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7 Ways To Prevent A Stroke


By Joshua Ng (Pharmacist, Caring Pharmacy) | Malaysia | Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:41pm

 7 WAYS TO PREVENT A STROKE
Stroke is 3rd highest killer in Malaysia. 11% of all deaths in Malaysia are associated with a stroke1.  Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from a stroke:

  1. Control your blood pressure2
    • Target: < 130/80mmHg
    • How to achieve this:
      1. Exercise
      2. Diet: reduce salt intake & avoid high cholesterol foods
      3. Seek medical treatment if BP is >140/90mmHg
  2. Control your blood sugar2, 3
    • Target:(Targets may differ in certain groups such as elderly, concurrent diseases, etc.)
      1. HbA1c < 6.5%
      2. Fasting blood sugar: 4.4 – 7.0 mmol/L
      3. Blood sugar 90 minutes after food: 4.4 – 8.5 mmol/L
    • How to achieve this:
      1. Monitor your blood sugar, i.e. A1c to monitor every 3-6 months
      2. Get a home blood sugar monitoring device for daily or weekly monitoring
      3. Adopt a healthy diet, exercise and take anti-diabetic medicines if prescribed
  3. Control your cholesterol2
    • Target: LDL level
      1. High risk: <2.6mmol/L
      2. 1 or more risk factor: <3.4mmol/L
      3. Low risk: <4.2mmol/L
    • How to achieve this:
      1. Identify with your doctor your risk profile for stroke
      2. Monitor your cholesterol blood levels every 3-6 months
      3. Adopt a healthy diet, exercise and take anti-cholesterol medicines if prescribed
  4. Quit smoking2
    • Target: Quit smoking
    • How to achieve this:
      1. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice
      2. Use quit-smoking aids such as nicotine gum or patches
      3. Attend smoking cessation counseling at a clinic or at a pharmacy
      4. Don’t give up, most smokers need several attempts to successfully kick the habit
  5. Limit your alcohol2
    • Target: Avoid excessive alcohol intake
    • How to achieve this:
      1. UK guidelines mentions to not consume more than 14 units of alcohol a week4 [14 units is equivalent to 6 pints (6x473ml) of 4% beer, or 6 glasses (6x250ml) of 13% of wine]
      2. Don’t drink too much at one go – spread your drinking over 3 or more days over a week4
  6. Exercise more5, 6
    • Target:
      1. Moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week,  
      2. 30 minutes per exercise session
    • How to achieve this:
      1. Make exercise as part of your daily or weekly routine
      2. Find an exercise partner or group
      3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator if you can
      4. Exercise at a level which you are breathing hard but you can still speak
  7. Weight control5, 7
    • Target: BMI: 18.5 – 25 kg/m2
    • How to achieve this:
      1. Identify your BMI with an online calculator
      2. Diet:  Try not to eat more than 1500 to 2000 calories a day in order to maintain body weight
      3. Exercise
 
Reference:
  1. World Health Rankings. Malaysia: Stroke. (Source: WHO 2017). Web link: http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/malaysia-stroke
  2. Clinical Practice Guidelines. Management of ischaemic stroke. 2nd Edition (2012). Ministry of Health Malaysia.
  3. Clinical Practice Guidelines. Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. 5th Edition (2016). Ministry of Health Malaysia.
  4. UK Chief Medical Officer’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines. Williams Lea. (August 2016). Department of Health, UK.
  5. 7 Things you can do to prevent a stroke. Havard Health Publishing, Havard Medical School (November 2017). Web link: https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/8-things-you-can-do-to-prevent-a-stroke
  6. Malaysian Dietary Guidelines. Ministry of Health, Malaysia (2013) Message 3: Be physically active every day.
  7. Malaysian Dietary Guidelines. Ministry of Health, Malaysia (2013) Message 2: Maintain body weight in a healthy range
 

 

 






 

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