What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there’s a blockage in the blood supply to the brain. The rupture or blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the brain’s tissues.
Without oxygen, brain cells and tissue become damaged and begin to die within minutes. Check out exactly how stroke effects the body.

Stroke symptoms

The loss of blood flow to the brain damages tissues within the brain. Symptoms of a stroke show up in the body parts controlled by the damaged areas of the brain.
The sooner a person having a stroke gets care, the better their outcome is likely to be. For this reason, it’s helpful to know the signs of a stroke so you can act quickly. Stroke symptoms can include:
  • paralysis
  • numbness or weakness in the arm, face, and leg, especially on one side of the body
  • trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • confusion
  • slurring speech
  • vision problems, such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes with vision blackened or blurred, or double vision
  • trouble walking
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • dizziness
  • severe, sudden headache with an unknown cause
A stroke requires immediate medical attention. If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, have someone call 911 right away. Prompt treatment is key to preventing the following outcomes:
  • brain damage
  • long-term disability
  • death
It’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with a stroke, so don’t be afraid to call 7888072525 if you think you recognize the signs of a stroke
Risk factors for stroke
Certain risk factors make you more susceptible to stroke. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteTrusted Source, the more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to have a stroke. Risk factors for stroke include:

Diet

An unhealthy diet that increases your risk of stroke is one that’s high in:
  • salt
  • saturated fats
  • trans fats
  • cholesterol

Inactivity

Inactivity, or lack of exercise, can also raise your risk for stroke.
Regular exercise has a number of health benefits. The CDC recommends that adults get at least 2.5 hoursTrusted Source of aerobic exercise every week. This can mean simply a brisk walk a few times a week.

Alcohol consumption

Your risk for stroke also increases if you drink too much alcohol. Alcohol consumption should be done in moderation. This means no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two for men. More than that may raise blood pressure levels as well as triglyceride levels, which can cause atherosclerosis.

Tobacco use

Using tobacco in any form also raises your risk for stroke, since it can damage your blood vessels and heart. This is further increased when smoking, because your blood pressure rises when you use nicotine.

Personal background

There are certain personal risk factors for stroke that you can’t control. Stroke risk can be linked to your:
  • Family history. Stroke risk is higher in some families because of genetic health issues, such as high blood pressure.
  • Sex. According to the CDCTrusted Source, while both women and men can have strokes, they’re more common in women than in men in all age groups.
  • AgeThe older you are, the more likely you are to have a stroke.
  • Race and ethnicity. Caucasians, Asian Americans, and Hispanics are less likely to have a stroke than African-Americans, Alaska Natives, and American Indians.

Diagnosis of stroke

Your doctor will ask you or a family member about your symptoms and what you were doing when they arose. They’ll take your medical history to find out your stroke risk factors. They’ll also:
  • ask what medications you take
  • check your blood pressure
  • listen to your heart
You’ll also have a physical exam, during which the doctor will evaluate you for:
  • balance
  • coordination
  • weakness
  • numbness in your arms, face, or legs
  • signs of confusion
  • vision issues
Your doctor will then do certain tests. A variety of tests are used to aid in diagnosis of a stroke. These tests can help doctors determine:
  • if you had a stroke
  • what may have caused it
  • what part of the brain is impacted
  • whether you have bleeding in the brain
These tests can also determine if your symptoms are being caused by something else