The major reason for a brain stroke is the lack of oxygen and patients often lose the ability to speak and have trouble functioning in routine activities due to huge disturbances in memory. According to research, in India brain stroke is a leading cause of death and disability among the youth population.
Approximately 20 million people globally suffer from brain stroke every year, 5 million of whom cannot survive the disease. While there are many reasons for the severe condition, a sedentary lifestyle and the absence of proper diet and workout routines play a major role but according to health experts, reducing the burden on the brain and living a healthy life can reduce the effect and even the chances of catching a stroke.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Aishwarya Raj, Practicing Clinical Psychologist in Delhi –NCR, shared, “It can be challenging to continuously make healthy decisions in today’s world without slipping up occasionally. It’s crucial to develop coping mechanisms for the stress associated with maintaining good health and to show compassion to oneself when that behavior lapses occasionally. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be another added stressor in our lives. A healthy lifestyle can be achieved with the simplest of choices that one can make in their life on a daily basis.”
She suggested, “Increase your physical activity, Adjust your posture, make smarter choices more often to enhance your brain health, Boost your happiness while also stimulating your brain, Take care of underlying medical issues and practice mindfulness. Overall, it is beneficial to maintain balance, make an effort to live as healthily as possible and recognise that it can be challenging, if not impossible, to always make the right decisions. Discovering what healthy means to you can help you live a balanced lifestyle in the most sustainable way possible.”
Dr Sankalp Surya Mohan, Sr Consultant Neurology at Paras Hospitals Gurgaon, advised, “Go for healthy homemade snacks, dry fruits, and cut fruits to munch on in the evening. Adulterated and fried foods do no good and have long-term effects on the body. Foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help eradicate a lot of issues. Keeping a healthy weight as per the BMI and having an adequate amount of sleep with a proper workout is best, to begin with.”
He cautioned, “The ongoing trend of excessive stress, smoking and alcohol intake has invited many critical conditions among people. Focusing on one’s mental health and constantly interacting with the social circle can also make a big difference to clear the clutter from one’s head and maintain a healthy brain. Every minute millions of neurons die in stroke. Hence it is important to recognise the symptoms early and go to the nearest stroke-ready center. Symptoms are Befast i.e. B- Balance, E- Eyes, F- Face, A- Arm, S- Speech, T- Time. Let us maintain our health by reducing the burden on our brains.”
Diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or high cholesterol can affect the brain disease course. Asserting that having a healthy brain that functions well is important for our daily lifestyle, Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Senior Psychiatrist and Founder of Manasthali, recommended –
1. Keep as active as you can: Higher levels of aerobic fitness are associated with faster information processing and preserved brain tissue volume.
2. Keep your weight under control: Obesity is associated with poor brain outcomes and makes us prone to many brain-related conditions like multiple sclerosis.
3. Keep your mind active: Education, reading, hobbies and artistic or creative pastimes help to protect against cognitive problems when pursued over a lifetime
4. Avoid smoking: Cigarette smoking in people is associated with decreased brain volume as well as with higher relapse rates, increased disability progression and more cognitive problems.
5. Don’t stop other medicines your doctor has prescribed.