WHAT IS A STROKE?
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to any part of the brain because a blood vessel is blocked by a clot or burst open. A stroke is sometimes called a “brain attack.”
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF STROKE?
Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke). A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke”, is caused by a temporary clot. (85% of strokes are “ischemic,” caused by clots).
As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field.
A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and lead to death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and it is the second leading cause of death worldwide.
A stroke can happen to anyone. Know the warning signs
WARNING SIGNS OF STROKE
The most common sign of stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body. Other warning signs can include:
- Sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Act FAST! Delay = Disability
- Keep your blood slippery and reduce the risk of a stroke naturally
- Hydrate Proper hydration helps to keep your blood lubricated. Dehydrated people have sludgy blood. Make sure you always drink plenty of water. The most common recommendation is to drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water daily
- Avoid fatty foods. Follow a healthy, low-fat diet. First and foremost, keep your sweets under control. Second, avoid trans fats—partially hydrogenated oils used in processed and fried foods.
- Do not drink more than 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks a day.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps keep all systems healthy. It promotes beneficial blood viscosity and opens up capillaries for ideal blood flow.
- Get your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure is a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke. Even moderate reductions can lower risk
- Have your cholesterol checked. If you are at high risk for stroke, your LDL “bad” cholesterol should be lower than 100 mg/dL
- Quit smoking! Smoking causes sludgy, viscous, and inflamed blood. Stopping smoking can improve your heart health, tremendously.
- Relax Anger and stress fuel the flames of inflammation in the arteries and blood. Moderate your emotions.