What Is A Stroke?

Dec 7, 2022 | Life After Stroke, Stroke Side Effects, Types of Stroke

The brain and heart are two organs that must function at all times. The brain controls all the voluntary and involuntary actions in the body. The heart ensures the brain gets all the nutrients it needs and supplies the body with oxygen for every function. Without the nutrients and oxygen, the clot begins to cause brain damage by killing the brain cells. Damage to the brain cells can cause bleeding in the brain and cause a stroke- a brain hemorrhage. A stroke happens when the blood flow is blocked, and the brain struggles to get the oxygen it needs.

A stroke can cause lasting damage to the brain, and since it can potentially kill brain cells, it can lead to disability and, in extreme cases, death.

What Are The 3 Types of Strokes?

The three types of strokes are:

  1. Ischemic stroke: These strokes happen when a clot in a blood vessel interferes with the blood flow to the brain, which can also occur when a blood clot travels from one area of the body to the brain and restricts the oxygen supply.
  2. Transient ischemic attack: These strokes typically last for a few minutes and serve as an alarm for an impending stroke. It’s key to seek medical help as it can stop a stroke from happening.
  3. Hemorrhagic stroke: These strokes happen when an artery in the brain bursts open, creates an excess of pressure and swells the brain-damaging brain cells and tissues.

What Is A Mini-Stroke?

A mini-stroke usually lasts for a few minutes, and most symptoms disappear within an hour. The symptoms of a mini-stroke resemble a stroke. It is caused due to a brief blockage of blood in the oxygen supply chain to the brain. The stroke can remind you to rush to the doctor and get an ECG to understand what’s causing the issue.

A mini-stroke can happen because of a buildup of cholesterol in the vessels in the form of plaques. The plaques are cholesterol-containing fatty deposits on the inner sides of the blood vessels that can tear off when there’s high blood pressure and form a block in another area of the plaque buildup.

Reducing your risk of TIA will inevitably reduce your risk of a significant stroke. Get a health checkup done once or twice a year to understand the condition of your heart. Follow a healthy lifestyle and keep the following points in mind when building your own life. Here are a few essential pointers to reduce the risk of TIA:

  1. Stay away from smoking: The nicotine and tar combine to make your blood suboptimal and cause the heart and brain to overwork and do damage control again and again.
  2. Limit fast foods and simple sugars: Indulging in cholesterol-causing food, incredibly saturated and trans fats, can cause a buildup of plaques in your arteries.
  3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables: These fruits contain potassium, magnesium, and zinc that protect your heart against oxidative stress and strokes.
  4. Maintain a healthy relationship with exercise and limit sodium: Avoiding salty foods and regular exercise can help your heart recuperate better with your lifestyle and reduce blood pressure.

What Are The Main Signs of A Stroke?

There are a few key signs of identifying a stroke before it happens. Learning about the early signs can give you a crucial heads-up on what you can expect and where to seek the help you need. The stroke symptoms include:

  1. Slurred speech: Sudden loss of control over how someone speaks, along with confusion about what they are talking about. This happens because the brain operates in suboptimal conditions and struggles to put the words together.
  2. Pulling of face to one side: Sudden numbness and lack of coordination between both sides, along with a sensation of one of the patient’s hands being removed without any external effort.
  3. Problems in seeing a clear picture: The patient might experience blackened or blurry vision in either one of your eyes or both eyes.
  4. Dizziness accompanied by sweating: The patient might experience severe headaches accompanied by dizziness while trying to hold themselves together.

Sometimes, the treatment can be most effective at the earliest possible time. Watch out for the signs at all times.

What Is A TIA Stroke?

The transient ischemic attack is caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. While the symptoms can last from minutes up to 24 hours, they are often dismissed by the patient as a minor inconvenience. The risk of someone experiencing a TIA is never zero, but the risks can compound when you are over 50. In the cases where you’ve previously had a stroke, pay close attention to the signs of TIA and seek immediate medical help because it can signal a second stroke in the future.

Symptoms to notice and spot when you are experiencing a TIA:

  1. Lack of coordination and dizziness.
  2. Severe headache.
  3. Blindness in one or both eyes.
  4. Losing control of what you’re speaking and slurred speech.

Be mindful of a TIA, especially if you fall under the categories below:

  • A smoker
  • A frequent habit of drinking alcohol.
  • A medical history of cardiovascular disease.
  • Genetic history of diabetes.
  • Embolism risks.

According to the statistics surrounding TIA[1], more than 1 out of 3 people who experience a TIA don’t get medical help for suffering a major stroke in the following year. And 1 to 2 people out of 10 who share TIA suffer a major stroke within three months. It’s clear to see how vital seeking medical help is.

What Is Stroke Volume?

Stroke volume is used to collect data on how your heart is pumping blood and give your diagnostician key details on evaluating your condition. The mistaken explanation of the metric is that each contraction pumps out all the blood in the left ventricle, but only about two-thirds of the blood is pumped out from the left ventricle.

Stroke volume gives a critical insight into the heart’s cardiac output and heart rate. Stroke volume, in medical terms, is the difference between the volume of the end-diastolic position and the end-systolic position of the heart. The volume ejected with each heartbeat is 50-100 mL depending on the person’s weight. [2] 

Bring The Right Treatment at The Right Time

A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function due to a failure of the blood supply to the brain. The main signs of a stroke are paralysis, weakness, and numbness in the face, arm, or leg. Other signs may include slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and blindness or visual impairment. If you experience any of these symptoms, call the ambulance immediately and tell the dispatcher that you think you are having a stroke. Strokes are a medical emergency and require immediate treatment. The sooner you receive treatment, the more likely you are to recover.

Connect with your doctor today to learn more about strokes and how you can protect yourself from this life-threatening condition.

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