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What are the causes and early warning signs of stroke?

iMEDHealth

Having a stroke cannot be easy for anyone. A person should receive the best medical care as this condition often requires being tended for long term. Take proper treatment from a qualified doctor. Moreover, you should know what the stroke causes are, the different types of strokes and how each has slightly different symptoms.

With the help of an expert physician, you can get the know-how of the early signs of stroke. Lack of blood supply to the brain is the major reason for this neurovascular disease. It is essential to take right medicines to avoid a stroke in the future. For this purpose, you can use a medicine reminder app that will sound off an alarm according to the timing of medication. One of the most commonly used apps is iMEDTracker that is popular among many users around the world.

A number of reports claim that some incidents of stroke occur as a result of strenuous physical exertion, while others occur without warning. The latter is more common in women. A woman may suffer a stroke without showing any symptoms. One of the early warning signs of stroke for a woman is shortness of breath, a feeling of heaviness or squeezing of the chest. In this situation, it is important to get it checked out at the earliest.

Women are more likely to have silent strokes as compared to men. a phenomenon is known as ‘silent ischemia’. They occur without the individual realizing they have even had one. You might experience some memory problems and mobility may seem burdensome. Since symptoms do not manifest, the stroke does damage the brain, which will only show up on brain imaging scans. To examine the level of damage, a doctor should be consulted for a confirmed diagnosis. You might want to consult with a cardiologist as well while you are at it.

Types of Stroke:

  • Hemorrhagic stroke

  • Ischemic stroke

  • TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)

Hemorrhagic stroke is a type of stroke that is caused by rupture of a blood vessel supplying the brain thereby walling off oxygenated blood supply to the brain. It increases the intracranial pressure that is an added pressure to the brain.

Another type is ischemic stroke which is caused by a clot obstructing blood flow to the brain. This would be a danger to life, if the clot stays in place. In this situation, the pressure would rise and eventually cause a hemorrhagic stroke. There are further two subcategories of ischemic stroke, i.e. thrombotic and embolic. The differences between thrombotic and embolic types are given below:

An embolus is a clot that travels in the bloodstream. It is pumped from the heart and eventually travels to the brain. It lodges in a small blood vessel that causes a blockage.

Aside from this, thrombotic stroke is caused when one or more brain arteries are blocked by a blood clot known as a thrombus.

One of the strokes is called TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) that is also known as mini-stroke. It disrupts the blood flow to the brain and it is caused by a temporary clot. Usually, this type of stroke lasts for only a short time.

Based on the affected arteries, strokes can be categorized into:

  • Large Vessel Thrombosis

  • Small Vessel Disease

Generally, Large Vessel Thrombosis is caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), followed by a rapid blood clot formation. Large Vessel Thrombosis causes blood flow interruption to the large vessels.

When the blood flow is compromised in smaller arteries, Small Vessel Disease is caused. This is also known as Lacunar Infarction and it is closely linked to hypertension or high blood pressure.

It is very important to understand what stroke is, as stroke symptoms are often not clear to the people. This is a neurovascular disease that occurs due to lack of blood supply in the brain. Due to blockage of an artery, bleeding may be caused within the brain substance.

What are the causes of a stroke?

How do you know if you have a stroke?

Following are the physical symptoms of stroke:

  • Sudden pain in the neck and low-head area (specific to subarachnoid hemorrhage stroke)

  • Interrupted or loss of vision

  • Muscle weakness in a body part or the whole body

  • Inability to speak

  • Inability to move the face

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of balance

Psychological symptoms include:

  • Disorientation

  • Inability to understand others

  • Confusion

  • Amnesia (memory loss or feeling a time distortion)

  • Anxiety

  • Depersonalization

  • Depression

  • Disturbances in eating & sleeping

  • Hallucinations

  • Problems with the functioning sexuality

  • Self-injurious behaviors such as cutting

  • Serious headache or pain in the body parts

  • Substance abuse

The stroke symptoms may occur suddenly or after a certain period of time, i.e., within few minutes or hours. The severity depends on how extensive the brain damage is. If someone is having a stroke, it is very important to take him or her to the nearest hospital. Never leave a dear one alone. In case you are unable to be with him or her 24/7, find someone else to look after when you are not around.

Stroke is a situation, where every second count.

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