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Obesity And Stroke - Is There A Link? Read On To Find Out

By: Lifestyle Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: October 20, 2022, 12:03 IST

New Delhi, India

A healthy lifestyle not only helps you manage these conditions and lose weight, it also works to reduce your risk of stroke

A healthy lifestyle not only helps you manage these conditions and lose weight, it also works to reduce your risk of stroke

A healthy lifestyle not only helps you manage these conditions and lose weight, it also works to reduce your risk of stroke

While age is considered a risk factor for stroke, however, more than a third of all strokes are seen in people under 65. And though some people may be inclined to having a stroke, a healthy weight and lifestyle are key to lower the risk of stroke.

Studies show that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) are at a greater risk of stroke at any age. “Being overweight is known to cause high blood pressure, which is one of the leading causes of stroke. Besides, excess weight leads to metabolic syndrome characterized by high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high triglycerides. The more metabolic risk factors people are suffering from, the greater their risk of stroke," says Dr. Neha Kapoor, senior consultant and head – Neurology, Asian Hospital, Faridabad.

Over time, these conditions can damage the blood vessels of the brain and the heart and increase the risk of formation of blood clot that might travel to the brain resulting in stroke.

Overweight people are likely to have metabolic syndrome that increases their risk of a stroke, however some other unexplained links between higher BMIs and stroke are also possible factors. This shows that obesity alone may put you at a higher risk of stroke. Thus, if you are on the higher side of the scale, it is highly recommended that you shed the extra kilos.

Dr Kapoor notes down some healthy habits that may reduce your risk of a stroke. Most of the risk factors for stroke, including obesity are reversible. This means that shedding extra weight and managing other risk factors like high blood sugar can lower your risk of stroke. Losing weight starts with a healthy lifestyle which includes the following:

Regular workout

Regular dose of exercise benefits people of all ages, it is not only important for weight loss but is a cornerstone of heart health. It is recommended to do moderate exercise at least 150 minutes each week. However, before you jump to an intense workout, do consult your healthcare provider to make sure it is safe.

Healthy diet

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is key to losing weight and protecting yourself from stroke. Check the foods that will help to lose weight and reduce risk factors of stroke.

Do Eat

• Antioxidant rich foods like broccoli, grapes

• Peas, beans and other foods high in protein

• Leafy greens like spinach that are packed with fiber

• Foods rich in omega-3 fats like Salmon, mackerel

• High fiber vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage

• Dairy products such as Greek yogurt

Restrict having too much sodium, added sugars, fried and greasy food, processed foods, white bread, pasta, etc. In other words, while it is good to eat less, do not starve yourself as it can eventually cause you to binge on unhealthy food.

Monitor your health

No matter where you are on the weighing scale, it is essential to monitor your health especially, if you have metabolic syndrome or other conditions that increase your risk of stroke.

If you are suffering from known health conditions, take your medications regularly and go for regular health check-ups.

Finally, it is important for all people – particularly those who are overweight need to be aware of the signs of stroke, which include:

• A sudden headache

• Confusion

• Dizzy feeling

• Slurring of words

• Feeling of weakness or numbness in your arm, face or leg

• Trouble with walking

If you suspect having stroke, call or visit the nearest emergency room immediately

Shedding extra kilos can lower your risk of stroke. Besides, it also works to improve many of the secondary conditions associated with stroke that contribute to strokes. “A BMI higher than 25 indicates that you are on the higher side of the scale and it gets more higher, your risk of high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure also increases. Each of these conditions puts you at a greater risk of strokes," adds Dr Kapoor.

A healthy lifestyle not only helps you manage these conditions and lose weight, it also works to reduce your risk of stroke. But before you embark on your journey to weight loss, make sure to consult your healthcare provider to know if it is safe for you.

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first published:October 20, 2022, 12:03 IST
last updated:October 20, 2022, 12:03 IST
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