Throughout May, the Stroke Association are calling for everyone to ‘Make May Purple’ in order to raise awareness of the causes of Strokes and the impact they can have on people’s lives and the lives of their family and friends.
Strokes occur when a blood vessel in the skull bursts and bleeds into and around the brain, or when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
Dr Andy Knox, GP Executive Lead of Health and Wellbeing at Morecambe Bay CCG, said;
“A stroke can happen to anyone, at any age, so it’s vital to understand your own risk of a stroke. Things like smoking, drinking too much alcohol and eating too much salt can all increase your chances of having a Stroke, but there are small lifestyle changes that can help to lower your risk.
“If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition known to increase your risk of stroke – such as atrial fibrillation, diabetes or high blood pressure, ensuring the condition is well controlled is also important in helping prevent strokes.
“The best way to help prevent a stroke is to eat a low-fat and high-fibre diet, including plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains. Pairing this with around 2-3 hours of moderate intensity exercise every week, such as cycling or fast walking, can help to reduce your risk of having a Stroke. Stopping smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink will also help to lower your risk of problems like clogged arteries, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”
Read more about the causes of Strokes, and what you can do to prevent them on the NHS Choices website.
In support of the Bay Stroke Prevention plan, UHMBT’s Occupational Health team have also introduced a blood pressure initiative, where all UHMBT staff are encouraged to have blood pressure and pulse checks to identify any high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation. They are also offering mini MOT’s where lifestyle can be discussed in more detail.