Awareness,  Health Conditions,  nutrition

National Stroke Week: reducing your risk

September 12th to 18th is National Stroke Week. This is an Australian awareness week, however as strokes don’t discriminate between nationalities cardiovascular health is important for everyone.


Some scary statistics

In Australia stroke ranked 3rd in the list of leading causes of death. According to the Stroke Foundation there were over 56,000 strokes in Australia in 2017 alone, a rate of 1 every 9 minutes!

While the number of deaths from strokes is worrying, strokes don’t always result in death. In 2017 there were roughly 475,000 survivors of stroke living in Australia. When you consider that 65% of survivors live with disabilities severe enough to affect daily living, the impact of stroke is clearly far-reaching. Remember, these figures are for Australia alone.


What is a stroke?

Strokes are caused by either haemorrhages in the brain, or a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the brain (cerebral infarction). Both damage or kill areas of the brain leading to disability or in many cases death.

Around 65% of stroke survivors have difficulty speaking, decreased mental clarity & less control of movement, or even paralysis.

The majority of stroke victims are elderly, but around 30% of survivors are younger than 65, still working age. Still relatively young. Too young.


What are the symptoms?

People suffering from stroke experience  a range of symtoms including dizziness, headache, confusion & numbness.


If you are worried someone is having a stroke, use FAST.

  • Is any part of their Face drooping?
  • Does their Arm feel weak?
  • Are they having trouble with their Speech?
  • If the answer is yes, it’s Time to call emergency services.


Risk factors

Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity & diabetes. The good news is that you can make dietary and lifestyle changes to decrease your risk of stroke.


It’s not all doom & gloom

Stroke is preventable. In fact 80% of strokes could be prevented, mostly through key changes in nutrition & lifestyle. That’s right people, you have the power to change your fate!


Decrease your blood pressure by eating less salt.

Reduce your cholesterol by eating less saturated fat.

Eat less sugar & exercise to get Diabetes under control.

Eating less fat & sugar, reducing overall energy intake & exercising will help with weight loss.


If you are suffering from any of these conditions I would recommend seeing your GP & implementing an action plan & reduce your risk of stroke.

Do you have anything you’d like to add, leave a comment below. 

If you or someone you know has suffered a stroke please leave a comment below sharing your experience. 


Use the links below to find out more information about each of these risk factors & reduce your own risk of stroke.

Obesity: Better Health Channel Victoria – Mayo Clinic – Health Direct

High Blood Pressure: Health Direct – Heart Foundation

High Cholesterol: – National Health Service – The Heart Foundation

Diabetes: Diabetes Australia – Diabetes UK



Kathryn Carter

I’m Kath, qualified nutritionist & personal trainer. I believe a personalised, flexibile approach to gaining physical & mental well-being is necessary for achieving sustainable lifestyle changes that support both these aspects of health. In the near future I will be offering a range of nutrition & lifestyle education services designed to gain the life my clients want in a way that works for them.

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