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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Understanding Cerebrovascular Accident: Causes, Symptoms, and How to Naturally Prevent Stroke

Medical science describes stroke as a sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain. A number of reasons can be adduced for the cause of stroke, but the major causative factor is usually a blocked artery in the case of ischemic stroke, or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel in the case of haemorrhagic stroke. Thus when the supply of oxygen and nutrients supply to the brain reduces or ceases its cells begin to die. However, studies reveal that about 85 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes. But stroke can be prevented by natural lifestyle changes or behaviours.

A number of people are likely to experience just a momentary interruption of blood flow to their brain, referred to as transient ischemic attack, or TIA. While taking a cursory look at stroke in general, it is vital to note also that brain haemorrhages can be caused by so many issues affecting your blood vessels. Some of these conditions may include high blood pressure gone out of control i.e. hypertension, overtreatment with anticoagulants, and fragile spots in your blood vessel walls referred to as aneurysms.
Experts have warned that the use of blood-thinning medications or overtreatment, and other conditions may cause an intracerebral haemorrhage, and so it suggests that you are well informed about the constant use or overuse of the affected medications like warfarins, aspirin, etc.
Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
There are various visible signs and symptoms you need to watch out for just in case you spot them so you can call for help or carry out some basic first aid measures before the patient is able to see a doctor.
·         Problem with speech and understanding
·         Paralysis or feeling of numbness in the face, arm or leg:  Ask patient to lift both arms over their head simultaneously. If one arm starts to fall, or one side of the mouth droops especially when smiling, they may be having a stroke.
·         Vision problem in one or both eyes e.g. blurred or double vision. 
·         A sudden severe Headache: Sometimes may come with vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness
·         Difficulty in walking due to loss of balance, or dizziness

Predisposing factors
A number of factors can make you be susceptible to having a stroke. Some can also heighten your risks of a heart attack. Good news is that they can all be treated and at the same time preventable. They are mainly categorised into two - lifestyle risk factors and medical risk factors, and they include the followings:
·         Being overweight or obese
·         Physical inactivity
·         Heavy or binge drinking
·         Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
·         High blood pressure
·         Cigarette smoking or even passive smoking
·         High cholesterol
·         Diabetes
·         Obstructive sleep apnea
·         Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm
·         Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack
·         Being age 55 or older
·         Race – black people have a higher risk of stroke than do people of other races.
·         Gender - Men have a higher risk of stroke than women
·         Some birth control pills or hormone therapies that include oestrogen, as well as from pregnancy and childbirth

(c) Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

First Aid for Stroke victims
In the event of a stroke however, it is already an emergency situation and time is of the essence because the longer a stroke stays without treatment the higher the possibility of a brain damage, disability, or even death! You therefore need not waste time in attending to the patient and letting them see a medical expert. There are first aid measures that you should learn to apply pending when the patient can see a doctor as early treatment greatly reduces the death rate and longer-term effects for survivors.
According to the Australian Resuscitation Council, the following First Aid is recommended for stroke casualties:
§  Staying with the victim
§  Calling an ambulance for any victim who has shown signs of stroke, no matter how brief or if symptoms have resolved
§  If victim is conscious, provide reassurance and do not give anything to eat or drink
§  Administer oxygen if available and trained to do so
§  If victim is an unconscious casualty, check for response, ensuring a clear airway
§  Remove all tight fittings

Natural Stroke Preventive measures
Prevention they say is better than cure. As a result, the Harvard Health Publications of the Harvard Medical School has outlined the following 7 natural preventive measures so you can live a life above stroke:

  1. Ensure to lower your blood pressure
  2. Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
  3. Exercise more
  4. Drink (alcohol) - in moderation
  5. Treat atrial fibrillation, i.e. fibrillation of the muscles of the atria of the heart
  6. Treat diabetes if any
  7. Quit smoking 

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