How Much Do You Know About Strokes? 10 Tips
A stroke is caused when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, affecting the functionality or even making the affected part of the brain to completely stop working. When this happens, the consequence is that the part of the body or functionality controlled by the affected part of the brain stops working as well. Strokes are the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S currently which just goes to highlight their seriousness. Given it is an attack on the brain, strokes are also referred to as brain attacks or cerebrovascular accidents in more technical circles. Strokes can be broadly classified into two types, ischemic strokes which occur when part of the brain losses blood flow, and hemorrhagic strokes, which are caused by bleeding within the brain. One thing that should be noted about strokes is that, unlike most other medical conditions in which only the severe attacks can be considered emergencies, strokes by themselves are medical emergencies. This means that there are no two ways about them and that if you start to exhibit symptoms of stroke you should seek immediate emergency treatment. How much do you know about strokes though to help with this decision? Well, the good news is that this article will highlight 10 tips to help you with this.
As mentioned above, there are two types of strokes: ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when a clot forms in a cerebral artery, interrupting blood supply to the brain, which then leads to tissue death and inflammation and as such treatment is aimed at removing the clot and therefore restoring blood supply. Hemorrhagic strokes on the other hand occur when a cerebral blood vessel ruptures causing bleeding in the brain, and as such treatment is aimed at repairing the damaged blood vessel and removing the accumulated blood.
There are two tests or scales that can be used to detect the presence of a stroke: The Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale and the Los Angeles Motor Score. These two scales can only be used to confirm if one is suffering from a stroke and not to rule out one. As such, a negative result from any of these scales or scores doesn’t mean that a stroke has been rule out.
Another thing that you have to know about strokes is the importance of time as far as they are concerned. Given that for every minute that blood to the brain is blocked, 2 million neurons die, it is important to diagnose and treat strokes as soon as the occur. This is because the more time passes, the more likely death or permanent disability is.
Coming back to the two types of strokes, it is important to note that while only 15 percent of all strokes are hemorrhagic strokes, they account to up to 40 percent of strokes fatalities, as is covered in detail over at frontlineer.com. This is mostly due to the fact they not only cause tissue death but the cranial pressure due to the blood damages other parts of the brain.
Another tip as far as strokes are concerned is being aware of mini-strokes, which are known as transient ischemic attacks. These happen when the symptoms for strokes resolve themselves spontaneously. Those who suffer from this are at an increased risk of suffering from a stroke and such need to be evaluated at a hospital.
Another tip about strokes that you should know about has to with blood sugar levels. It should be noted that hypoglycemia, that is low levels of blood sugar than is required, can lead to symptoms that mimic stroke symptoms. It is therefore important to, as per frontlineer.com, administer dextrose to patients with hypoglycemia to prevent this. This should only apply to hypoglycemia and not hyperglycemia.
It is also important to note that, since stroke patients may lose their ability to swallow, they are at risk when it comes to breathing and therefore breathing aides should be on stand-by just in case. However, it should be noted that only the required amount of oxygen should be administered as to much oxygen may lead to vasoconstriction, worsening the damage caused by the stroke.
The next tip we are going to look at has to do with the common symptoms as far as strokes are concerned. These include unexplained headaches, dizziness, body numbness, seizures, slurred speech, face drooping and paralysis on one side of the body and many others, all of which are covered in detail over at frontlineer.com. If you start to experience any of these, you should seek immediate medical attention.
You should also be aware of the risk factors that are there as far as stroke is concerned, which is our next tip. The number one risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure with other risk factors being smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol as well as a history of certain heart diseases.
Finally, another thing you need to know about strokes are the things you need to do to reduce the chances of suffering one. As is covered over at frontlineer.com, adding fruits and vegetables to your diet as well as fish while at the same time cutting out foods with saturated fats, cholesterol and trans fats will greatly reduce the chances of you suffering a stroke. You should also reduce your alcohol consumption and quit smoking.
The above are some of the tips as far as strokes are concerned, with more to be uncovered on this and other topics by checking out the ever reliable frontlineer.com.