exercising regularly can also have a positive impact.

Alcohol consumption

Consumption of alcohol has many side effects. And, one of them is a stroke. Limit the amount of alcohol that you drink to reduce the chances of getting a stroke.

While the above five are the major contributing factors of a brain stroke, it is advisable to make necessary changes in your daily lifestyle to reduce down the chances of having a stroke. Also, consult your doctor in case of any significant symptoms.

NOTE: The tips and the suggestions mentioned above are general information. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet. Happy World Stroke Day! Stay healthy, stay fit.

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