Stroke occurs due to obstruction in the blood flow, or bleeding in the brain. This article talks about the types, causes, and symptoms of strokes; and ways to prevent it.
A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain gets blocked, either due to narrowed blood vessels, or presence of clots in the blood. When the brain is deprived of blood supply, the brain cells begin to die.
Based on which cells die, a patient can suffer from permanent damage to his vision, movements, or abilities such as talking or thinking.
Types of Strokes
Strokes are mainly classified as Ischemic or Hemorrhagic.
Ischemic strokes occur when there is a blood clot, or a blockage in the arteries that supply blood to the brain. They can be further classified into Thrombotic and Embolic. In a Thrombotic stroke, the arteries narrow down due to deposits of fat, and clog up the blood flow. These clogs cause formation of clots, and block the blood flow to the brain. In an Embolic Stroke, a blood clot is formed in another part of the body. This clot travels through the blood vessels, and blocks an artery that carries blood to the brain.
Hemorrhagic strokes occur when the blood vessels in the brain rupture. The rupture can be caused due to weakening of the blood vessel wall, or formation of bulges in the artery which burst (called an aneurysm). This leads to bleeding in the brain, and a loss of nutrient supply to brain cells.
The causes of a stroke include the following:
» Carotid Artery Disease
» Atrial fibrillation
» High blood pressure
» Heart Disease
» Cigarette smoking
» Excessive alcohol consumption
» High cholesterol
» Lack of exercise
» History of stroke
» Advanced age
» Hereditary factors
In case of a stroke, an individual may show sudden signs like:
» Numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs
» Dizziness, loss of balance, and unsteadiness
» Severe headache
» Dimness or loss of vision in one or both the eyes
» Confusion, or trouble in speaking or understanding speech
Changes in lifestyle are highly effective in preventing strokes. Following are the various ways to prevent them:
» Getting oneself checked for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation on a regular basis
» Quitting tobacco or smoking
» Drinking alcohol in moderate quantities
» Exercising regularly
» Following a low salt diet
» Following a diet that includes a variety of raw vegetables and fruits
Studies show that intake of Vitamin E gives the immune system the power to protect itself against strokes. A dose of Aspirin pill daily, is also said to prevent such an occurrence. However, it is best to consult a doctor before taking any medication.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.