Can I reduce my risk if I’ve already had a stroke?

Yes. Although your risk of having a stroke is higher if you have already had a stroke or a TIA (transient ischaemic attack or mini-stroke), you can still make positive choices to reduce your risk. It's important that you take the take the medication that your doctor has prescribed you, go for regular health checks and make positive lifestyle changes.

Ask your doctor about the help and support available to you.

Take prescribed medication

If you have a medical condition that is increasing your risk of stroke, make sure you take the medication you’re prescribed. If you have any questions about your medication, go back to your doctor or pharmacist and ask. 

Tell them if you are worried about side effects, as there will usually be an alternative that you can take. Never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor first.

Regular check-ups

As we age, our arteries become harder and narrower, making them more likely to become blocked. However, some medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can speed up the process and increase your risk of having a stroke. Regular check-ups with your GP, especially as you get older, will pick up on any problems. 

Your GP can test you for the following conditions and give you advice on how to control them:
 

Lifestyle changes

You can help to reduce your risk of a stroke by making some healthy lifestyle choices. Whether it’s your diet, activity levels, smoking or drinking, it’s never too late to make a change

Regularly drinking too much alcohol raises your risk of a stroke.

In the UK, the government advises that to keep health risks low, it’s best to drink no more than 14 units a week, and to spread the units over the week. The limit is the same for men and women.

Smoking doubles your risk of dying from a stroke. But the minute you quit, your risk of a stroke starts to drop right away.

Stopping smoking could be one of the best things you ever do for your health, and there is lots of help available. Giving up isn't easy, but it is worth the effort to improve your health. 

Being overweight makes you over 20% more likely to have a stroke. Being obese puts your risk of a stroke up by 64%.

Extra weight affects your body in many ways, such as raising the risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which are both linked to stroke. 

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help to lower your risk of things like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Even making small changes to your eating habits can make a difference to your overall health, particularly if you have been told that you are at risk of having a stroke or TIA.

Being physically active can help to reduce your risk of a stroke.

Moving around can also help your emotional wellbeing by releasing chemicals into your brain that make you feel better. 

 

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