Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.
Stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. Often associated with a heart attack, it is a legitimate ‘brain attack.’ And just like in a heart attack, the brain cells start losing their oxygen supply, leading to the death of these cells. It’s a fatal condition that can happen to anyone. So, let’s take a step ahead and learn everything that happens during a stroke in today’s blog.
It’s all sudden and severe
When it comes to the signs and symptoms of a stroke, they always come all of a sudden and with increasing severity. But if you are in doubt, do not take any chances and rush to the emergency if you even notice the following symptoms mildly.
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes
- Sudden difficulty walking or loss of balance
- Problems with coordination
- Feeling dizzy all of a sudden
- Severe headache with no known cause
Is it blockage or bleeding?
In terms of causes, a stroke is divided into two main types:
· Ischemic Stroke
This is the most common type and is the cause behind 90% of cases. It occurs when a fatty substance clogs the blood vessels and narrows them. This way, the blood flow slows down and does not reach the brain. This type of stroke usually occurs in people with high cholesterol levels, who have experienced a heart attack previously, or those with a blood clotting problem or disease.
· Hemorrhagic Stroke
When a blood vessel in the brain breaks and starts bleeding, the blood seeps into the brain tissues causing damage to the brain cells. This type of stroke usually occurs in people with high blood pressure and brain aneurysms (ballooning of blood vessels in the brain).
Remember to be FAST
To check for the most common symptoms of a stroke in yourself or a loved one, use the FAST test.
Face: drooping smile
Arms: one arm drops down on rising
Speech: slurred or strange
Time: call 115 if any one of these is positive
Prevent it now cause you don’t want to regret it
Although a stroke can happen to anyone, there are still some people who are more prone to it. These people are:
- Those suffering from uncontrolled diabetes – If you are a diabetic, it’s crucial for you to cut down on carbs, eat clean and exercise regularly to not be a victim of this fatal condition
- The hypertensives – as stated above, if your blood pressure is constantly high, your chances of getting a hemorrhagic stroke increase. So, manage your stress, maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke.
- The smokers – if you belong to this category, it’s not only stroke you are making your body prone to, but all kinds of diseases. So, please, start loving yourself and quit!
- The obese – although your weight doesn’t and shouldn’t define you, it surely defines your health condition. And when a person is obese, their risk of high cholesterol, heart diseases and stroke increases tenfold. If you are overweight or obese, it’s high time you start managing it and take a step ahead.
Stroke or ‘faalij’ as we say it in Urdu can be reversed if dealt by a doctor on time. Even though it’s fatal, if you take the correct measures, managing it becomes easier. So, once you have gotten the hang of the ABC of stroke, wait for the next blog and learn how to help a loved one going through it!
Guest Post Credits: Dr. Maleeha Syed