Stroke. What does it mean? Blood flow blockage or brain attacks? Stroke is usually defined as two types:

  • Ischemic (caused by a blockage in an artery )
  • Hemorrhagic (caused by a tear in the wall of the artery that produces bleeding in the brain ) 

A disruption in blood flow to the brain is the primary cause of a stroke. It can be disastrous and cause brain damage or even death. Our brain receives about 25% of the body’s oxygen but it cannot store it. Brain cells require a constant supply of oxygen to stay healthy and function properly. Therefore, within minutes of a stroke, oxygen is cut off in the brain leading to death of brain cells . This also leads to some parts of the brain losing control over the activity of some parts of the body, resulting in temporary or permanent disability or paralysis.

The following complications could arise and may need continued medical cares :

  1. Urinary incontinence and urinary infection
  2. Cramp
  3. Falls, usually to the affected side
  4. Reduced blood supply to the brain may result in confusion and speech disturbances.

What are the symptoms of a stroke ???

People at risk or partners of people at risk for stroke should be aware of the general symptoms and the victim should get to the hospital as soon as possible after these warning signs appear. Some include the following:

  • Headache in the back of the head
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Inability to speak clearly
  • Weakness in the arms and legs
  • Tingling or numbness in the mouth, cheeks or gums

What are the risk factors for a stroke ???

  • SMOKING – people who smoke have higher risk to get stroke than nonsmokers
  • HEART DISEASE – heart disease and stroke are closely related for many reasons. They often have common risk factors.
  • STRESS – mental and emotional factors (stress and depression) have also been linked as a higher risk for having stroke.
  • AGE – people most at risk for stroke are older adults particularly those with high blood pressure, overweight, smoke or have diabetes.
  • SLEEP APNEA – which may contribute to the narrowing of the carotid artery, appears to increase the risk for stroke.
  • ATHEROSCLEROSIS – hardening of the arteries.