Everything You Need To Know About Stroke. Its Causes, Symptoms And Prevention

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there’s a blockage in the blood supply to the brain. The rupture or blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the brain’s tissues.

Without oxygen, brain cells and tissue become damaged and begin to die within minutes.

Symptoms of Stroke

The loss of blood flow to the brain damages tissues within the brain. Symptoms of a stroke show up in the body parts controlled by the damaged areas of the brain.

The sooner a person having a stroke gets care, the better their outcome is likely to be. For this reason, it’s helpful to know the signs of a stroke so you can act quickly. Stroke symptoms can include:

  • paralysis
  • numbness or weakness in the arm, face, and leg, especially on one side of the body
  • trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • confusion
  • slurring speech
  • vision problems, such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes with vision blackened or blurred, or double vision
  • trouble walking
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • dizziness
  • severe, sudden headache with an unknown cause


A stroke requires immediate medical attention. If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, have someone call 192 right away. Prompt treatment is key to preventing the following outcomes:

  • brain damage
  • long-term disability
  • death

It’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with a stroke, so don’t be afraid to call 192 if you think you recognize the signs of a stroke.

Types Of Stroke

Strokes fall into three main categories: transient ischemic attack (TIA), ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke. These categories are further broken down into other types of strokes, including:

  • embolic stroke
  • thrombotic stroke
  • intracerebral stroke
  • subarachnoid stroke

The cause of a stroke depends on the type of stroke. The three main types of stroke are a transient ischemic attack (TIA), ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke.

A TIA is caused by a temporary blockage in an artery that leads to the brain. The blockage, typically a blood clot, stops blood from flowing to certain parts of the brain. A TIA typically lasts for a few minutes up to a few hours, and then the blockage moves and blood flow is restored.

Like a TIA, an ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage in an artery that leads to the brain. This blockage may be a blood clot, or it may be caused by atherosclerosis. With this condition, plaque (a fatty substance) builds upon the walls of a blood vessel. A piece of the plaque can break off and lodge in an artery, blocking the flow of blood and causing an ischemic stroke.

A hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, is caused by a burst or leaking blood vessel. Blood seeps into or around the tissues of the brain, causing pressure and damaging brain cells.

There are two possible causes of a hemorrhagic stroke. An aneurysm (a weakened, bulging section of a blood vessel) can be caused by high blood pressure and can lead to a burst blood vessel. Less often, a condition called an arteriovenous malformation, which is an abnormal connection between your veins and arteries, can lead to bleeding in the brain.


Risk Factors for Stroke

  • Diet

An unhealthy diet that increases your risk of stroke is one that’s high in:

  1. salt
  2. saturated fats
  3. trans fats
  4. cholesterol
  • Inactivity

Inactivity, or lack of exercise, can also raise your risk for stroke.

  • Alcohol consumption

Your risk for stroke also increases if you drink too much alcohol. Alcohol consumption should be done in moderation. This means no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two for men. More than that may raise blood pressure levels as well as triglyceride levels, which can cause atherosclerosis

  • Tobacco use

Using tobacco in any form also raises your risk for stroke, since it can damage your blood vessels and heart. This is further increased when smoking because your blood pressure rises when you use nicotine.

  • Health history

Certain medical conditions are linked to stroke risk. These include:

  1. a previous stroke or TIA
  2. high blood pressure
  3. high cholesterol
  4. heart disorders, such as coronary artery disease
  5. heart valve defects
  6. enlarged heart chambers and irregular heartbeats
  7. sickle cell disease
  8. diabetes

How to Prevent Stroke

You can take steps to help prevent stroke by living a healthy lifestyle. This includes the following measures:

  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, quitting now will lower your risk for stroke.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation. If you drink excessively, try to reduce your intake. Alcohol consumption can raise your blood pressure.
  • Keep the weight down. Keep your weight at a healthy level. Being obese or overweight increases your stroke risk. To help manage your weight:
    • Eat a diet that’s full of fruits and vegetables.
    • Eat foods low in cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats.
    • Stay physically active. This will help you maintain a healthy weight and help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Get checkups. Stay on top of your health. This means getting regular checkups and staying in communication with your doctor. Be sure to take the following steps to manage your health:
    • Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked.
    • Talk to your doctor about modifying your lifestyle.
    • Discuss your medication options with your doctor.
    • Address any heart problems you may have.


Source: HealthLine

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