Strokes are unfortunately becoming more common, whilst this is a worrying trend what's even more so is the general malaise of the population about how to prevent them.
Yes we have the FAST acronym (Face Arms Speech Telephone) which is good for what to do when someone has a stroke, but aren't we told that prevention is always better than treatment?
Strokes can have a devastating impact on the mobility, cognitive function and ability to live independently for the individual, so let's work on how we stop them.
Firstly are strokes preventable? 40% of the time they are entirely preventable, well how? According to Joe Korner, a Director at the Stroke Association, controlling high blood pressure is the key.
Now I have to admit blood pressure is something I did not fully understand for a long time, but with the wealth of blood pressure monitors now available reletively inexpensively (prices online range for $60 upwards) you don't even need to navigate your GP's byzantine booking system to make an appointment, this is something you can easily monitor and it's something you can easily change.
So how do we keep blood pressure in check, well Mark Twain (incorrectly I might add) is given credit for saying "there are two certainties in life: death and taxes", well blood pressure rising with age could be added to that list.
It's unfortunately a fact that as we age we have to make subtle changes to combat this gradual increase, but forewarned is forearmed and ignorance is no excuse when it comes to your health so you are now on notice.
So what's our top tip for lower blood pressure? Reduce your salt intake, that's it, just think twice before sprinkling the white stuff over your chips or adding it to your next bolognaise, Blood Pressure UK suggests a 2g (2 measly grams) drop in our daily salt intake could save 9000 lives (given our similar diets/obesity levels adjusted for Australia population levels this works out at 4000 Australians saved every year for a no brainer of a dietary decision).
So Google Blood Pressure Monitors, buy one, monitor, take steps to improve, live longer.