Prevention is better than cure

By Dr Charlotte Ridout, Deben Private GP Services Ltd.

Strokes and TIAs (transient ischaemic attacks or ‘mini strokes’) are commonplace and can be devastating.

Published in UK Director Magazines Spring 24
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Ask the Medical Expert:
Dr Charlotte Ridout, Deben Private GP Services

How can we go about our lives and put preventative measures in place to lessen the risk of stroke or TIA?

Nobody’s Perfect

Well, the simple answer is to have a perfect BMI, don’t age, don’t drink alcohol or caffeine, don’t smoke, don’t experience stress, eat healthily, have regular exercise and … basically, don’t have any fun in life! Let’s be honest – that is nearly impossible in today’s busy world.

At Deben Private GP Services, we know no one is perfect but, essentially, it’s about lessening your overall risk. We obviously can’t change your age, born-gender or family history, BUT we can lessen your chances of having diabetes, your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and so on.

What is a Stroke or Tia?

A stroke is deemed as a ‘condition of presumed vascular origin, characterized by rapidly developing signs of changes in cerebral function which last longer than 24 hours or lead to death’.

A TIA is a ‘sudden onset, focal neurological deficit which has completely resolved within 24 hours and cannot be explained by another condition such as hypoglycaemia’.

Here are a few facts around strokes and TIAs:

  • They can be caused by an embolus (clot/fat/other) or a bleed.
  • There are about 100,000 strokes in the UK each year.
  • The incidence of 1st ever TIA is 50 per 100,000 people per year.
  • In the UK, there are approximately 1.3 million people living with stroke.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability, causing about 38,000 deaths in the UK each year.
  • Strokes are occurring at a younger age – between 2007 and 2016, over a third of strokes occurred in adults aged between 40 and 69 years.*
    For more in-depth information, you can visit: stroke.org.uk/what-is-stroke/types-of-stroke/transient-ischaemic-attack.

F.A.S.T.

There are a number of symptoms and signs that you might recognise from the TV advert acronym FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time): Have you/others noticed your face has drooped or your smile is wonky? Have any limbs become weak or useless? Has your speech become slurred? If it’s a YES to any or all of these, IT’S TIME TO CALL 999!

Lessening Your Risk

Here a Deben Private GP Services, we have two phenomenal clinicians (a cardiovascular-loving nurse, Amanda, and one GP, me), who are ready and waiting to help you understand more and manage the risks. We can offer fasting blood tests, high cholesterol and diabetes checks, height and weight measurements, BMI calculations and ECGs, along with examinations, medical history reviews, and treatment. We are able to fit around your work/life schedules and can do as much or as little as you need. We are also very happy to offer a cuppa and update on other services we can offer you and/or your team/families.

Main image credit https://www.neurology.org/doi/10.1212/WNL.0000000000201567

* (https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/stroke-tia/background-information/prevalence/)

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Get in Touch

RN Amanda Snelling and Dr Charlotte Ridout are partners at Deben Private GP Services Ltd in Woodbridge. Now you know a little more about stroke and TIA, you may be interested in a part or full MOT. To book an appointment, at a time which suits you, contact:

T: 01394 332555
E: enquiries@debenprivategp.co.uk
Or visit www.debenprivategp.co.uk

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