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Strike the Stroke at the Right Time

“You can rise up from anything. You can completely recreate yourself.”

These words mean a lot for a stroke survivor, who has seen his/her life completely shatter in front of them all of a sudden and have been trying to stand back up and face the world again.

A stroke is when blood supply to the brain is interrupted either because of a blood clot or a brain hemorrhage, causing oxygen starvation, brain damage, and loss of function. It can cause permanent damage to the body including partial paralysis and/or impairment in speech and memory.

What are the risk factors of stroke?

  • Family history

  • Age

  • Unhealthy diet

  • Physical inactivity

  • Alcohol or tobacco use

  • High blood pressure or cholesterol

  • Diabetes

What are the common symptoms of stroke?

  • Trouble speaking or understanding what other say – You may experience confusion or notice slurred speech

  • Paralysis or numbness in face, arm or legs – A sudden weakness or numbness which often affects one side of your body

  • Headache – A severe headache accompanied by vomiting may indicate you’re having a stroke

  • Trouble walking – You might stumble or lose your balance or notice loss of coordination

When should one visit a doctor?

One should seek immediate medical attention if s/he notices any signs and symptoms of a stroke. Also, by learning and sharing the F.A.S.T. warning signs that can help you save someone’s life

  • F – Face drooping

  • A – Arm weakness

  • S – Speech difficulty

  • T – Time to call emergency medical help immediately

How is stroke diagnosed?

Once you arrive at the hospital, the doctor will determine what type of stroke you’re having. S/he will also be performing few tests which include:

Blood tests: To check how fast your blood clots, to know your blood sugar levels, and if you are having any sort of infection

Computerized Tomography (CT) scan: Creates a detailed image of the brain which shows any bleeding in the brain

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): To check if here is any brain tissue or brain cell damage

Echocardiogram (EKG): A simple test to detect the electrical activity of the heart and determine if you are having any heart condition

Cerebral angiogram: This procedure gives a detailed view of the arteries in the brain and neck

What are the preventative steps you can take?

Few lifestyle changes and steps can help you prevent a stroke. Some of them are:

  • Quit Smoking: Smokers have a higher chance of getting a stroke than non-smokers. If you smoke, you should quit to reduce your chances of a stroke

  • Take moderate amounts of alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to an increase in blood pressure. If you are a regular or heavy drinker, you should start limiting your intake

  • Keep a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of stroke. Follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep a healthy weight



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