STROKE: 8 QUICK FACTS WITH PROACTIVE PREVENTION TIPS

By | 2018-12-28T08:44:33+00:00 December 27th, 2018|HEALTH|0 Comments

Half the population of the world are faced with the ailment of stroke, amongst other life-threatening health issues. This however calls for a serious caution and advocacy in order to tame the pressure of the menace in our contemporary society today.

It is no news that 1 out the population of a society is affected with stroke. It becomes devastating as results show that every 4 minutes, 800,000 people die of stroke and the numbers are increasing on quotidian basis. Alas, more than half percent of these deaths can be averted if the right measures are put in place and people willing to follow medical prescriptions and cautions.

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While a stroke can potentially affect anyone, typically it is usually the older population (65 plus) that are at higher risk. This should be taken as a sign to the younger generation to be proactive and get healthy in hopes of eliminating the risk as much as possible. However, in the event that it does happen, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms – it might just save your life.

rmhealthy

Scouting around, you’ll agree that the case of stroke is no paradox. At least in Nigeria, people living with stroke are increasing daily and the death rate also snowballing. That’s a wakeup call for the Government as well as Nigerians to be proactive in tackling the pandemic health challenge.

1x1.trans - STROKE: 8 QUICK FACTS WITH PROACTIVE PREVENTION TIPS

However, must one waits for the rainy day before getting prepared or read the weather to get prepared? There is no ignorance in the grave. The only way to life is to stay abreast with useful information that would help avert unforeseen contingencies.

795,000 people in the United States get a stroke each year.

One out of four people who have a stroke die (137,000 deaths from stroke per year).

Currently, 3 million people in the US have disabilities from strokes.

In US, strokes cost $57.9 billion per year (damage and loss of work).

⅔ of stroke happen in people 65 and up.

Strokes affect men more than women.

Women more likely to die from stroke than men.

Strokes are more common in African Americans.

Strokes are more likely to be fatal in African Americans.

Stroke rates in older adults are declining but rates in younger people are rising (scientists think that it’s related to obesity).

Physical therapy can help patients.

Some people are in a wheelchair after getting a stroke.

10% of survivors suffer no long-term disabilities.

10% of survivors suffer from so many disabilities that they have to stay in 24-hour care.

Statistics (Wikipedia)

WHAT IS STROKE?

1x1.trans - STROKE: 8 QUICK FACTS WITH PROACTIVE PREVENTION TIPS

stroke is an event which damages part of the brain. This can happen if an artery that feeds blood to the brain gets clogged, or if it tears and leaks. Simply put; a stroke is when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain.

WebMD opined that If you have a stroke, it means something has cut off your brain’s blood supply. It’s an emergency, because without oxygen and nutrients from the blood, the part of your brain that’s affected quickly starts to die. So you, or someone who’s with you, needs to call the distress line right away.

1x1.trans - STROKE: 8 QUICK FACTS WITH PROACTIVE PREVENTION TIPS

stroke is an event which damages part of the brain. This can happen if an artery that feeds blood to the brain gets clogged, or if it tears and leaks. Simply put; a stroke is when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain.

When there is a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain, it leads to rapid loss of brain function(s) which results to what is known as stroke. The affected part of the brain cannot function properly.

A stroke is a medical emergency. It can cause permanent damage. If it is not quickly treated, it may lead to death. It is the third most common cause of death and the most common cause of disability for adults in the United States and Europe.

Wikipedia

TWO TYPES OF STROKE

An ischemic stroke occurs when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels to the brain. Fatty deposits called plaque can also cause blockages by building up in the blood vessels.

hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. Blood builds up and damages surrounding brain tissue.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
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Google

SYMPTOMS OF STROKE

  • Loss of Balance:

Emily Lockhart explains that the onset of a stroke will cause extreme physical turmoil, so much so that often victims have trouble walking, lose their balance and coordination completely, and even have trouble sitting down without falling. You could stumble and it feel next to impossible to get your balance, even just focusing on your balance and coordination. The aforementioned experience is as a result of sudden dizziness.

If you perhaps notice this sign, then it is wise to call your doctor for help.

  • Sight Problem:

Another symptom of stroke is double or lured vision in one or both eye(s). The seeing challenge in either eye or both eyes is dependent on the side of the brain that is damaged. This is as a result of variety of optical symptoms. It could create difficulty in swallowing.

  • Severe Headache:

Having severe headache could be as a result of other ailment but not centred only on stroke. However, sudden severe headache with no known cause is a stroke sign in men and women.

  • Numbness or Weakness:

Stroke has a way of breaking its victim’s muscular strength in pieces. This weakness or numbness begins from the scratch – even if it’s temporary – until it becomes uncontrollable or severe. Activebeat asserted that many patients complain of numbness or tingling in the left arm or shoulder that comes on suddenly and gradually worsens. Sometimes, complete muscle failure can occur, where you can’t lift an arm or bear weight on the affected leg.

Muscle weakness can occur after a stroke as well, especially if you’re immobile for a long period of time. Intense physical therapy can help teach stroke survivors how to better control their weak muscles and do some small tasks. While some people who’ve had a stroke never regain their ability to move one or both sides of their body, physical therapy has led to many stroke survivors regaining their ability to heal – allowing them to walk and do the other regular day-to-day activities they did before the stroke.

Activebeat
  • Speech Difficulty:

This is an obvious sign that a victim is likely to have the stroke. This can be detected when the victim cannot speak clearly or form intelligent sentences. In this case, the victim is helpless, trying to talk or having a drab and confusing look on his/her face. This impair the speech organ of the person, thus makes it difficult to talk.

Speech can be greatly improved in the first few months following a stroke. The American Stroke Association identifies three speech disorders that can occur after a stroke – aphasia (difficulty or inability to use or comprehend words), apraxia (difficulty initiating or executing movement necessary to speak, despite being physically able to), and oral apraxia (difficulty moving the muscles of the lips, throat, soft palate and throat for things besides speech, like smiling). There are comprehensive treatments and therapies to help a stroke survivor regain their ability to speak well and normally.

Activebeat

HOW TO TEST FOR STROKE

Stroke comes with signs and symptoms. Understanding those signals is the surest way to avert the danger of stroke. The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association created a model that could help people detect stroke using an acronym F.A.S.T. You can perform the following check to know if a person is having a stroke.

F – Face (Facial Droop). Is one side of the face drooping or numb? Ask the person to smile, then watch the reaction carefully. Is the person’s smile uneven?

A – Arm (Arm Weakness). Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? **Remember that the side of weakness is dependent on the side of the brain affected with stroke. It could also be from both sides.

S – Speech (Speech Difficulty). Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence you pronounced.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T – Time – Time to dial the emergency line of your local country. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, it is time to call the emergency unit or take the person to the nearest hospital for further diagnosis and treatment.

More Information supported by CDC:

CHECK ALSO:  An Overview of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Information from other organizations:

IS STROKE HEREDITARY?

A stroke is not a primary disease. Instead, it is a consequence of something else, most often vascular disease that leads to plaque formation on the inside of blood vessels. However, people with family history of stroke should always check and monitor their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Though, the chances of having stroke is slim compared to those with no family history. Therefore, it has not yet been confirmed if stroke hereditary as continued researches are been carried out to ascertain this fact.

Can a stroke be passed on?
Although strokes most frequently are caused by factors such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, there also are other rare conditions that may lead to stroke. Many of these conditions are hereditary, meaning they are passed down through family lines. – Read more (Rare and Hereditary Causes of Stroke)”

Cedars-Sinai

IS STROKE CONTAGIOUS?

NO! It is not like other contagious diseases one can find out there.

Read this short story from a victim: Strokes aren’t contagious.

STROKE PREVENTION: WHAT TO DO

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Prevention tips

Be in control of your Blood Pressure. This is a common factor that triggers a risk of stroke. Most people do not know their blood pressure and when to depressurise. Dr Rost says. “Monitoring blood pressure and, if it is elevated, treating it, is probably the biggest difference people can make to their vascular health.” Ensure that you maintain 135/85 pressure or less. Practical ways to make this possible can be:

Reduce intake of salt (half a teaspoon a day).
Avoid high-cholesterol foods (burger, cheese, ice cream, etc.)
Eat more fruits and vegetables every day.
Exercise, 30 minutes at least, on daily basis.
Quit smoking, if you smoke at all or stay away from the midst of smokers.
If needed, take blood pressure medicines.

Manage or control your weight. A lot of people care less about being overweighed or obese. This is actually one of the pointers for stroke. Therefore, checking your body mass index (BMI) can help control the risk factor of stroke. At least your body mass index (BMI) should be 25 or less (ideally). If this is done, it will help improve your blood pressure readings, lower cholesterol, reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, and decrease body fat.

If most of a person’s body fat rests around the waist instead of the hips, then they have a greater risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Women with a waist size greater than 35 inches and men with a waist size greater than 40 inches also have a higher risk of these conditions, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

healthline

There are ways to get your weight in proper check.

Try to reduce your consumption of calories to between 1,500 to 2,000 daily according to your body mass index (BMI).
Do more of exercise such as walking, etc., on a single day.

Exercise more. Physical activity plays a predominant role in addressing the cases of stroke and other health related issues such as blood pressure level, cholesterol levels, etc. Harvard Women’s Health Watch prescribed a moderate way to achieve this.

Take a walk around your neighbourhood every morning after breakfast.
Start a fitness club with friends.
When you exercise, reach the level at which you’re breathing hard, but you can still talk.
Take the stairs instead of an elevator when you can.
If you don’t have 30 consecutive minutes to exercise, break it up into 10- to 15-minute sessions a few times each day.

Control intake of alcohol. There is no gimmick about the fact that high consumption of alcohol increases blood pressure level (visit CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health website for more information). According to studies, stroke is mostly triggered by high consumption level of alcohol. The best way is to have one drink per day to reduce the risk of stroke. The decision is – Do not drink alcohol but if you should, do it with moderation.

CHECK ALSO:  Facts You Need To Know About Calcium Salts

Reduce the intake of salt and eat healthier diet. If you are a good salt licker or user, then it’s time you cut down on your salt (sodium) intake. It will lower your blood pressure which is one of the conditions for stroke. Also, it’s advised that eating healthy diet is the best way to go. This is not the junks you consume on daily basis but having a nutritious meal on regular basis. Your diet should include, Veggies, fish, fruits and whole grains.

Say No to Tobacco! Studies show that smoking cigarette or chewing tobacco causes physical changes to the body. Webmd opined that tobacco consumption can thicken your blood and make it more likely to clot and cause fatty build-up in your arteries.” The rule is not to engage in smoking if you are not into it. And if you are, then quit smoking (see CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use website). Asking a doctor for a way out can save from the imminent risk of stroke.

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The Effects of Stress on Your Body

You’re sitting in traffic, late for an important meeting, watching the minutes tick away. Your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, decides to send out the order: Send in the stress hormones! These stress hormones are the same ones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response…Read more, click HERE

Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, smoking cessation is one of the most powerful lifestyle changes that will help you reduce your stroke risk significantly.

Dr. Rost

Treat atrial fibrillation and diabetes. Atrial fibrillation is a form of irregular heartbeat that causes clots to form in the heart. Research study shows that the outcome of atrial fibrillation (clots) have a tendency of travelling to the brain which produces stroke. This risk should be taken serious and corrected. Also, diabetes is as a result of the increase in blood sugar level. The risk is not only to damage sensitive tissues and organs of the body but also causes stroke. Diabetes damages blood vessels which could likely make clots to form (in the vessels). Ways to cross-check these challenges are as follow:

Always monitor your blood sugar level.
Do not hesitate to see your doctor if you have any symptoms of shortness of breath.
Be in control of your blood sugar level by using diet, medicines (prescribed by your physician or doctor) and exercise regularly.
You may need to take an anticoagulant drug (blood thinner) such as warfarin (Coumadin) or one of the newer direct-acting anticoagulant drugs to reduce your stroke risk from atrial fibrillation. Your doctors can guide you through this treatment.

MEDICAL PREVENTION OF STROKE

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In spite of the preventive measures above, it is also pertinent to use the right supplements which can help reduce the risk of stroke and improve recovery. It should be reiterated that some supplements may cause negative side effects when used with certain medications. Alas, it is advised to get supplements (vitamins and nutrients) through food order than taking drugs supplements.

READ ALSO: Stroke – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic

Vitamins and Nutrients

– Folic acid, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12. Certain B vitamins could help to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are linked with an increased risk of stroke.
– Betadine. Research shows that the amino acid betadine may lower levels of homocysteine.
– Vitamin C. This vitamin may aid in repairing blood vessel damage and reducing plaque build-up in the arteries.
– Vitamin D. Supplements of this vitamin may be beneficial because low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of artery-blocking strokes, especially in people with high blood pressure.
– Vitamin E. Taking supplements of vitamin E may help with memory impairment.
– Omega-3 fatty acids. In general, omega-3 fatty acids may improve cholesterol levels. One type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-lipoid acid (ALA), may also prevent cell damage, according to a study performed on rats.
– Magnesium. The mineral magnesium may lower blood pressure, according to a study in the journal Hypertension.

READ ALSO: Drugs for Stroke: Anticoagulants, Statins, and More – Healthline

Herbal Supplements

– Ashwagandha. Also known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has antioxidant properties that may prevent and treat stroke. A 2015 study explored its effect on mice.
– Bilberry. This berry may improve cholesterol and lower blood sugar.
– Garlic. Preventing blood clotting and destroying plaque are two potential benefits of garlic.
– Asian ginseng. A staple of Chinese medicine, Asian ginseng is said to improve memory.
– Gotu kola. This herb has been shown to boost cognitive function in people who’ve had strokes.
– Turmeric. A spice, turmeric may lower cholesterol levels and help prevent blockages in arteries.

Rehabilitated Stroke Patient Cooking at Home


Life after a Stroke

Many people who have a stroke regain the ability to take care of themselves if they follow their rehabilitation plan. Those who get clot-busting drugs soon enough may recover completely. And those who experience disability can often learn to function independently through therapy. It has been shown that 3% to 4% of all patients that experience a stroke will subsequently experience a second stroke.

WebMD

In conclusion, early detention and proactive prevention of stroke can save potential victim(s) from impending health hazard.

Runways, in a bid to promoting healthy lifestyles and helping lives, strongly advised readers to heed to the information gathered and show some love by making sure that this useful post is spread to enrich lives out there. We await your insightful comments. Shalom!

Sources: rmhealthy, Webmd, healthHarvard, healthline, Activebeat, Wikipedia

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