Welcome to the Stroke Page
What is a stroke?
A stroke is a "Heart attack of the brain." It occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery, one of the pipes that feeds blood to the brain.
Another type of stroke happens when one of the blood pipes explodes.
In either case, brain tissue can die, and lead to many of the tragic consequences of stroke. These include weakness, paralysis, loss of speech, even death.
The reason that a stroke is so common and urgent is that brain tissue dies within a few minutes after the blood supply is stopped.
When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory.
How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.
For example, someone who has a mild stroke may experience only minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg. People who have symptoms of massive stroke may be paralyzed on one side or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
Some of the signs & symptoms of a stroke include:
So learn what you can about how to prevent strokes and protect yourself.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, leg - especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
A stroke can be even more devastating than a Heart attack. Know your risks, protect yourself, make the right lifestyle choices and take appropriate medications.
- Know your blood pressure.
- Find out if you have atrial fibrillation (AF). This is a special kind of heart rhythm problem, which is common in older folks. This heart rhythm promotes blood clotting, and those clots can fly up to the brain to cause block blood flow and damage the brain.
- If you smoke, stop. Smoking doubles the risk for stroke. If you stop smoking today, your risk for stroke will begin to decrease.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Having one drink each day may lower your risk for Stroke. Remember that alcohol is a drug.
- Know your cholesterol number. Lowering your cholesterol may reduce your risk for stroke. High cholesterol can also increase stroke risk by putting you at greater risk of heart disease - an important stroke risk factor.
- Control your diabetes. If you are diabetic, follow your recommendations carefully.
Having diabetes puts you at an increased risk for stroke.
- Include exercise in the activities you enjoy in your daily routine. A brisk walk, swim or other exercise activity for as little as 30 minutes a day can improve your health in many ways, and may reduce your risk for stroke.
- Enjoy a lower sodium (salt), lower fat diet. By cutting down on sodium and fat in your diet, you may be able to lower your blood pressure and your risk for stroke.