Thursday, October 1, 2020

Stroke: a few things to know!

What is stroke?

Stroke is a result of brain injury that occurs when blood is deprived of oxygen. Oxygen is the gas (air) we breathe in and it’s vital for life. It commonly occurs when fatty materials and blood clots block the blood vessels and thus prevent oxygen from reaching a particular portion of the brain.

This is common in conditions like stoke and high blood cholesterol levels. The second form of stroke occurs when the blood pressure is so high that one of the weakest vessels in the head bursts and one bleeds into the brain. It is common in high blood pressure.

What can the events be likened to in real life?

First scenario can be likened to a metal pipe that develops rust which progressively builds until such a time when there is total blockage that water can pass.

The fatty plaque and clots are in this instance represented by rust.

The second form, which is common in uncontrolled high blood pressure, you can think about the water system where there is a central water pump, pushing water into the pipes around the city or village with so much pressure such that when you turn on the taps, they start vibrating!

In this situation the weakest pipe in the city will burst and water will spill. This is the same in the head, but in this situation one bleeds into the brain which eventually gets squashed and thus one loses some functions.

Is it witchcraft?

No it is not. The causes of stroke and their risk factors are known. However, there is some type of stroke that is very mild which attacks in episodes. This may confuse you because when it attacks the signs of paralysis and blackouts do occur and disappear for some time. This means there is a problem, and it needs assessment and investigation.

What are the risk factors for stroke?

High blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol levels, heart diseases all diseases that affect blood vessels such as syndromes like HIV/AIDS. These are the most common causes of stroke known.

What are the signs of stroke?

Loss of function on one side (arm and leg), disability to talk properly, loss of consciousness. Warning signs could be persistent headaches and blackouts.

Can we prevent stroke!

The chances of stroke can be reduced. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity are all lifestyle related issues and they can be influenced by living a positive lifestyle. Regular exercise, good diet, and taking treatment as advised should be practiced. Get well!

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