The Risk Factors for Strokes and How to Avoid Them

I have to write on this topic because I have seen too many people in my family have one. It is a condition where your body can shut down. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel (artery) that supplies blood to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot. Within minutes, the nerve cells in that area of the brain are damaged, and they may die within a few hours. As a result, the part of the body controlled by the damaged section of the brain cannot function properly. No two strokes are the same and people can be affected in quite different ways. This partly depends on which area of the brain is damaged, because different parts control different abilities such as speaking, memory, swallowing and moving. In the first few days after a stroke, treatment involves ensuring that the patient is well hydrated and nourished. The next phase of treatment – recovery through rehabilitation – involves a team of health professionals including physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and doctors.

Who is at risk for a stroke:

*Smokers are at a high risk. They need to quit for their health.

*People with diabetes. Good control of diabetes is important and requires to diet, regular urine tests, blood and sugar checks and insulin. Diabetes is an independent risk factor for stroke and is strongly correlated with high blood pressure. Although diabetes is treatable, the fact that a person has it still makes it much more likely that he or she will suffer a stroke.

*With old age comes medical problems sometimes. This is one of them. Irregular heart beat is fairly common in old age, and increases the risk of stroke by causing blood clots to form in the heart. The chance of having a stroke more than doubles for each decade of life after age 55.

*A moderate or marked increase in the red blood cell count is a risk factor for stroke. The reason is that more red blood cells thicken the blood and make clots more likely.

Stroke is largely preventable by practicing healthy lifestyle habits that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke – such as controlling high blood pressure, maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels, eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and stopping smoking.

If a person is suspected of having a stroke, emergency services should be contacted immediately, so he or she can be transported to the nearest hospital that can provide a rapid evaluation and treatment with the latest available therapies targeted to the type of stroke. Results can heppen fast so get them to a doctor right away. The faster these therapies are started for hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding into or around the brain) and ischemic stroke (due to a blood clot that blocks blood flow), the chances for recovery from each type improves greatly. Immediate decisions about medication and the need for surgery have been shown to improve outcome. So much technology has been used with people now a days that have strokes. They have improved in many ways to help these people.

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