High Blood Pressure and Stroke

by | Jan 4, 2024

Explore the implications of high blood pressure with the increased likelihood of stroke. Discover proactive measures, lifestyle changes, and medical interventions to manage blood pressure effectively.

doctor checking blood pressure of senior woman

Introduction to Stroke

 

People from many walks of life experience strokes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), fifteen million people worldwide experience a stroke every year. It can be a frightening and life-altering experience.  A blocked artery or a ruptured artery is usually the cause of a stroke. It happens when something blocks the blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel hemorrhages.

After a stroke, there is a lot of new information to learn and healthcare issues to take care of. To begin healing, you will have to address health issues that contributed to the stroke to prevent any further damage. You may need to make lifestyle changes as you adjust, such as walking with a cane or taking new high-blood pressure medication. 

Can High Blood Pressure Increase Stroke Risk?

While almost anyone, at any age, can have a stroke, one thing that many strokes have in common is high blood pressure. Nearly 54% of these strokes are caused by high blood pressure, a common and treatable condition. Most people don’t know they have high blood pressure unless they check it regularly or a doctor flags it at a check-up.

High blood pressure can increase the chance of having a stroke because it weakens the blood vessels in the brain, making them more prone to blockages or ruptures.

High blood pressure is considered to be one of the most critical risk factors for stroke. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or reduced. When a person has uncontrolled high blood pressure, the risk of blood vessels getting blocked or rupturing, causing a stroke, increases.

If you live with high blood pressure, it’s essential to keep it under control to lower your stroke risk. Read more about the causes and risk factors when it comes to stroke prevention, some of which you were born with and some that are controllable.

Managing High Blood Pressure

Managing high blood pressure usually means a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Dietary changes like starting a low-sodium diet can help control blood pressure. Limit salt intake, which means don’t eat out every day or eat processed food. Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor your food, and check food labels for sodium content. A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Doing physical activities like walking, swimming, or cycling for 15-30 minutes most days of the week can help lower blood pressure. (Read our informative blog post, “A Guide to Best Foods for Stroke Patients and Survivors” to reduce the risk of stroke.)

Do you have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure? You might. Some people have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure due to certain medical conditions and other risk factors, including:

  • Those with a family history: If your parents or close relatives have high blood pressure, there’s a higher chance you may develop it too.
  • Age: As we grow older, our blood pressure tends to rise. Therefore, older individuals are more at risk of having high blood pressure.
  • Lifestyle choices: Unhealthy habits like eating fatty foods, being physically inactive, smoking, or excessive alcohol consumption can all contribute to high blood pressure.
  • Certain medical conditions: Having conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or sleep apnea can increase your risk of experiencing high blood pressure. Managing these issues and following your doctor’s recommendations can help prevent strokes.

By making positive changes in your lifestyle and monitoring your blood pressure, you can effectively manage high blood pressure and protect your overall health.

High Blood Pressure and Strokes

When the blood pressure in your arteries is consistently high, it puts extra strain on the blood vessels, making them more susceptible to damage. Over time, this can lead to the development of blood clots, narrowed arteries, or weakened vessel walls. These conditions increase the likelihood of a stroke occurring.

Understanding blood pressure levels is essential for managing your health. Blood pressure is measured using the top number (systolic pressure) and the bottom number (diastolic pressure). A regular blood pressure reading is generally around 120/80 mmHg. The systolic pressure represents the force exerted on the artery walls when the heart contracts, while the diastolic pressure is the force when the heart is at rest between beats. It is considered high when blood pressure consistently exceeds 130/80 mmHg. Doctors may prescribe medication to help you lower it if it is higher than that.

After a stroke, it’s very important to set blood pressure goals to reduce the risk of recurrence. The specific goals are based on factors such as age, overall health, and whether there are any additional medical conditions present. Doctors want to aim for blood pressure in the healthy range of less than 130/80 mmHg. Your stroke specialist will work with you on goals for your readings and may ask you to continue to monitor your blood pressure daily at home.

Improving and Controlling Your Blood Pressure

Most people who have had a stroke due to uncontrolled high blood pressure will need to take medications. Doctors often prescribe medications such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, or other medications to help lower blood pressure. Medication is usually prescribed alongside lifestyle changes that will help you stay healthier. Doctors often recommend 30 minutes of exercise daily and weight loss if you are overweight.

Most people with high blood pressure are asked to avoid caffeine, including coffee and energy drinks. It’s also recommended that people with high blood pressure follow a low-sodium diet. WHO estimates that 1.89 million deaths each year are associated with consuming too much sodium. Sodium is a known cause of high blood pressure, which leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes. Some doctors will recommend the Dash Diet  (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The diet emphasizes eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.

Your doctor will help you decide what lifestyle changes, medications, or other therapeutics will help you live your best life as you recover from a stroke. We’re here to help you take care of your health. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you start to take control of your health and prevent future strokes.

Stroke and Healthy Eating

Learn how to avoid stroke by eating healthy. Discover tips and strategies for healthier food choices and improving your well-being.

We Support Your Brain Health at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic

 

By working with an experienced stroke specialist in Singapore, you can decrease your risk of a stroke and manage potential risk factors more effectively. Reach out to the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic to connect with our specialized stroke clinic and Dr. Manish Taneja. We handle various stroke conditions and treatments and will work closely with you and your loved ones to create a tailored plan.

Consult a Stroke Specialist in Singapore

 

Dr. Manish Taneja, is an expert in endovascular and image guided neurointerventional procedures of brain and spine. It’s important to find a stroke specialist and doctor you can trust in Singapore. He has special interest in treatment of brain aneurysms, stroke and vascular malformations. Come in for a further evaluation. Arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our stroke specialist.

 

Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Stroke Resources

Transient Ischemic Attack: What You Need to Know

Not all people get strokes. However, for those who are well, warning signs of stroke can still happen. You might have heard of Transient Ischemic Stroke (TIA), which can lead to a future possible stroke.

Friends making salad

We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management

 

Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischaemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.

Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available.

Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs

Brain Aneurysm Resources

Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of  a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.

Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar

Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.

Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various neurological conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our neurointervention specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.