Stroke – Causes, Symptoms, Types

Brain cells die in minutes when the blood flow to the brain is restricted.

Stroke is a critical illness that could lead to permanent disability or death.

So what is a stroke?

It occurs when there is a blockage of the blood flow to the brain. When this happens, the brain tissues are starved of oxygen and necessary nutrients, resulting in the brain cell to die.

Causes

The factors below increase your likelihood;

  • Hereditary – If you have a family history of stroke, you have a higher chance of having one.
  • Substance abuse – Alcohol, tobacco, or other illicit drugs.
  • High blood pressure – Blood passing through the blood vessels while the heart is pumping. When this is consistently high, It makes arteries tighter, restricting blood flow to your heart.
  • Vasculitis – A medical condition whereby blood vessels become inflamed, causing blood flow to the brain restricted.
  • High cholesterol – Fatty substance deposits in the blood vessels could limit blood flow to the brain by forming a blood clot.

Types; 

  • Ischemic Stroke – It occurs when blood flow to the brain is restricted. A blood clot often causes restrictions.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke – It occurs when an artery in the brain leaks blood.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – Also known as a ministroke, occurs when there’s a temporary restriction of blood flow to the brain. It also serves as a future warning of more stroke.

Symptoms 

As it is a medical emergency, immediate treatment is necessary to reduce the extent of damage to the brain. 

The signs that require immediate medical attention includes;

  1. Paralysis – This mostly affects one side of the body. You may be having a stroke if when you raise your arms above your head at the same time, one drifts down.
  2. Speech – If you are having trouble speaking, or you are having difficulty understanding speech.
  3. Numbness of the face – You may be having a stroke if one side of your mouth droops when you smile. These signs require quick medical attention. 

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