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Stroke: Symptoms, Causes, and Who’s at risk?

Stroke: Symptoms, Causes, and Who’s at risk?
in Neurology

Apr 19, 2022

A stroke is the body’s way of letting us know that the blood supply to the brain is cut short. It is often called a Brain Attack. Awareness of such a possibility and acting fast can make a big difference for someone who’s having a stroke. It is said that getting emergency help within an hour can prevent long-term disability or death. Read on to educate yourself about stroke symptoms, causes, and risks.

Stroke Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention

Read this blog to educate yourself about stroke symptoms, causes, risks, and prevention. get a consultation if you see any signs or risk factors for stroke

What are the causes of Stroke?

Broadly, there are two types of strokes: ischemic stroke (caused by clotting of blood) and haemorrhagic stroke (due to rupture of the blood vessels).

  1. Ischemic stroke

This is the most common type of stroke, it is essentially when blood vessels get narrow and tight. Fatty deposits are the main cause of narrowed blood vessels as they by traveling through your bloodstream and lodge in the blood vessels in your brain.

  1. Hemorrhagic stroke

This happens when a blood vessel in your brain bursts. The main factors that amount to Brain hemorrhages include:

  • Unchecked high blood pressure
  • Using too many blood thinners
  • Bulges at weak spots in your blood vessel walls
  • Trauma (such as a car accident)
  • Deposits of protein in blood vessel walls lead to weakness in the vessel wall
  • Ischemic stroke leading to hemorrhage

So, what does it means to “B.E.F.A.S.T.” during a Brain Stroke?

The sudden and warning-less nature of a stroke makes it a unique medical condition. Experts have been spreading awareness about identifying stroke symptoms by using the acronym B.E.F.A.S.T.

Balance: Loss of simple balance, like walking in a straight line.

Eyes: Impaired vision or seeing double can also be a sign.

Face: Smile and check yourself in the mirror to see if one side of the face droops.

Arms: Try raising both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech: Read out a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

Time: If you see any of these signs, call for an ambulance right away.

Who are at risk from Stroke?

People 55 or over have a higher risk of stroke than younger people. Also, the diabetic, and high blood pressure group of people are at risk from a stroke. If talking in terms of sex, Men seem to have a higher risk of stroke than women.

However, it has been noticed that Women can have unique stroke symptoms. Such stroke symptoms can also happen suddenly, they are:

  • Fainting
  • General weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion or unresponsiveness
  • Sudden behavioural change
  • Irritation
  • Hallucination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Hiccups

It is worth noting that there has been some initial research that shows COVID-19 infection has a linkage to possible ischemic stroke, but more study is needed.

Can one prevent a stroke?

Yes, there is good news on that front. Additionally, having a stroke increases one’s risk for another one. The best treatment for a stroke is prevention and here’s how you can do it:

  • Load up on veggies and nuts!
  • Say yes to Seafood instead of red meat and poultry
  • Limit intake of sodium (salt), fats, sugars, and refined grains
  • Incorporating exercise (Brisk walking at least 30 minutes daily)
  • Limiting alcohol and tobacco use (Stop Smoking)
  • Taking timely meds for conditions, like high blood pressure
  • Regular checkup for blood pressure (yearly) and blood sugar (3 yearly) after 40 years of age.

While there is good news, it is extremely important to act as fast as possible in order to save a life. Book an appointment at your nearest Paras Hospital for a consultation if you see any signs or risk factors in yourself or your loved ones.

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