Anyone can have a stroke

Anyone can have a stroke.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when there is an interruption in the blood supply to the brain. This disruption can be caused by a bleed or a blockage that results in the demise of brain cells.

Blockages account for 85% of all strokes, and while anyone can have a stroke, over 55-year-olds are more likely to have one.

Stroke victims can suffer permanent brain damage; some recover completely and resume their normal lives, while others are left with permanent disabilities.

There are two main types

Ischaemic: This is the most common type of stroke where there is a blood clot blocking the flow of blood to the brain. This accounts for 85% of cases.

Transient-ischemic attacks (mini-strokes) are the same as a stroke, but the symptoms last for a shorter period of time.

Hemorrhagic: This happens when a weak blood vessel supplying blood to the brain bursts.

Any stroke-like symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency, and specialist medical intervention is needed ASAP.

How do they treat treat it?

anyone can have a strokeTreatment is determined by what caused the stroke.

Was it a blockage or a bleed?

If it is a blockage, then the hospital will use a clot-busting drug (Alteplase) within 4-5 hours, and the symptoms can be dramatically reduced.

Surgery may be an option, and they use a procedure similar to angioplasty (treatment for heart attacks) to remove the blockage and open up the blood flow to the brain.

Road to recovery

Many stroke survivors have lifelong conditions that require ongoing care. While some recover fully and resume their normal lives with minor dietary and lifestyle adjustments, most survivors require some form of rehabilitation, which typically begins very early in the treatment plan with physiotherapy and speech therapy, to name a few.

Rehabilitation can be short-term or long-term.

What are the main risk factors for a stroke?

Lifestyle is a major one with obesity, an unhealthy diet, excess alcohol consumption over a period of time, and smoking, just to name the obvious ones.

But lifestyle changes and dietary changes can lower the likelihood of having a stroke.

Certain medical conditions can increase  the risk, such as:

Conclusion

We all make unhealthy food choices occasionally, but those who eat unhealthy foods regularly are at significant risk of having a stroke over time.

The statistics provided by the Stroke Association are concerning. I had a health scare a few years ago, but fortunately it was a TIA, and thanks to dietary modifications and regular exercise, I am in better health now than I was 10 years ago.

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