As more than 200 people took to the streets for a walkathon on World Stroke Day, 60-year-old SC Bhatt, one of the participants, recollected the value of a healthy lifestyle.
When Bhatt suffered a stroke, he was workaholic, doing double shifts of his job after taking voluntary retirement from Indian Air Force at the age of 34. Today, he says, he is a changed man, who has realised the wear and tear effect of a stressful, unhealthy work schedule.
“When I suffered a stroke, I was working day and night shift as a medical assistant in Noida. I realised the perils of an unhealthy lifestyle and resigned the job. Soon according to doctor’s advice, I stopped eating fried and spicy food. I introduced morning and evening walks in my daily schedule and stopped drinking alcohol, even occasionally,” said Bhatt.
Like Bhatt, hundreds of senior citizens and middle-aged people shared their story in the rally, organised by Fortis Hospital, Noida, to create awareness among people regarding heart ailments.
Fifty-six-year-old Madhu Rawat from Indirapuram claims that when she suffered a stroke in 2014, she had no idea that her lifestyle would change so drastically. “I was asked to not eat salt for the next six months and had to stop eating oily and spicy food. I started walking in the mornings and evenings. Today, I have lost 11 kilograms and feel much healthier,” said Rawat.
Bhatt and Rawat had one common advice for those who share the risk of getting a stroke. “Never avoid seeking medical help. At times, even if we feel uneasiness or pain in our chest or hand, we tend to ignore it. Early medical care and healthy routine are the best ways to beat stroke,” said Bhatt.
According to medical experts, a stroke takes place when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut-off. Without blood, brain cells get damaged and eventually die. The severity of stroke depends on which part of the brain is affected and it can affect a person’s mobility, speech, ability to think and feel.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. According to the World Stroke Organisation, 6.5 million deaths occur due to stroke every year. Also, one in six people is likely to suffer a stroke.
Noida-based doctors believe that genetical causes, heart conditions and modern lifestyle are among the reasons for stroke in younger people.
“Now, we are noticing that people between age group 40-60 are also suffering from strokes. Last month, we had a patient who suffered a massive stroke at the age of 35. Major reasons for stroke are heart conditions, genetic causes and unhealthy lifestyle which consists of stress, exertion, unhealthy food and smoking habits,” said Dr Manish Gupta, executive consultant, neurology, Jaypee Hospital, Noida.
Doctors also insist on immediate medical care to patients of stroke to avoid maximum damage.
“It is imperative for a stroke patient to get to the hospital in the ‘Golden Hour’ i.e. within four-and-a-half hours of the stroke. This is because the medication that is administered within this time span is more effective for busting the clots. For every minute in which the blood flow is not restored, nearly two million additional nerve cells die. Studies have shown that patients who seek help earlier than others are those who have had more intense symptoms,” said Dr Atampreet Singh, Senior Consultant, Fortis Hospital, Noida.