Stroke represents a medical condition that involves the brain cells to die due to the lack of oxygen. The main causes of it are generally due to a blockage in the blood flow, as well as rupture of an artery that goes to the brain. The condition involves such symptoms as losing the ability to speak, as well as having a part of the body paralyzed and memory issues. There are two main types of stroke and this involves the ischemic stroke and the hemorrhagic stroke.
The first one, the ischemic stroke, In cases when the thrombus is broken in other parts of the body and just floats in the blood flow, it is called embolus and it can be carried to the brain where it can be the reason of an ischemic stroke. The hemorrhagic stroke is characterized by a rupture in a blood vessel on the brain surface and it fills the area between the brain and the skull with blood. This is called the subarachnoid hemorrhage. This type of stroke can also happen in cases when a defective artery bursts and fills the tissue that surrounds it with blood, which is called the cerebral hemorrhage.
These two types of stoke are mostly due to the lack of blood flow to the brain, The outcome in this case is mostly due to the seriousness of the situation and how big is the affected area of the brain. There are also small strokes that involve minor cases and issues and among them there is weakness in the arm or leg. However, more serious strokes are life threatening and may lead to paralysis and/or death. Sometimes, individuals who has suffered a stroke may have such consequences like weakness on one side of the body or another, difficulty speaking, as well as can have bladder problems and incontinence.
People all over the world are affected by stroke and it can happen to anyone, because no one can be protected against it. However, there are certain risk factors that increase the chances for stroke. Among the factors with a predisposition for stoke, there is the age – over, 55 years old, family history record, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking cigarettes, obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Also, men are also more likely to suffer from it. There is an increased risk on African Americans, Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Island people who are more at risk than others.
These risk factors may not always be under control, but a proper diet and special medical care can decrease the chances of suffering from a stroke. The main causes for strokes are blockages in the form of thrombus or embolus in the bloodstream that are due to atherosclerosis, mainly for ischemic strokes. In case of hemorrhage strokes, is caused by high blood pressure, head injury or aneurysm, however high blood pressure is the most common cause. Studies also show that migraines increase the risk for stroke during pregnancy, that is why they need to be treated with special attention.
The symptoms of stroke are present within a few minutes after having it. In such case, the brain cells begin to die and the symptoms can be visible promptly. It is very important to identify the symptoms of stroke immediately to be able to apply the treatment as soon as possible in order to avoid complications. Recognizing symptoms of stroke is crucial and very important for the individual’s life as well. The most common symptoms are dizziness, loss of balance and coordination, as well as difficulties with walking, speech issues, numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, trouble with vision, sudden severe headache.
There are also small strokes that can as well occur, but they do not present any symptoms. However these small strokes can still damage the brain cells. There are certain signs that can indicate that a stroke is about to happen. This is called the transient ischemic attack which is represented by a temporary interruption in the blood flow to a part of the brain. They usually last for a shorter period of time and do not cause permanent damage. Even if strokes are more likely to affect men, women are also affected. Moreover, studies show that women are more likely to have unusual stroke symptoms.
The diagnosis is given by the doctor or the emergency specialist, since stroke is a very serious health condition and it is an emergency. The individual having a stroke must be taken to the emergency immediately. There are certain ways to diagnose and check the overall state of the patient. Among these there is the physical assessment that involves blood pressure tests and blood cholesterol tests, as well as checking the blood sugar levels and the amino acid levels. Ultrasound is also done in this case to point out any narrowing or clotting and blockages. Besides this, there is arteriography used, as well as computerized tomography scan of the brain, magnetic resonance imaging, etc. Echocardiography can be done as well, as well as eye-movement analyzer to diagnose a stroke.
Treating a stroke can be done in certain ways, but the main purpose is to restore the blood flow to the brain. Here medication is used, as well as surgery to open up or widen arteries, or to remove the plaque and widen the carotid artery, etc. Studies also showed that drugs that are used to lower the cholesterol levels can also prevent the recurrence of stroke. However, the two types of stroke are treated differently. There are still various studies conducted in order to find out the best treatment methods and some of them have good results.
Preventing stroke can be sometimes difficult, because they are very hard to predict. One of the ways to prevent stroke is to notice the transient ischemic attack, or identify the mini stroke that the individual may experience due to its symptoms similar to stroke. That is why it is very important to know the symptoms of stroke to make sure that it is treated accordingly and as early as possible, while making it possible for a better and faster recovery. Doctors suggest and advice to lead a healthy lifestyle to prevent such instances. This manly includes the regular control of the blood pressure, quit smoking, reducing the cholesterol and the sodium levels, as well as the intake of fat.
Following a healthy diet is always the best choice for a good health, and here it works the same. Studies showed that eating tomatoes regularly are reducing the risks for stroke. Also, checking to see if the individual has atrial fibrillation is another tip. Drinking alcohol with moderation and treating diabetes is also among the prevention steps. Regular moderate exercising, as well as reducing stress, avoiding the use of drugs, taking preventing medication that prevents the formation of blood clots are also indicated. Studies showed that drinking three cups of tea per day are reducing the chances for experiencing stroke. Walking is also beneficial and doctors indicate walking at least 210 minutes per week which reduces the risk for stroke in women.