What You Need To Know About Stroke – A Cardiovascular Disease
A stroke befalls when the supply of blood to the brain is whichever interrupted or reduced. When this happens, the brain does not get sufficient oxygen or nutrients, and brain cells start to die.
Here’s everything you need to know about stroke:
What are the symptoms of stroke?
Symptoms of a stroke frequently appear without warning. The main symptoms of stroke are:
- confusion, comprising trouble with speaking and understanding
- a headache, feasibly with altered consciousness or vomiting
- numbness or incapability to move parts of the face, arm, or leg, mainly on one side of the body
- vision difficulties in one or both eyes
- trouble walking, with lightheadedness and lack of coordination
- Strokes can lead to long-term health problems. Reliant on how quickly it is detected and cured, an individual can experience momentary or permanent disabilities in the aftermath of a stroke
In addition to the importunity of the problems listed above, people may also experience the following:
- bladder or bowel control problems
- pain in the hands and feet that gets worse with movement and temperature changes
- paralysis or weakness on one or both sides of the body
- trouble controlling or expressing emotions
Symptoms vary and may range in rigorousness.
The acronym F.A.S.T. is a way to remember the signs of stroke, and can help identify the onset of stroke:
- Face drooping: If the person tries to grin, does one side of the face droop?
- Arm weakness: If the person tries to raise equally their arms, does one arm drift downward?
- Speech difficulty: If the person effort to recap a simple phrase, is his/her speech indistinct or strange?
If any of these signs are perceived, contact the emergency services.
The faster a person with suspected stroke obtains medical attention, the better their prognosis will be, and the less likely they will be to experience enduring damage or death.
What are the types & causes of stroke?
There are two types of stroke.
- Ischemic stroke is parallel to a heart attack, but it happens in the blood vessels of the brain. Clots can form in the brain’s blood vessels, in blood vessels leading to the brain, or even in blood vessels somewhere else in the body and then mobile to the brain. These clots block blood flow to the brain’s cells. Ischemic stroke can also occur when too much plaque (fatty deposits and cholesterol) obstructs the brain’s blood vessels. About 80% of all strokes are ischemic.
- Hemorrhagic strokes arise when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or rifts. The result is blood seeping into the brain tissue, causing harm to brain cells. The most collective causes of hemorrhagic stroke are high blood pressure and brain aneurysms. An aneurysm is a faintness or thinness in the blood vessel wall.
The diverse types of stroke have different causes. However, stroke is more likely to disturb people if they have the following risk factors:
- being weighty
- being aged 55 years or older
- a personal or family history of stroke
- a sedentary lifestyle
- an inclination to drink heavily, smoke, or use illicit drugs
What factors increase the risk of stroke?
Controllable risk factors for stroke are:
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Carotid or coronary artery disease
Uncontrollable risk factors for stroke:
- Age (>65)
- Gender (Men have more strokes, but women have lethal strokes)
- Race (African-Americans are at augmented risk)
- The family history of stroke
Your doctor can estimate your risk of stroke and help you control your risk factors. Sometimes, people experience warning signs before a stroke occurs.
What are the complications of a stroke?
In the United States, stroke is the main cause of disability. Quick medical treatment decreases the risk for irreparable complications and enduring disability.
Following are the complications that may occur within 72 hours of the stroke:
- Cerebral swelling (edema)
- Increased intracranial pressure (ICP)
- Intracerebral hemorrhage
Ischemic cascade can cause paralysis on one side of the body (called, hemiparesis) and different speech difficulties. Due to the immobility that is caused by stroke, following complications may gradually develop:
- Blood clots
- Fibrosis of connective tissue (results in decreased mobility)
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
How to diagnose stroke/what tests are performed to diagnose stroke?
There are quite a few different types of diagnostic tests that doctors can use to define which type of stroke has occurred:
Physical examination: A doctor will ask about signs and medical history. They may check blood pressure, listen to the carotid arteries in the neck, and scrutinize the blood vessels at the back of the eyes to check for indications of clotting.
Blood tests: A doctor may do blood tests to find out how rapidly the clots occur, the levels of particular substances in the blood, including clotting factors and whether or not an infection is present.
CT scan: A sequence of X-rays can show hemorrhages, strokes, tumors, and other conditions within the brain.
MRI scan: Radio waves and magnets make an image of the brain to perceive damaged brain tissue.
Carotid ultrasound: It is used to check the flow of the blood in the carotid arteries and to check the presence of any plaque.
Cerebral angiogram: During this test, dyes are injected into the blood vessels of the brain so that they become visible under the X-ray. It is used to see the complete view of the brain and the blood vessels present in the neck.
Echocardiogram: This test generates a detailed image of the heart that is used to check any source of clots that could have moved to the brain for causing a stroke.
What is the treatment of stroke?
The first treatment for stroke is supportive.
The patient usually will be given fluids through an IV because if they are having a stroke, they may often be shriveled.
Oxygen may be given to be sure that the brain is getting the utmost amount.
If the patient has any trouble breathing, this will be measured and treated.
Unlike people with chest pain, people having a stroke are not given an aspirin immediately.
The patient is demanded not to eat or drink until their aptitude to swallow is assessed.
Blood pressure control: Although blood pressure control is part of the deterrence and treatment of strokes, it is vital not to lower the blood pressure too much so that the brain will get sufficient blood. Many, unlike medications, can be used to lower the blood pressure including pills, nitroglycerin paste, or IV injections. If the blood pressure is very great, the patient would be placed on a continuous IV flow of medication.
Many persons with stroke have very high blood pressure when they come to the emergency department. This may be due to an original problem or in response to the stroke. The doctor will measure the blood pressure and the type of stroke and decide if the blood pressure should be dropped.
If the patient has an acute stroke, they will be admitted to the hospital for monitoring and further testing to figure out the reason for the stroke and means to prevent a future stroke. Once somebody has had a stroke, they are at greater risk than others of having an additional stroke.
What measures can be followed to prevent stroke?
Strokes are avoidable!
The most significant thing you can do is to get your blood pressure checked and treated if it is high.
- Have your blood pressure tested and monitored by a doctor. Even temperately high blood pressure over years can lead to a stroke.
- Treat high cholesterol with diet and exercise and then medication to decrease the risk of stroke. High levels of blood cholesterol known as LDL (low-density lipoprotein) upsurge risk for stroke and may cause the creation of artery-narrowing plaque.
- In people with definite irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation, the use of blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) has been shown to decrease the risk of stroke.
- For the general population, aspirin has not been revealed to reduce stroke risk. It may be valuable if prescribed by a doctor for people who have an increased risk of stroke.
- Control of diabetes.
- Stop smoking or never smoke.
- Know the indications of a stroke. Turn quickly when someone displays the signs of a stroke. Stroke is a medical emergency.
If you are at high risk of developing stroke or you’re experiencing the symptoms of stroke, you can book an online appointment for consultation by visiting Island Medical Consultants website. Our American board-certified internists provide cardiovascular disease management programs in which you can have an initial consultation and screening tests for early diagnosis of the disease.
***The material provided in this article is for solely informational/educational purposes. It doesn’t interpret as medical advice***