The correct way to prevent stroke in the cold winter

The correct way to prevent stroke in the cold winter

During this period, nine cold days swept through Shanghai with waves of cold air, which can be described as “cold to the bone, freezing to the bone.” Therefore, people are paying more attention to the life-threatening health risks related to cold. Such as stroke. Indeed, there is a certain connection between cold waves and stroke. The cold stress experienced by the human body may trigger a series of physiological changes, including reactions in the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. These changes may have an impact on the risk of stroke.

Stroke is the most common neurological disease, mainly referring to neurological dysfunction caused by cerebral vascular lesions. Cerebrovascular vessels run in the brain, which are equivalent to water pipes in a house. If they are in disrepair over time, they may become clogged or ruptured. Most strokes are caused by blood vessel blockage, that is, ischemic stroke, that is, cerebral infarction. A small part is caused by cerebral hemorrhage caused by rupture of cerebral blood vessels, accounting for about 1/4.

Generally, the causes of ischemic stroke can be divided into five major categories: large-artery atherosclerosis, small-vessel occlusion, cardioembolic, other rare causes, and unknown causes. The causes of hemorrhagic stroke also include many types, such as hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage, amyloidosis-related cerebral hemorrhage, aneurysm-related subarachnoid hemorrhage, etc. Starting from the cause, we actively treat and prevent recurrence, and comprehensive screening after stroke is particularly important.

Under each cause of stroke, there are many risk factors that contribute to the cause. It needs to be emphasized that 80% of stroke risk factors are preventable. In order to help the public master the prevention knowledge of various risk factors, the American Heart Association proposed the “Eight Elements of Life”, including diet, physical activity, smoking cessation (nicotine exposure), sleep health, weight, blood lipids, blood sugar and blood pressure. Implementing and adhering to these eight elements is believed to help people avoid stroke.

Diet: It is recommended to eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Red meat, processed meat, and sugary drinks are considered unhealthy foods and should be eaten less or not at all. High blood pressure is closely related to salt intake, and a low-salt diet can lower blood pressure.

Physical activity: It is recommended that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Physical activity can enhance cardiopulmonary function and is also beneficial to weight control and physical and mental health. Of course, the intensity of activity should vary from person to person, so choose the time and method of exercise that suits you.

Quit smoking (nicotine exposure): Special emphasis is placed on quitting all nicotine exposure, including traditional combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and electronic atomizers. Secondhand smoke exposure also has adverse health effects.

Sleep health: Many studies have shown that too short or too long sleep is related to coronary heart disease, stroke and dementia.

Weight: Keep your body mass index (BMI) below 25 to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

Blood lipids: Among multiple blood lipid indicators, special attention should be paid to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Medication combined with diet and exercise is recommended to control blood lipid levels.

Blood sugar: To judge diabetes, it is generally necessary to check fasting blood sugar and two-hour blood sugar after a meal. A single blood sugar test cannot rule out diabetes. The detection of blood sugar indicators should also be extended to glycated hemoglobin, which can objectively reflect the blood sugar control status of diabetic patients.

Blood pressure: Normal blood pressure is generally lower than 130/80 mmHg, and can fluctuate slightly when experiencing stress, emotion, or fatigue. However, if the blood pressure is greater than 140/90 mmHg repeatedly, it can be diagnosed as hypertension. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Keeping blood pressure within a healthy range reduces stress on the heart, arteries and kidneys. (Dong Yi, deputy chief physician of the Department of Neurology, Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University)

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