How To Reduce The Dangers Of Stroke?

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What are the things you know about stroke? A stroke occurs when a blot clot occurs in an already narrowed blood vessel in the brain.

Once that clot occurs, the brain will be deprived of blood and the necessary oxygen causing permanent brain damage to that area.

People may have “mini-strokes” in which they suffer from the same signs and symptoms but are only temporary.

It is important to inform the casualty that they should go see a doctor as soon as possible because they are at a very high risk of suffering from a full stroke in which they will suffer permanent brain damage.

Stroke is a condition that falls under the umbrella of heart disease. Most people don’t realize that there are three kinds of stroke and that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of all kinds of stroke.

More Information about What a Stroke Is

“Stroke is an unmistakable event. Few other medical conditions come on so suddenly or are so noticeable to a bystander,” said John R. Marler, M.D., associate director for clinical trials at NINDS.

When an artery becomes blocked or broken you will find that you are at risk for neuro-damage and a stroke.

It is a very common condition that will leave a person extremely disabled. This can cause your brain cells to die and it is not something that you can fix or repair.

One of the most common types of strokes is known as the Ischemic stroke. You will find that it is caused by an artery. Depending on the person, you may have different side effects from the stroke that may not be too disabling.

But it could also leave you completely crippled. It is important that you do everything that you can to not end up taking a stroke and that you will not have to deal with these types of disadvantages in life.

Did you know that the right and left side of the brain will control different sides of your body?

The two sides control the opposite side of the body so if paralysis occurs it will likely only be to one-half of your body. If you happen to have a stroke and it affects the right part of your brain you will lose your vision.

One the other hand, strokes affecting the left side may cause speech problems as a result. Any brain cells that die will cause memory loss and paralysis that may take over parts or the entire side of your body.

Your high cholesterol is the leading cause of having clogged arteries and that will cause you to have a stroke or heart attack.

It is also related directly to developing heart disease, which makes you susceptible to heart-related problems, which include stroke and heart attack.

The doctor that you go to will be able to test your cholesterol levels at any time in your life, but you should get it checked once you become 18 or older. Don’t wait to get checked out.

Kinds of Stroke

The three major kinds of stroke include the following:

Thrombotic stroke 

This is the type of stroke in which plaques build up on the arterial walls of the arteries leading to the brain.

The plaques narrow the blood vessels and clots can form in the narrowed areas, causing a reduction in oxygen and blood flow to the brain stops.

Embolic stroke 

This is the type of stroke in which there is a blood clot somewhere in the body (usually on a heart valve) that breaks off and travels through the bloodstream so that it cuts off the circulation to an area of the brain, resulting in a stroke.

Hemorrhagic stroke 

Rather than an area of the brain being without blood and oxygen, a blood vessel in the brain opens up, causing bleeding to occur within the brain.

This can be due to areas of weakness in the blood vessels or to aneurysms in the brain that open up and bleed.

stroke risks

Stroke Statistics In The United States

Every minute, someone in the United States has a stroke. Of the 700,000 victims each year, one-third die, and another third suffer permanent paralysis, loss of speech or memory lapses.

  • Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States
  • There are 795,000 strokes every year
  • Someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds of each and every day in the US
  • Stroke is the leading reason for serious disability overall, and those who survive are often left with paralysis and speech impairment causing long term disability, often requiring long-term care
  • After the age of 55 years old, the risk of stroke doubles every decade
  • Almost ¾ of all strokes occur in people age older than 65

(Data source: Internet Stroke Center)

The following information is provided to you by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Recognizing Stroke

It’s vital to recognize the symptoms of stroke and to seek help immediately. Time is of the essence when it comes to preventing debilitating and long-lasting effects.

The best way to minimize the effects of a stroke is to know the warning signs so the stroke victim can get immediate treatment.

Symptoms include:

– sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

– trouble speaking or understanding

– sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

– sudden trouble walking

– dizziness

– loss of balance or coordination

– or a sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Here are a few questions you can ask the casualty that you are expecting to have had a stroke.

1. Ask them to smile. If they cannot smile fully it may be because they have a partial face paralysis.

2. Ask them questions that they need to respond to. If they are incoherent on their speech they may have partial paralysis to the face. But, it could be that they are confused.

3. Ask them to raise both arms. If they cannot raise both arms they may have paralysis to one side of their body.

This will help you identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems.  The quicker you recognize the signs of stroke the faster you can get them to the hospital and reduce the chances of getting permanent brain damage.stroke risks

Immediate Stroke Diagnosis Critical for Recovery

Are you at risk for a stroke? Making healthy lifestyle changes, like lowering blood pressure and not smoking can help reduce your risk of stroke. Other risk factors include:

Age

Chances of having a stroke more than double each decade after age 55.

Gender

More women die of strokes than men.

Race and Heredity

Chances of stroke are greater with a family history of stroke. African-Americans and Hispanics are at higher risk for stroke than Caucasians.

Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickled red blood cells are less able to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs. They also can stick to the walls of the blood vessels, which can block arteries to the brain, causing a stroke.

Upon experiencing stroke symptoms, individuals should immediately seek medical attention. Patients attended to within hours of a stroke have a much higher chance of effectively being diagnosed and treated.

In treating a stroke, every minute counts. New treatments are available that greatly reduce the damage caused by a stroke. But you need to arrive at the hospital as soon as possible after symptoms start.

Knowing the symptoms of a stroke and getting to the hospital quickly can help you act in time to save yourself or someone you know from serious long-term disability.

Hospitals and trauma centers are equipped with sophisticated medical imaging equipment, like Toshiba’s Aquilion line of computed tomography scanners and the new Vantage magnetic resonance imaging system, which can help to quickly and accurately diagnose a stroke and assist in the proper treatment plan.

With this new equipment, physicians are able to locate and view the blockage in the arteries and then determine whether the treatment should be invasive or noninvasive. Typically, the location of the blockage dictates the course of treatment.

Prevention Of Stroke

There are different ways to prevent a stroke depending on the type of stroke you are trying to prevent.

There are some things you can do that prevent a certain type of stroke but that has the potential to worsen another type of stroke.

The following are some things you can do to prevent a stroke:

Maintain a normal blood pressure 

This holds true for all kinds of stroke. If your blood pressure is too high, it contributes to arterial spasm and increases the risk of thrombotic stroke.

If the blood pressure is too high, it can push the blood clot in the heart from the heart valve into the circulatory system of the brain, resulting in an embolic stroke.

In a completely different way, high blood pressure can cause hemorrhagic strokes. If there is a weakness in the walls of any part of the brain’s circulatory system, high blood pressure can cause that weak area to open up, resulting in the kind of bleeding you see in a hemorrhagic stroke.

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is the number one controllable risk factor for stroke.

Family history and obesity factor in developing high blood pressure and women who take birth control pills or have reached menopause are at higher risk.

A healthy lifestyle helps but for many, medications are required.

Maintain normal cholesterol

Cholesterol is what makes up part of the plaques that contribute to getting a thrombotic stroke.

If you maintain a good level of cholesterol, the plaques don’t build up so much and the chance that a blood clot can form in the arteries is much less.

You can keep a good cholesterol level by eating food that is low in cholesterol or by taking medications designed to lower the cholesterol level.

High levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol raise the risk of heart disease and stroke; high levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol lower it.

Studies show women’s cholesterol is higher than men’s from age 45 on and that low levels of HDL cholesterol seem to be a stronger risk factor for women.

Stop smoking

Smoking has the potential to raise your blood pressure, increasing the risk of all kinds of strokes.

Smoking also contributes to plaque formation in the walls of the blood vessels so that the risk of thrombotic stroke increases.

The longer you smoke, the greater is the risk of developing all kinds of heart disease, including that of thrombotic stroke.

Take a baby aspirin

Baby aspirin is a commonly used medication used to prevent the recurrence of a heart attack in a patient who has already had a heart attack.

Aspirin is a platelet inhibitor, which means that it blocks platelets from sticking together and forming a blood clot. This same phenomenon can work in the prevention of both thrombotic strokes and embolic strokes.

If the platelets cannot form a blood clot, it will prevent a blood clot from forming on a heart valve so that it can’t travel to an area of the brain, leading to an embolic stroke.

In the same way, when platelets are blocked from forming a clot inside a narrowed area of the blood vessels leading to the brain, this thwarts the onset of a thrombotic stroke.

Diet and Exercise

Thirty minutes a day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can help prevent heart and blood vessel disease and control blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, as well as lower blood pressure.

People with excess body fat, especially around the waist are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke. Eat healthy foods low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Diabetes

Diabetes is associated with high blood pressure and interferes with the ability to break down clots, increasing the risk of ischemic stroke. Lifestyle modifications and medications can help.

Living a healthy lifestyle so that the blood pressure is reduced, smoking is not a problem, and cholesterol is kept within normal levels will go a long way toward reducing the incidence of all kinds of strokes.

If you are concerned about stroke or any type of heart disease it is a great idea to see your doctor and get a full physical and relevant screenings to be sure that there is not more that you can do to ensure you remain in optimal health.

Your friends and family will suggest that you go see a doctor so that you can avoid the horrors of a stroke. You will want to get annual physicals and regular checkups to see if you are at risk for a stroke or heart disease.

With the high cholesterol, you will be at risk for a stroke and you will need to be kept under strict control to help prevent this disease from taking effects on you.

Other risk factors include family history, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, heavy alcohol consumption, and being overweight.

Talk to your doctor. Find out your risks and take action.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Stroke is a condition that falls under the umbrella of heart disease.

When an artery becomes blocked or broken you will find that you are at risk for neuro damage and a stroke.

Kinds of Stroke

  • Thrombotic Stroke: Plaques build up on the arterial walls of the arteries leading to the brain
  • Embolic Stroke: A blood clot somewhere in the body
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: A blood vessel in the brain opens up causing bleeding to occur within the brain

Recognizing Stroke – Symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Immediate Stroke Diagnosis Critical for Recovery

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stop smoking

Other Risk Factors:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race and heredity
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Overweight

Prevention of Stroke

  • Maintain a normal blood pressure
  • Maintain normal cholesterol
  • Stop smoking
  • Take a baby aspirin
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Check for Diabetes

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Do you or any of your love one are at risk for a stroke?

– What are the things you know about stroke?

– Are you aware of the stroke risk factors?

– What are the measures you are doing to reduce the dangers of stroke?

– What are your steps in preventing stroke?


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