Introduction:

When the blood flow to a portion of the brain is interrupted, a dangerous medical condition known as a stroke may result, which is life-threatening. Strokes are a medical emergency that needs prompt care.

The likelihood of permanent damage is decreased the faster a person gets treatment for a stroke.

The Symptoms

The term “FAST” may be used to recall the primary stroke symptoms:

Face: The person’s lips, eye, or face may have fallen to one side, making it impossible for them to smile.

Arms: Due to weakness or numbness in one arm, the individual with a suspected stroke may not be able to elevate both arms and maintain them there.

Speech – although seeming to be awake, the individual may have trouble comprehending what you’re saying to them, their speech may be slurred or garbled, or they may not be able to communicate at all.

What causes It

Like other organs, the brain depends on blood’s supply of nutrients and oxygen to operate effectively.

Brain cells start to die if the blood supply is reduced or interrupted. This may result in a brain damage, incapacity, or even death.

It has the following primary causes: These consist of:

  • smoking
  • blood pressure is high (hypertension)
  • obesity
  • high levels of cholesterol
  • diabetes drinking too much alcohol being overweight
  • inadequate workout 
  • stress

85% of all cases are caused by ischemic stroke, in which the blood supply is cut off by a blood clot.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a brain blood vessel that is weak ruptures.

A similar illness is known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), in which the brain’s blood flow is momentarily disrupted.

As a result, a mini-stroke occurs. It could last for a short while or linger for up to 24 hours.

TIAs should be treated immediately since they often indicate that you might soon have a complete stroke.

Consult a doctor as soon as you can, even if your symptoms improve.

Having a stroke is more likely in certain situations, such as:

High Blood Pressure (hypertension)

Elevated cholesterol

Abnormal heartbeats (atrial fibrillation)

Diabetes

Dealing with a stroke

The kind of stroke you have, the afflicted area of the brain, and the underlying reason all determine how you are treated.

Medication is often used to treat this condition. This includes drugs that lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and prevent and dissolve blood clots.

Procedures could be necessary in certain circumstances to get rid of blood clots. If the condition was brought on by brain swelling, surgery could also be necessary to correct it and lower the risk of more bleeding.

Getting over a stroke

People who survive it often have long-term issues as a result of brain damage.

Many stroke victims never completely recover and need continual help, while others require extensive therapy before they may regain their previous independence.

These programs aid stroke survivors in relearning or learning the skills they need to live independently at home.

Some people will always need some kind of assistance with everyday tasks or care.

For instance, a caregiver can visit the individual at home to provide company or assistance with bathing and dressing.

Other warning signs and symptoms might be:

  • one side of the body is completely paralyzed.
  • Abrupt eyesight loss or haziness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Having trouble following what other people are saying
  • Issues with coordination and balance
  • Having trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
  • A sudden and very painful headache that was blinding and unlike anything I had ever felt before
  • Loss of consciousness

However, these symptoms might also have other reasons.

Transient Ischemic attack (TIA)

Transient ischemic attack (TIA), commonly referred to as a mini-stroke, has similar symptoms to a stroke but typically lasts just a few minutes to a few hours before going away entirely.

A TIA is a critical warning indication of a problem with the blood flow to your brain, even though the symptoms eventually get better.

It indicates that your chance of having this condition in the near future has risen.

If you or someone else is experiencing TIA or stroke symptoms, it’s critical to call your hospital or a family doctor right away and request an ambulance.

You will be given aspirin to take right away if a TIA is thought to be present. This lessens the risk of the condition.

Even if the symptoms go away while you’re waiting for the ambulance, you should still be checked out at a hospital. Within 24 hours after the onset of your symptoms, a specialist appointment should be recommended for you.

Make an immediate appointment with a doctor if you believe you have had a TIA in the past, but the symptoms have since subsided and you did not seek medical help at the time.

If necessary, they might recommend you for a hospital evaluation.

How To Prevent Stroke

Your chance of having it may be dramatically decreased by:

Going on a balanced diet

regularly exercising

following the advised guidelines for alcohol consumption (not drinking more than 14 units a week)

Not smoking

It’s crucial to treat a disease well if it raises your chance of having a stroke. Taking medication as directed, for instance, to decrease cholesterol or high blood pressure.

These precautions are especially crucial if you’ve already suffered from a stroke or TIA since your chance of experiencing another stroke is much higher.

The greatest strategy to reduce your risk of having it is to eat a nutritious diet, exercise often, quit smoking, and drink in moderation.

Your risk may be decreased by making these lifestyle modifications, reducing –

  • blood pressure is high.
  • high levels of cholesterol and fat

Making these modifications will help lower your chance of having another stroke if you’ve previously had one.

Diet

Because it may cause a rise in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, a poor diet might raise your risk of having a stroke.

It is often advised to follow a low-fat, high-fiber diet that includes five portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains.

It’s crucial to maintain balance in your diet. Consume moderation when it comes to eating, especially processed and salty meals.

The maximum quantity of salt you should consume each day is 6g (0.2 oz), since eating more than that can raise your blood pressure: One teaspoonful is equal to 6g of salt.

Exercise

The greatest method to maintain a healthy weight is to exercise often while eating a balanced diet.

Additionally, regular exercise may maintain good blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

It is advised that most adults engage in at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, such as quick walking or cycling.

With the members of your rehabilitation team, go through potential workout schedules if you’re recuperating from a stroke.

Regular exercise may not be feasible in the early weeks or months after a stroke, but once your rehabilitation has advanced, you should be ready to start exercising.

Quit smoking.

Your chance of getting a stroke rises significantly if you smoke. This is because it causes your arteries to thin and increases the risk of blood clotting.

By giving up smoking, you may lower your chance of having a stroke.

In addition to enhancing your overall health, quitting smoking lowers your chance of contracting major diseases including heart disease and lung cancer.

Drink less alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol may raise your blood pressure and cause atrial fibrillation, which are both conditions that increase your chance of having a stroke.

Alcoholic beverages contribute to weight gain since they are rich in calories. Stroke risk increases more than three times with heavy alcohol use.

When you are totally healed and decide to consume alcohol, you should try to stay within the following guidelines:

Regular alcohol consumption for both men and women should not exceed 14 units per week.

If you consume up to 14 units each week, space out your drinking across 3 days or longer.

Even the safe drinking amounts that are advised may be too much for you if you have not completely recovered from your stroke and have developed a heightened sensitivity to alcohol.

Take Good Care of Other Health Conditions You May Have

Assuring that a condition that has been identified as increasing your risk of stroke is under good management is also crucial for assisting in the prevention of strokes.

Although the aforementioned lifestyle modifications may greatly aid in controlling chronic diseases, you might also need to take frequent medication.


References:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke/