Understanding Stroke

Understanding Stroke

There are around 3,600 stroke admissions to Essex hospitals every year in the UK.  Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. When a stroke happens the supply of blood to the brain is restricted or stopped and brain cells begin to die. This can lead to and acquired brain injury and sometimes death.

The recent sudden death of actor Luke Perry at the age of 52 is a stark reminder that strokes can affect anyone at any time, regardless of age and lifestyle.

Over a third of Community Support clients have suffered a stroke

At Headway Essex, stroke is by far the largest single cause of brain injury for people who receive our support. Last year 107 people (35%) who used our Community Support Service had suffered a stroke, leaving lasting effects.

How Headway Essex is helping

We see the devastating impact a stroke can have on peoples’ lives affecting both the person who suffered the stroke and their family. At Headway Essex, we work with them to help them to overcome and cope with the impact.

Our wider role is to educate the community on the causes and effects of acquired brain injury and how to reduce the risk.

Reducing the risk of stroke    

Diagnosing and controlling high blood pressure is a key factor to reducing the risk of stroke. According to a report by the British Heart Foundation, it is estimated that there are 5.7 million adults living in the UK with undiagnosed blood pressure.

The most important thing is to get your blood pressure checked by your GP regularly and if you have high blood pressure, follow the advice of your GP to reduce it. As my GP once explained to me, ‘think of it as an insurance policy to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.’

There are also lifestyle tweaks that you can make to naturally reduce your blood pressure or avoid high blood pressure, which include more exercise, a healthy diet and cutting down on your salt intake.

Anyone at any age can make some small changes now that could have a major positive effect on health later on. Stroke admissions to Essex hospitals shows an upwards trend. We would love to see that trend reverse.

Please share this with your friends and family. And if you or a loved one is living with the effects of a stroke, please call our Community Support Team on 01206 768797 for further information on how we can help.


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