Focus on Strokes: After Hours GP Advice
Posted: Mar 20, 2019
Someone has a stroke in Australia every nine minutes. A stroke can have an extremely debilitating effect, with 65% of people who had a stroke ending up with a disability which impedes on daily activities. Fortunately, the risk of a stroke can be reduced by adopting a healthy lifestyle and making some basic lifestyle changes. So, here the After Hours GP team offer some professional advice.
The Stroke Basics
When the blood supply is stopped to the brain, it causes a stroke. This is due to a burst or blocked artery that disrupts the flow of blood to the brain. Unfortunately, the brain relies on constant supplies of blood for nutrients and oxygen and a lack of blood will trigger brain cell death. A stroke can cause permanent damage or even death, but the chances of minimising damage and increasing the likelihood of surviving are increased with receiving medical attention quickly.
According to Stroke Foundation data, there are several risk factors for stroke that include being overweight, smoking, having a poor diet, regular excessive alcohol intake, and not exercising. There is also an increased risk if you have certain other medical conditions affecting your blood circulation. For example, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, and high cholesterol. You are also at a greater risk if you have a family history or over the age of 65.
Identifying Stroke Symptoms
Since it is so crucial for a stroke victim to receive immediate medical attention, you should familiarize yourself with how to identify the signs of a stroke. Fortunately, there is an acronym to help you: FAST. Face, Arms, Speech, Time. The FAST test has been determined by The Stroke Foundation as an easy way to spot the signs of a stroke. You should ask the following questions:
- Face; Has their mouth dropped
- Arms; Can they lift both arms
- Speech; Is speech slurred, can they understand you?
- Time; It is crucial to quickly get help if any of the above signs are present.
The Brain Foundation states that "time lost is brain lost," so if you suspect someone may be having a stroke, you need to act immediately as it is a medical emergency.
A study published in The Lancet showed that over 80% of strokes in the world could be prevented. Although you cannot alter your age, genetics or family history, it is possible to reduce your risk with healthy lifestyle choices. The After Hours GP team recommend choosing nutrient rich foods, such as vegetables and pulses, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, exercise regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.
You can also speak to your After Hours GP for advice on reducing your risk. The doctor can assess your stroke risk and discuss the best ways to improve your health.
If you have concerns about your stroke risk or other medical issues and would like to speak to an after hours GP, Perth residents should speak to us. The After Hours GP team would be delighted to discuss any medical issues and provide advice to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risks.
If you would like further guidance to improve your health and wellbeing from an after hours GP, Perth residents should call us.