When the blood supply to part of brain is interrupted or reduced then stroke occurs, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, nearly 800,000 people have a stroke each year. That equates to around one person every 40 seconds.
TYPES OF STROKE
- Ischemic stroke: This is the most common type of stroke, making up 87% of all cases. A blood clot prevents blood and oxygen from reaching an area of the brain.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: This occurs when a blood vessel ruptures. These are usually the result of aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
- Transient ischemic attack : This occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is inadequate for a brief period of time. Normal blood flow resumes after a short amount of time, and the symptoms resolve without treatment. Some people call this a ministroke.
Stroke can be fatal.
A stroke occurs when a blockage or bleed of the blood vessels either interrupts or reduces the supply of blood to the brain. When this happens, the brain does not receive enough oxygen or nutrients, and brain cells start to die.
Stroke is a cerebrovascular disease. This means that it affects the blood vessels that feed the brain oxygen. If the brain does not receive enough oxygen, damage may start to occur.
This is a medical emergency. Although many strokes are treatable, some can lead to disability or death.
- eating a healthful diet
- maintaining a moderate weight
- exercising regularly
- not smoking tobacco
- avoiding alcohol, or only drinking moderately
Eating a nutritious diet means including plenty of:
- whole grains
Be sure to limit the amount of red and processed meat in the diet, as well as cholesterol and saturated fats. Also, moderate salt intake to support healthy blood pressure levels.
Other measures a person can take to help reduce the risk of stroke include:
- controlling their blood pressure levels
- managing diabetes
- getting treatment for heart disease
As well as making these lifestyle changes, taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications can also reduce the risk of experiencing another stroke.
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
Each type of stroke has a different set of potential causes. Generally, however, stroke is more likely to affect a person if they:
- have overweight or obesity
- are 55 years of age or older
- have a personal or family history of stroke
- have high blood pressure
- have diabetes
- have high cholesterol
- have heart disease, carotid artery disease, or another vascular disease
- are sedentary
- consume alcohol excessively
- use illicit drugs
SPECIFIC CAUSES OF EACH TYPE OF STROKE
Ischemic stroke : This type of stroke occurs due to blockages or narrowing in the arteries that provide blood to the brain. This causes ischemia, or a severely reduced blood flow, which damages brain cells. Blood clots often cause ischemic stroke. Clots can form in the brain arteries and other blood vessels in the body. The bloodstream carries these into narrower arteries in the brain. Fatty plaque deposits within the arteries can also cause clots that result in ischemia.
Hemorrhagic stroke : Leaky or burst arteries in the brain can give rise to hemorrhagic strokes.
Leaked blood puts pressure on brain cells and damages them. It also reduces the blood supply that can reach the brain tissue after the hemorrhage.
Transient ischemic attack : interrupt the flow of blood to the brain. They are similar to ischemic strokes, in that they occur due to clots.
People should treat them as medical emergencies, even if the symptoms are temporary. They serve as warning signs for future strokes and indicate a partially blocked artery or clot source in the heart.
The symptoms of a stroke often appear without warning. Some of the main symptoms include:
- confusion, including difficulty speaking and understanding speech
- a headache, possibly with altered consciousness or vomiting
- numbness or an inability to move parts of the face, arm, or leg, particularly on one side of the body
- vision problems in one or both eyes
- difficulty walking, including dizziness and a lack of coordination
Stroke can lead to chronic health problems. Depending on the speed of the diagnosis and treatment, a person can experience temporary or permanent disabilities after a stroke.
Some people may also experience:
- bladder or bowel control problems
- paralysis or weakness on one or both sides of the body
- difficulty controlling or expressing their emotions
Symptoms vary and may range in severity.
The acronym F.A.S.T. is a way to remember the signs of stroke, and can identify the onset of stroke
Face dropping—If the person tries to smile, does one side of the face droop
Arm weakness—If the person tries to raise both their arms, does one arm drift downward
Speech difficulty—If the person tries to repeat a simple phrase , is their speech slurred or strange
ACONITUM NAPELLUS —Aconite is considered in the initial stage, when the hemorrahage has just happened. It may be due to emotional shock or fright. The person feel restlessness and tossing about. There is great anxiety of mind and body. Face becomes red. Congestive headaches. Hot heavy and bursting sensation in the head. The pulse is fast, full, hard, tense and bounding. Palpitation with anxiety. Hot hands and cold feet. Numbness and tingling in hands and feet, especially left arm. Dry, burning mouth with numbness and tingling . Vertigo, worse on rising.
OPIUM —Opium is indicated where the person becomes collapsed , jaws dropped, pupils dilated, hot sweat and one sided paralysis. There is coma with dusky red face and oppressed breathing. Slow and labored pulse.
NUX VOMICA —Nux vomica is suitable to persons who have indulged in wines and liquors. Also occur after heavy meal. It is best adapted to persons of bilious, sanguine, or nervous and irritable temperament. Threatened brain hemorrhage with giddiness, headache, and fullness of head. It is used as a complementary medicine to Opium for completing the cure.
LAUROCERASUS —Laurocerasus is prescribed where the stroke occurring suddenly without warning, with palpitation, cold moist skin and convulsions of the facial muscles. Sudden cough, suffocation and loss of speech.e.t.c