Diet and Lifestyle after stroke

Hello everyone, I wonder if I may ask for your experiences on receiving information or guidance around healthy diet and lifestyle following a stroke. By way of background, I'm a Stroke Association support co-ordinator and looking to try and address gaps in support or information that would be helpful to the stroke survivors I work with. I have a few questions I wonder if you would mind answering (a big thank you in advance!):

1) Either before or after your stroke, were you prescribed medications for  conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol? If so, were you given any information about how diet and lifestyle can help with managing these conditions?

2) Do you have diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) and is it managed by medication or by diet?

3) Were you given any information following your stroke about eating a healthy diet and how this can help with reducing the risk of having a further stroke? If so, where did the information come from? (e.g. GP, hospital, you found the information on the internet).

4) Were you given any information on how making healthy changes to your lifestyle can help with reducing the risk of having a further stroke (e.g. exercise and movement, relaxation, smoking). If so, where did the information come from?

5) Did you make any changes to your diet and/or lifestyle following your stroke? If so, how easy or difficult was this for you and did you feel confident in making changes? Did you get the information and support you needed to do this?

6) Overall, on a scale of 1-10, how important do you think it is to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle after a stroke (1 is not important, 10 is extremely important).

If you have any other thoughts on this topic, that would also be great.

Thank you if you have taken the time to read and reply.

Good to see you are addressing the issues that you are maybe a questionnaire might be a good idea? 

Yes I agree with last reply, too difficult to answer these questions one by one, so a questionaire form would be appreciated.

I'm so pleased to see that someone is addressing  this matter. I'm  3 years post stroke  and received no information or guidance from my GP or from hospital , despite  spending 12 weeks in a rehab unit. I only came across the Stroke  Association  after searching on line in desperation. I never had a Stroke Co ordinator or any professional  help whatsoever.  

I agree that a Questionaire  would be useful and I would be very happy to help further. I live in Kent and the support available  in this part of the country is virtually  no existent. 

Good luck with this.

Regards Sue

Hi

answers as follows

Q1   No   Q2  No  Q3 Hospital doctor said try to reduce fat/sugar intake.

Q4   No

Q5  Tried very hard but at a time when you are at your lowest trying to come to deal with           all the changes I found I needed comfort food.

Q6   10 I think we all know how important it is, but doing it is so hard.  

Wendy  

 

1) Either before or after your stroke, were you prescribed medications for  conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol? If so, were you given any information about how diet and lifestyle can help with managing these conditions?

Yes to both questions.

2) Do you have diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) and is it managed by medication or by diet?

I have type 2 diabetes and control it by insulin

3) Were you given any information following your stroke about eating a healthy diet and how this can help with reducing the risk of having a further stroke? If so, where did the information come from? (e.g. GP, hospital, you found the information on the internet).

Not that I can recollect

4) Were you given any information on how making healthy changes to your lifestyle can help with reducing the risk of having a further stroke (e.g. exercise and movement, relaxation, smoking). If so, where did the information come from?

I think I had a little, but nothing printed

5) Did you make any changes to your diet and/or lifestyle following your stroke? If so, how easy or difficult was this for you and did you feel confident in making changes? Did you get the information and support you needed to do this?

Yes, but did this off my own bat

6) Overall, on a scale of 1-10, how important do you think it is to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle after a stroke (1 is not important, 10 is extremely important).

10

If you have any other thoughts on this topic, that would also be great.

Thank you if you have taken the time to read and reply.

Frankly I feel I had a healthy diet before I had my stroke but in my past experience I found the dietary advice handed out by the NHS absolutely woeful.  Far better to do your own research.

I was diagnosed with a mini stroke a week ago.  
Given medication in hospital, previously not on any preventive meds

Always been fit and healthy.  Had a healthy diet but did binge drink at weekends.

Advice given by stroke doctor to change small things in lifestyle.  Follow guidelines for alcohol. 
I am overweight so intent to increase my fibre and eat less meat. I also intend to increase my daily exercise once I have rested and recovered. To loose 3 stone. Still having dizziness.

Not given any guidelines/advice on discharge. I do have a follow up appointments. My daughter is fortunately working for another health board as a OT and recommended this site. If I can help at all just ask. 

 

I would agree with you. The NHS still believe that low fat diets are they key to losing weight when in fact it has been proven scientifically that low fat diets actually put weight on. Reason being that the fat is extracted from the product and replaced with sugar which is far worse for people.  They also say that eggs and prawns should be avoided if you have high cholestrol. Again, most dieticians and nutritionists dispute this theory and science has proven that most cholestrol doesn't come from food but from your genetic make up.  Eggs are a good source of protein and a cheap and easy meal for many.  Sugar free diets are by far better for us but need a lot of label reading in the supermarket as there is so much hidden sugar in everything we eat!  

Support and aftercare for stroke survivors really is a lottery.  It's shocking and shouldn't be this way, because stroke is sadly a reality for thousands of people.  We can only look forward to a time when stroke services offer a level of quality and consistency aross the UK. 

Disappointing to hear that you haven't had decent follow-up.

Take care xx

Thank you for  your comments. It's   unbelievable  how services  vary in different  area. We have had to fight for every  bit of help and on most occasions  have had to go private  and pay for it too. We've spent to small fortune (nearly £19,000 on private neuro physios since being discharged  from rehab. We are very fortunate  to have very generous  family and friends  who have helped financially, as my husband gave up work to help me. I feel so lucky that my husband has been a great support  to me, I feel sad that there are people  out there that don't  have family or friends  behind them. I can't  begin to imagine  how you would cope without  help.

Take care 

Sue

Hi hannah my name is Peter Brown I am approaching exatleybonecyear since I had my stroke 

 Prior to my stroke I was on pendropil small does for high blood pressure  I was slightly over weight and received the box standard advice about eating healthily and drinking less  I was never advised that I was at risk of a stroke but then again my family background did not resonate with me  my father and his six half brothers all died of heart failure at a fsirlyvyoung age unfortunately I had been unable to carry out an exercise for a few years due to injuries  neither I or the dr connectedall these risk factors and we never fiscussedvstroke or diettingvthar may have helped prevent my stroke I was convinced  by my eldest daughter to embark on a meal replacement weight loss programe using herbal life meal replacement products I did lose weight but not enough  with hindsight a cholesterol drug would have been good  to have been prescribed this which I am now on  I think any information on diet would be useful

Good luck in your endeavours

Best wishes and sorry for the long winded reply I am new to the discussions forum

 

On a scale of 1 to10 I think 10for following a healthy diet

Sue, so sorry to hear that you have had to spend such a lot of money on private care - it's staggering.  

A good support system is important, so pleased that you have the support of family and friends.    You now have the support of others on this site as well, so you will be talking to people who completely understand your situation.

Take care xx

Yes, this site has been a great source  of help  and advice. I have also found a local support group to be extremely  helpful, both my husband and my self have found these meetings  to be useful in many ways. Thank you for your comments. 

Regards Sue 

I am sure that the above will apply to some stroke patients but there are many of us that had no health issues, led healthy lifestyles, weren't overweight, non smokers/drinkers.  To some of us, it is just down to 'Bad luck' as I was told.  The actual medical reason given was that it was down to being on HRT which, as one gets older, makes BP very erratic.  Mine soared to dangerous levels on the day of my stroke probably because I had been working out hard at the gym that morning.  So for me personally, the answer is No to most of the questions but I do feel it would help some people.

Other than a sheet with some physio exercises on to do at home and 3 visits from an occupational health visitor who blamed most of my symptoms on the withdrawal of HRT by the hospital and menopause, I received nothing and no help since. A lot depends on where you live. Unfortunately, our area is not an area where stroke care or after stroke care is very forthcoming.

Quite right Onwrsdandupwards. I view it that only us who were fit and healthy actually survive a stroke.

No reason ever found as to why I had a stroke. Just that a bit of gunge decided to go up to my brain rather then elsewhere (possibly looking for vacant  space ??).

After care is erratic and generally inadequate. Why stroke is such a cinderella I cant quite make out. If after care came under a separat e umbrella then GPs andtheir staff could be freed up a little to ease their ridiculous workloads. 

I now deal with heart after care and the difference is so noticeable. Why stroke is overlloked is a disgrace.

ttfn

Colin

Hi onwardsandupwards, I agree with you that it's sometimes down to 'bad luck'. I was like you and had an acute rise in BP prior to the stroke  but was not on HRT. I had my usual dose of thyroxine, which I had taken for at least 20 years, reduced a few weeks before and I put that down to why my BP rose acutely and why the stroke happened.

I live in the north east and have found stroke care very poor. We paid privately for an MRI scan because I had terrible tinnitus and it showed I'd had a stroke. I don't know if it's because I have no physical symptoms but I feel we have had to organise any help ourselves. I get most help/ advice from my local stroke group which we found. 

Thankfully I have improved a lot and apart from short term memory loss,which is a pain, I'm doing ok. I'm just staying out of the way of the Corona virus as best I can. 
 
Ann.

A huge thank you to all of you who have taken the time to reply. I think the key messages I'm hearing from your replies are:

1. To acknowledge that even despite a healthy diet and lifestyle, it is still possible to have a stroke, so diet and lifestyle advice may not be relevant to all.

2. Where you have conditions which are considered a risk factor for stroke (e.g. high cholesterol, high blood pressure) you may have been informed that diet/lifestyle changes can help, but the information about how to do this has been lacking.

3. Where you have made changes to your diet and lifestyle, this is something you have researched and implemented yourself.

4. You consider that a healthy diet and lifestyle is really important following a stroke.

I hope I've summarised that correctly. If it looks like I've misinterpreted your responses or I have missed anything, do please let me know.

Many thanks,

Hannah

Spot on!