Recent statistics suggest that strokes cause more than 6,000 deaths each year in Scotland.

Causes of strokes

Strokes are caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain; some may be mild while others can be very serious and potentially fatal. Strokes are most commonly caused by clots and blocked arteries (ischaemic stroke) or an aneurysm (haemorrhagic stroke); these conditions are commonly associated to obesity, poor diet, smoking, stress and a lack of exercise.

Symptoms of strokes

A stroke should always be dealt with by means of emergency treatment; you should look out for the following signs and contact the emergency services as quickly as possible:

  • Face: has the face fallen on one side and is the patient able to smile?
  • Arms: is the patient able to life both arms?
  • Speech: is the patient able to speak normally, is their speech slurred or slow or have they lost the ability to speak altogether?
  • Time: contact the emergency services immediately.

If a person has any of the symptoms above it is likely that they have had a stroke and they should be checked out by medical professionals as quickly as possible.

Preventing strokes

It is hugely beneficial to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly; this will keep your body and mind fit and healthy and help to stave off infections and diseases. Choosing not to smoke or drink heavily will also significantly reduce the likelihood of suffering from a stroke.