What Is Stroke?
You may have heard about different kinds of medical emergencies that are life-threatening. Stroke is counted as one of those conditions in which rapid treatment becomes crucial. You can also identify it as a ‘brain attack‘. It is said when the brain doesn’t set adequate blood supply. The blood vessel which transports nutrients and oxygen to the brain can block or rupture. When the blood supply is disturbed or reduced, it will prevent the brain tissue to achieve oxygen and nutrients. Ultimately, the brain cells begin to die in minutes. Stroke is counted as one of the leading causes of death in some regions.
This condition can occur in people of all ages. But its risk more often increases when a person gets older. The team of Mewar Hospitals is here to deliver some important information regarding stroke. You will get to know different things about stroke in the lower section. Firstly, let’s begin by knowing some of its symptoms.
The loss of blood, in one of the most sensitive parts of the body, can lead to great trouble. Talking about the symptoms of stroke, a number of things are there to observe. Some of them are as follows:
* serious and sudden headache with an unknown reason
* problems in walking
* loss of stability or coordination
* slurring speech
* problems in speaking or understanding the speech of someone
* vision issues, like double vision, blackened or blurred vision.
* lack of sensation or weakness in the face, legs, and arms, particularly in a single part of the body.
Many stroke symptoms in men and women are the same. But, some symptoms occur more often in men and some are common in women. Let’s have a look at the symptoms in men first.
Stroke Symptoms In Men
When stroke impacts the person, he may find difficulties in speaking or understanding other’s speech. Along with that, drooping on one side of the face, muscle weakness, arm weakness on one side of the body, or an uneven smile is recognized as one of the major symptoms of stroke in men. If you find such kinds of stroke symptoms in men, make sure to seek immediate medical attention.
Stroke Symptoms In Women
As compared to men, it is said that the female class has a higher lifetime risk of getting a stroke. They are also more likely to die from a stroke than men. That’s why it is very important for a person to identify the signs and symptoms of such conditions. Some of the major symptoms of a stroke in women include:
* general weakness
* nausea or vomiting
* lack of responsiveness
* fainting or losing consciousness
* shortness of breath or problems in breathing
* unexpected changes in behavior, particularly enhanced agitation
Types of Stroke
Basically, you can observe three different types of stroke. They are ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA).
1. Ischemic Stroke
Out of the entire cases of stroke, you can find the presence of ischemic stroke in more than 85% of cases. It is characterized by a sudden loss of blood circulation to the brain side. Here, the arteries carrying blood to the brain becomes narrowed or blocked. The two most common kinds of ischemic stroke include thrombotic and embolic.
* Thrombotic is said when there is a presence of blood clot in one of the arteries which carry blood to the brain.
* Embolic stroke is said when a blood clot or debris takes place in some other part of the body and then passes through the brain.
2. Hemorrhagic Stroke
This kind of stroke occurs when the blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures. This condition can be due to many occurrences. Like a person with uncontrolled high blood pressure or bulges at weak spots in the wall of blood vessels (aneurysms). It can also take place by trauma such as a car accident or overtreatment with blood thinners (anticoagulants). You can observe two different kinds of hemorrhagic strokes:
* Intracerebral hemorrhage: It refers to the most ordinary kind of hemorrhagic stroke. It takes place when the artery in the brain ruptures, flooding the nearby tissues with blood.
* Subarachnoid hemorrhage: It stands as a less common type of hemorrhagic stroke in which bleeding occurs in the portion between the brain and the thin tissues that cover it.
3. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
Sometimes, it is also regarded as a mini-stroke. In this type of stroke, the blood flow to the brain is blocked for a shorter interval of time. You can observe the time of blockage to be less than five minutes. This short-lived stroke can get better and resolve within 24 hours. Whereas, other kinds of stroke take a longer time to resolve. Just like typical ischemic strokes, TIA can be caused by blood clots. But remember, if someone experiences a transient ischemic attack, it can be a warning indication of a future stroke. Identifying this condition and treating it on time can lower the chances of a major stroke. So, make sure to take care of this aspect.
Our brain proves to be an enormously complex organ by which several body functions are controlled. Any incidence like a stroke can create a negative impact on its work. Without adequate blood flow, the body parts will not work properly. Talking about the effects of stroke, it is primarily based on the position of the obstruction and the amount of brain tissue affected. Every stroke proves to be unique, but it tends to influence people in some ways.
For example, if it takes place in the left portion of the brain, there will be an impact on the right side of the body. In such cases, there can be a presence of paralysis on the body’s right side, memory loss, and speech or language problems. And if there is an occurrence of stroke in the right side of the brain, then there will be an impact on the left side of the body. At that time, you can observe some effects of stroke. For example, paralysis in the left side of the body, vision issues, or memory loss, etc.
Risk Factors Behind Stroke
A lot of things can give rise to stroke. Such things may be linked to lifestyle, medical, or some other factors. For example, those who are overweight or obese have chances to experience this problem. In fact, physical inactivity may also contribute to suffering from a stroke. Some people indulge in wrong lifestyle habits like heavy or binge drinking and usage of illegal drugs. They also need to avoid such things as they can be threatening to life.
Some medical factors that can put you at risk of stroke are as follows.
* High cholesterol and high blood pressure
* Cardiovascular problems, including heart defects, infection, failure, or abnormal heart rhythm like atrial fibrillation
* Family history of stroke, TIA, or heart attack.
Even if someone consumes an unhealthy diet that is rich in salt, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Then they also need to implement some changes in their diet. Apart from that, people aging 55 or more have a greater possibility to undergo stroke as compared to younger people. Even using hormone therapies or birth control pills can put a person at risk of stroke.
Diagnosis of Stroke
To diagnose the condition, the surgeon will ask some questions. Like, questioning the family about the symptoms, medical history, or medications used by the patient, etc. He may also have a look at the blood pressure, heart rate or recommend a physical exam. The physical exam is done for several reasons. Like evaluating for vision problems, numbness in the face, legs, or arms, weakness, signs of confusion, balance, or coordination, etc. There can be a requirement to implement some tests to verify several things. Like, confirming that the person has a stroke or the cause behind this occurrence. There is a need to recognize which part of the brain has been impacted or whether that patient has bleeding in the brain.
Tests For Stroke
To identify the presence of stroke, the surgeon may take help from some tests.
1. Blood tests
A blood test can come in use to determine the blood sugar levels or platelet levels. He can also take help from this test to know whether a person has an infection or how fast his blood clots.
MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is a useful and widely used technique to identify various problems. The surgeon may take help from MRI to check out whether any brain cells or tissues have been injured.
3. CT Scan
Full named as computerized tomography scan, this test delivers a clear and detailed image of the brain. With its help, the surgeon can see any bleeding or damage that appeared in the brain.
The surgeon may recommend an electrocardiogram, ECG, or EKG. With its help, one can visualize different conditions of the heart. For example, it records its electrical activity, calculates its rhythm, and records its beating.
Some other tests for stroke may include cerebral angiogram, echocardiogram, and carotid ultrasound.
A person who is specialized to look after conditions like stroke is a neurosurgeon and a neurophysician. With the help of technical advances, the treatment of stroke can be done which was inoperable in the earlier time. So, talking about stroke treatment, it is mainly based on the kind of stroke that happened to the patient. Let’s begin with ischemic stroke treatment.
Ischemic Stroke Treatment
One of the main goals in the treatment of ischemic stroke is to remove out the obstruction and restore blood flow to the brain with a rapid effect. Talking about medical prevention first, there is an IV injection of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) which is also known as alteplase (activase). This kind of medication proves to be a standard treatment for this kind of stroke. An injection of tPA is generally delivered through a vein in the arm in the initial three hours. In some cases, it can be given up to 4.5 hours after the beginning of stroke symptoms. So, with its help, blood flow can be restored by dissolving the blood clot. Although, there are some risks associated with tPA and isn’t used for treating hemorrhagic stroke.
There can be a use of endovascular rescue therapy. Also known as neuro-interventional therapy, it is done on patients with acute ischemic stroke. The procedure involves the insertion of a catheter in the brain and eliminating the clot that caused the stroke. But it should be done within 6 to 8 hours of the beginning of the stroke, depending on the position. Some other procedures include carotid endarterectomy, angioplasty, and stents.
Hemorrhagic Stroke Treatment
There are several treatment options available for hemorrhagic stroke. In usual cases, there comes a need to implement surgery especially if the area of bleeding is large. So, the surgeon will remove the blood and ease pressure on the brain with the help of surgery. Even it can also be used to repair the problem of blood vessels linked with hemorrhagic strokes. Next, there is a method of surgical clipping. Here, the surgeon puts a small clamp at the aneurysm’s base for discontinuing the blood flow to it. So, with the help of that small clamp, an aneurysm is protected from bursting. Or it can also keep the aneurysm from bleeding again which has been hemorrhaged recently.
The surgeon may also take help from some other procedures like coiling (endovascular embolization), surgical AVM removal, or stereotactic radiosurgery.
Complications of Stroke
A severe stroke can lead to many problems, ranging from temporary to permanent disabilities. The complications of stroke will be based on the part of the brain which has been affected by it. Along with that, it will depend on the time in which the part of the brain was deprived of oxygen. Still, here are some of the common complications of a stroke.
- Pain or numbness
- Problems in talking or eating
- Memory loss
- Loss of muscle movement
- Change in behavior
- Emotional problems
Apart from the given complications, there can be a presence of some other occurrences according to the patient’s condition.
Tips To Prevent From Stroke
If you want to protect yourself from the problem of stroke, there is a need to know about some things. If someone has already experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA), adopting a healthy lifestyle and following the advice of a healthcare specialist can save him from another stroke.
1. Those who smoke or make use of tobacco need to quit this habit. We all know about the negative consequences of smoking. But do you know smoking can uplift the chances of stroke? That’s why those who consume tobacco need to quit eating to reduce the risk of stroke.
2. Nowadays, a lot of people are suffering from diabetes. In such cases, there comes a need to manage their blood sugar levels. For that, they need to take a healthy diet, need to focus on cutting down extra weight, and exercise regularly. Even if such things aren’t helping to control diabetes, you can talk to the doctor for diabetic medicines.
3. Just like diabetes, many people have a complaint of high blood pressure or hypertension. Remember, high blood pressure can increase the chances of having a stroke. Make attempts to lower your blood pressure so it will be better for your health. For lowering blood pressure, you can adopt some lifestyle changes. Else, there is an availability of some medicines which you can take under the guidance of a doctor.
4. People also need to lower the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in their diet. Regarding a healthy diet, you can consume fruits and vegetables regularly. These things can be productive to save you from conditions like stroke.
5. Exercise is a helpful procedure to lower the possibility of stroke. With its help, you can lower your blood pressure, improve the health of your heart and blood vessels, and boost up the levels of good cholesterol. It is also a helpful thing to control diabetes and reduce stress. Regular exercising can also save you from being obese or overweight.
6. Those who consume alcohol need to avoid this activity. Since consumption of alcohol can give rise to many complications. For example, ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, high blood pressure, etc.
An Important Message
Identifying the symptoms of stroke is necessary for all of us. If you suspect the symptoms of stroke or identify the same in other people, seek immediate medical treatment. The team of Our Hospitals is here to facilitate the patient in any part of the day. You can visit our branches in such conditions and we will try to facilitate with good services and treatment options.
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