A stroke occurs when there is a sudden interruption of the blood supply to the brain. Sometimes called a “brain attack”, a stroke is a serious emergency that requires immediate medical attention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S.
In this blog, we’ll go over the symptoms, causes, and risk factors of strokes.
What is a Stroke?
When there is a reduced or interrupted supply of blood to the brain, a stroke occurs. The brain cells become deprived of the glucose and oxygen needed to survive and eventually die. If not treated early, a stroke can result in permanent brain injury or death.
African-Americans face twice the risk of first-time strokes when compared to Caucasian people, as stated by the American Heart Association (AHA).
Symptoms of a Stroke
The symptoms of a stroke are as follows:
- Troubled Speech: Patients face difficulty in formulating words or understanding speech accompanied by a general sense of confusion.
- Headaches: A severe, sudden headache that leads to dizziness, altered consciousness, or vomiting.
- Difficulty in walking: A loss of coordination and dizziness that causes the person to lose their balance or stumble.
- Partial or complete paralysis: Patients may experience sudden weakness, numbness, or paralysis in the arm, leg, or face that usually affects one side of the body.
Causes of a Stroke
Strokes are caused by two main reasons: bursting or leaking of a blood vessel known as hemorrhagic stroke or a blocked artery called an ischemic stroke. Sometimes, the disruption of blood flow to the brain is only temporary and is referred to as TIA or transient ischemic attack.
Ischemic strokes or blocking or an artery is the most common type and accounts for 80% of all strokes, according to The Internet Stroke Center. This condition develops when blood vessels within the brain become narrow or are blocked. The blockage or narrowing is caused by a buildup of fatty deposits or other debris carried via the bloodstream.
Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel within the brain begins to leak or rupture. Causes of hemorrhagic strokes include trauma, ischemic strokes, protein deposits within blood vessel walls, bulge formation at weak spots, overtreatment with anticoagulants, and consistently high blood pressure.
Factors that increase the risk of strokes include being obese or overweight, heavy drinking, using illegal drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Medical risk factors include smoking or prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, and a family history of strokes.
The probability of experiencing a stroke also increases if you are aged 55 or older, are of African-American descent, a male, or resort to hormone therapies including estrogen.
Aside from sticking to daily exercise and incorporating healthy foods in your diet, there are other means of significantly reducing the risk of strokes. Vasculex offers some of the best supplements to improve blood circulation. These assist in reducing the risk of blood clots and improving brain function!
Get in touch with us today for more information.