Specialist treatment from leading consultants to reduce your risk of stroke and safeguard your future health
More than a hundred thousand people have strokes in the UK every year. Strokes can cause disability, impair your physical and mental function, and put your life at risk. However, you and your physician can work together to reduce your risk of stroke. London Medical can provide cutting-edge treatment and specialist support to maintain your brain health and prevent stroke.
Regular health checks, control of chronic conditions including hypertension and diabetes and lifestyle changes can help prevent a future stroke. London Medical’s consultants are world-leaders in stroke prevention. Whether you are concerned about your personal risk factors or have suffered transient ischaemic attacks, they can assess your risk for future stroke and provide treatment and support to help you keep your brain healthy.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is brain damage caused by an interruption to the blood supply. A stroke is usually caused by the rupture of a blood vessel or a clot lodging in one of the blood vessels in the brain. This leads to a disruption to the essential supply of blood to the brain cells; they are starved of oxygen and without prompt emergency treatment can die.
The physical and mental effects of a stroke depend on the extent of the damage, the area of the brain affected and the speed with which treatment was given.
Who is at risk of stroke?
Anyone can develop a stroke, but some people are more at risk. Your health, your genetic heritage and the way you live your life can all affect your chance of having a stroke. Risk factors include:
- Age: Stroke is more common in people that are over 55 and the risk increases with advancing age.
- Existing medical conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation and diabetes.
- Lifestyle: Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, obesity and an unhealthy diet can increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke.
- Family background: A history of stroke in close relatives.
- Ethnicity: Stroke is more common in people of South Asian, African or Caribbean backgrounds.
- Women on the oral contraceptive pill have an increased risk of developing clots and a slightly greater risk of stroke.
- People who have migraines with auras.
If you are worried about your risk factors, or if you have had a TIA or stroke, London Medical can help you make changes to improve your brain health and reduce your risk of having a stroke in the future
Investigation of stroke risk at London Medical
London Medical offers a comprehensive assessment of your risk of having a stroke. A range of the latest tests and techniques are available in our laboratory and state-of-the-art imaging suite. Your consultant will take a detailed history and perform a careful examination. They will then arrange tests, which could include:
- Screening for diabetes.
- Blood pressure monitoring
- ECG to check the heart rate, rhythm and electrical activity.
- Ambulatory ECG to check for atrial fibrillation and arrhythmias.
- Comprehensive cholesterol and lipid profile: London Medical provides cutting-edge cholesterol and lipid testing to help assess your risk of cardiac disease. In addition to traditional cholesterol testing, London Medial exclusively offers LDL particle number analysis, one of the most powerful tools for predicting heart attack risk.
- Carotid artery ultrasound: Scanning the carotid artery in the neck is an effective, low-radiation way of measuring the lining thickness and the size of any fatty plaques. A coronary artery calcium score is also assessed and these results are used in conjunction with the findings from the cholesterol blood tests to provide an overall assessment of personal risk.
Stroke protection at London Medical
London Medical’s consultants are leaders in stroke prevention. Using the findings of your history and examination together with the results of your investigations they will tailor a stroke prevention programme to help you stay healthy and well. This could include:
Control of chronic conditions
Your consultant will treat any diabetes, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and raised cholesterol.
Stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and trying to manage stress can all help reduce blood pressure and minimise stroke risk.
Eating a balanced diet, reducing dietary salt and maintaining a healthy BMI can reduce blood pressure and protect against stroke.
London Medical offers expert support from many different specialities, all under one roof. Whether you need a personalised weight management programme, nutritional advice or support with giving up smoking, London Medical can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
CVA stands for cerebrovascular accident. It’s the medical term for a stroke and the terms can be used interchangeably. In many ways a stroke is like a ‘brain attack’ because brain damage is caused by an interruption in the blood supply causing cell death, as happens in a heart attack.
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