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August 12, 2020

Stroke: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Types & More

When there is no supply of blood to the brain or there are any blockages of oxygen and nutrients to your brain tissue is known as a stroke. The cells of your brain will start to die when this stroke occurs.

A person should be taken to the Emergency hospital immediately when he or she attacked by a stroke. Prompt action will reduce the damage done to your brain and other complications. It has been observed that death due to a stroke significantly reduced when compared to the past. There are many treatments and medications are available to cure your problem.

What are the Indicators of a stroke?

It is better for you to know the symptoms of a stroke. When a stroke occurs, it leads to a loss of blood and you will experience the symptoms based on the damaged areas of the brain.

Severe headache, paralysis, unable to speak or can’t understand what other people are trying to say you, numbness or weakness in the arm, numbness in the face, weakness in the leg, dizziness, confusion, unable to walk in your path, slurring speech, and not having a clear vision are the indicators of a stroke.

Abnormal changes in the behavior, nausea or vomiting, confusion, hallucination, lack of responsiveness, pain, seizures, general weakness, unable to breathe or difficulty in breathing, and losing consciousness are the symptoms of a stroke in women. It has been observed that women have more death rates than men due to a stroke and in the United States, it is the fourth-leading cause of death.

When to have a word with your physician

For both men and women, we would advise you to seek medical attention immediately when you are experiencing the above symptoms. If your neighbor is having this panic attack, it is better to call 911 or any emergency services. Because, stroke leads the person to cause damage to their brain, long-term disability, and even death.

What are the main causes of a stroke?

Ischemic stroke (blocked artery) and hemorrhagic stroke are the two main causes of a stroke. When people experiencing a stroke for a temporary period, then it is called a TIA (transient ischemic attack). The symptoms of this type won’t last long. Let’s discuss these causes in detail

Ischemic stroke

This stroke is common in people and it happens very often. Ischemic stroke is considered when the blood vessels of the brain become narrowed or difficult to pass results in reduced blood flow. Your blood vessels or blood clots carried the fatty deposits and it will block your blood vessels to the brain or narrowed it. These fatty deposits travel through your bloodstream and stay in your brain by coming through the blood vessels.

Hemorrhagic stroke

When there is a leakage in your brain through your blood vessels, it is considered as a hemorrhagic stroke. There are many factors that can contribute to the cause of this stroke. Sometimes, ischemic stroke can lead to hemorrhage stroke, and your inability to control your high blood pressure also the main factor that is contributing you to experiencing a hemorrhagic stroke. Blood thinners over treatment, trauma due to an accident, aneurysms, and the deposits of the proteins in the walls of your blood vessels are the other factors contributing to the cause of hemorrhagic stroke.

Transient ischemic attack

It is considered as a ministroke. When the transient ischemic attack occurs for a short time and the symptoms of this stroke are similar to a haemorrhagic stroke and ischemic stroke. The good news is that it cannot cause permanent damage to your brain but the other two strokes can do. It happens due to a temporary stoppage of blood flow to the brain and it will last up to 5 minutes.

When there is no blood supply to part of your nervous system is known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). We would advise you to consult a medical professional immediately after having this attack. Because this attack may be the root cause of other dangerous strokes.

What are the risk factors of a stroke?

There are many risk factors associated with a stroke. Obesity, addiction to alcohol, lack of physical activity, and taking illegal drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine are considered as the lifestyle risk factors of a stroke.

High blood pressure, family history of a stroke, heart failure, heart defects, atrial fibrillation, second-hand smoke exposure, smoking addiction, diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea are the medical risk factors of a stroke. It has been observed in a study that African Americans have a higher chance of getting diagnosed with a stroke compared to other races.

The following are the other factors that are contributing to the cause of a stroke. These includes

Age

People who are more than fifty-five years of age or older have a higher chance of getting diagnosed with a stroke when compared to young people.

Race

When compared to other races, African Americans have an increased risk of developing this stroke.

Gender

Men are more likely to experience a stroke than a woman. But, a woman tends to develop this condition as they grow older and they are more likely to face death due to stroke more than the men.

Hormones

Overuse of birth control pills may increase your risk of getting diagnosed with this condition.

How to diagnose a stroke?

In order to diagnose a stroke, your physician may recommend a series of tests and certain tests can help the diagnosis of stroke. These tests include

Physical Examination

Your physician will first conduct a physical examination and will ask about your family history and the symptoms you are experiencing. Along with the symptoms, they will also check your

  • Strength of your muscle
  • Your vision
  • Reflexes
  • Sensations
  • Coordination
  • Blood pressure

Blood tests

A blood test can reveal the risk of blood clots and provides valuable information regarding your blood clotting levels, and infections.

Computerized tomography scan

This scan is used to identify bleeding in the brain. With the help of this scan, doctors are able to get a clear picture of your brain.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

In order to identify the damaged brain tissues, doctors recommend an MRI scan to their patients. This scan can give a clear-cut image of your brain by using magnets and radio waves.

Carotid ultrasound

This ultrasound scan is used to check the blood flow in the carotid arteries and to detect plaque if there is any present.

Cerebral angiogram

A cerebral angiogram can provide necessary information about the blood vessels in the brain and neck.

Echocardiogram

In order to clear picture of your heart, your physician may suggest an echocardiogram and also to check for any blood clots are reached to your brain.

What are the treatment options available for a stroke?

Treatment options based on the cause and the symptoms of your stroke. As there are many causes of this stroke, the treatment depends on the type of stroke.

If the person is suffering from this condition due to an ischemic stroke, then the treatment depends on restoring adequate blood flow to the brain. As this stroke happens because of narrowed arteries, the doctor focuses on supplying necessary blood flow to the brain. Usually, doctors start their treatment by prescribing medications to the patients and those drugs will break down the clots and prevent the others from forming. If your condition is severe then your physician may recommend an injection of tissue plasminogen activator (TPA).

If the person is suffering from this condition due to a hemorrhagic stroke, then your treatment depends on controlling the bleeding and decreasing the amount of pressure to the brain. This treatment also starts by prescribing medications in order to reduce your hypertension, and also to prevent the seizures.

Rehabilitation

A stroke can have lasting physical and emotional effects. Due to this reason, we would advise you to attend some therapies and these therapies can offer you a lot of relief to you.

Speech therapy

People who are diagnosed with a stroke will face problems regarding understanding a speech. This therapy teaches you to relax and made changes to your communication style. The main objective of this therapy is to improve your communication with other people.

Physical therapy

This therapy helps you to improve your coordination and your physical movements. The main objective of this therapy is to bring back your energy levels.

Occupational therapy

This therapy helps you to do your daily activities on your own. You will improve the following daily activities in this therapy. This therapy focuses on the following activities such as

  • Bathing
  • Cooking
  • Writing
  • Dressing
  • Eating, and
  • Reading

Support groups

We would advise the person who is recovered from a stroke recently to join a support group. This will help the person to cope with the complications of a stroke such as

  • Loss of muscle movement
  • Pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of memory

Rehabilitation plays a vital role in getting your normal life back.

How to prevent this condition?

In order to prevent future attacks, we would advise you to make some changes in your lifestyle. Consume healthy foods, hitting the gym regularly, quit smoking, drinking moderately, and maintaining a moderate weight are the best ways to prevent a stroke.

Taking medications correctly, managing diabetes, and reducing the levels of your blood pressure can also reduce the risk of stroke. Staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a diet full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds, and nuts are the best ways to reduce your chances of getting diagnosed with a stroke.

Conclusion

It is better to consult a medical professional when you are experiencing the symptoms of a stroke. It is not an easy task to prevent further strokes, due to this reason we would advise to have a word with your physician and plan a course of action that works for you.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4929018/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4876018/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4530422/
  4. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/str.0000000000000098

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