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Cause of stroke

Stroke definition

Stroke is a condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is impaired or decreased due to blockage (ischemic stroke) or rupture of blood vessels (hemorrhagic stroke). Without blood, the brain will not get oxygen and nutrients intake, so the cells in some areas of the brain will die. This condition causes the body parts to be controlled by the damaged areas of the brain not functioning properly.

Stroke is an emergency condition that needs to be handled as soon as possible, as brain cells can die in a matter of minutes. Quick and precise handling measures can minimize the level of brain damage and prevent possible complications.

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Stroke Risk Factors

There are several factors that increase the risk of stroke. In addition to stroke, these risk factors can also increase the risk of heart attack. These factors include:

Health factors, which include:
  • Hypertension.
  • Diabetes.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Obesity.
  • Heart disease, such as heart failure, congenital heart disease, heart infections, or arrhythmia.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Never experienced TIA or a previous heart attack.
  • Lifestyle factors, which include:
  • Smoking.
  • Lack of exercise or physical activity.
  • Consumption of illegal drugs.
  • Alcohol addiction.
Other factors:
  • Hereditary factors. People who have family members who have experienced stroke, are at high risk of experiencing the same disease as well.
  • With increasing age, a person has a higher risk of stroke than a younger person.
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Causes of Stroke

Based on the cause, there are two types of strokes:
  • Ischemic Stroke. Ischemic Stroke occurs when the arteries that carry blood and oxygen to the brain undergo narrowing, causing blood flow to the brain greatly reduced. This condition is also known as ischemia. Ischemic strokes can be further divided into 2 types, thrombotic strokes and embolic strokes.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke. Hemorrhagic Stroke occurs when blood vessels in the brain rupture and cause bleeding. Bleeding in the brain can be triggered by some conditions affecting the blood vessels. These conditions include uncontrolled hypertension, weakening of the walls of blood vessels, and treatment with blood thinners. Hemorrhagic Stroke consists of two types, namely intracergic bleeding and subarachnoid.

Symptoms of Stroke

Each part of the brain controls different parts of the body, so the symptoms of stroke depend on the part of the brain that is affected and the damage level. That's why symptoms or signs of stroke can vary from each individual. However, generally strokes appear unexpectedly. There are three main symptoms of stroke that are easy to identify:
  • One side of the face will look downhill and unable to smile because of the mouth or eye hang down.
  • Unable to lift one of his arms because it felt faint or numb. Not only the arms, the one-sided limbs with the arms also experienced weakness.
  • Speech is unclear, chaotic, or not even able to speak at all even if the sufferer is seen conscious.
  • Some symptoms and signs of other strokes, namely:
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • A sudden headache that comes suddenly, accompanied by stiff neck and dizziness (vertigo).
  • Decreased consciousness.
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), resulting in a choke.
  • Disruption in balance and coordination.
  • Sudden loss of vision or double vision.
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Stroke Diagnosis

When experiencing symptoms like the above, immediately to the hospital to get the treatment. In order to determine the most appropriate type of treatment for a stroke, the doctor will first evaluate the type of stroke and the area of the brain that has a stroke.
  • As a preliminary step in the diagnosis, the doctor asks the patient or family member of the patient about several things, which include:
  • Symptoms experienced, early appearance of symptoms, and what was the patient did when the symptoms arose.
  • Types of medicines that are being consumed.
  • Have the patient had injuries in the head.
  • Examine the health history of the people with and families related to heart disease, mild strokes (TIA), and stroke.
  • The doctor then conducts a physical examination of the patient as a whole, which usually begins with examining blood pressure, heart rate, and abnormal noise in the neck veins using a stethoscope.
  • Doctors can also recommend advanced examinations, such as blood tests, CT scans, MRI, electrocardiography, Carotid Doppler ULTRASOUND, and echocardiology.
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Stroke Complications

Stroke can cause a wide range of complications, and most of these complications are fatal. Some of the types of complications that may arise include:
  • Deep vein thrombosis. Some people will have blood clots in the paralyses. The condition is known as deep vein thrombosis. This condition occurs due to the stopping of leg muscle movements, so that the flow inside the limbs is disturbed. It increases the risk for the occurrence of blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis can be treated with anticoagulant drugs.
  • Some hemorrhagic stroke can have hydrocephalus, which is the absorption of brain fluid inside the cavity deep in the brain (ventricular). The neurosurgeon will attach a hose to the brain to dispose of the accumulated fluid.
  • Damage caused by stroke can interfere with the swallowing reflex, consequently food and beverages are risky to enter the respiratory tract. The problem in swallowing is known as dysphagia. Dysphagia may cause aspiration pneumonia.
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Stroke Treatment

The specific treatment given to the stroke is dependent on the type of stroke, ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Treatment of ischemic stroke. The initial treatment will focus on maintaining the airway, controlling blood pressure, and restoring blood flow.
  • Treatment of hemorrhagic stroke. In the case of hemorrhagic stroke, initial treatment aims to reduce the pressure on the brain and control bleeding. There are several forms of treatment of hemorrhagic stroke, among others, taking medicines and surgery.
  • Treatment of TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). TIA treatment aims to lower the risk factors that can trigger the occurrence of stroke, so that heart disease can be prevented. Medicines will be provided by the doctor to resolve. In some cases, the surgical procedure of carotid endarterectomy is required if there is a buildup of fat in the carotid artery.
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Stroke Prevention

The way to prevent the main stroke is to apply a healthy lifestyle. Also, identify and avoid existing risk factors, and follow doctor's advice. Various stroke precautions include:
  • Keeping the diet. Consuming too much salty and fatty foods can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood and the risk of hypertension that can cause stroke. Avoid excessive salt consumption. The ideal salt consumption is as much as 6 grams or one teaspoon per day. The recommended foods are foods that are rich in unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins, and fibers. All these nutrients can be obtained from vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and low fat meat such as chicken breast without skin.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can make the heart and circulatory system work more efficiently. Exercise can also lower cholesterol levels and maintain weight and blood pressure at a healthy level.
  • Quit. Smokers risk doubling higher by stroke, because cigarettes can narrow the blood vessels and make the blood to clot easily. Not smoking means also reducing the risk of various other health problems, such as lung and heart disease.
  • Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages. Liquor contains high calories. If consumed excessively, a person is susceptible to various disease trigger strokes, such as diabetes and hypertension. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can also make the heartbeat irregular.
  • Avoid using NAPZA. Some types of NAPZA can cause narrowing of the arteries and reduce blood flow.
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Some things family can do to help stroke patients are:
  • Provide support and full attention to stroke patients.
  • The family makes note of the medicines, activities, and progress that the patient has done
  • Motivation for family and post-stroke patients, among others, is to give medication regularly. Do not stop and change the drug dose without doctor's instructions.
  • Help patient needs, improve physical condition with regular in-house exercises, patient motivation to stay excited in physical therapy exercises, check blood pressure regularly, and more
  • Families can get assistance with health care services such as therapy for treatments or therapies (physiotherapy, occupational and speech).
  • Immediately bring the patient to the hospital when there is noticeable symptoms of stroke arise.
  • If the condition of stroke patients improves, invite them to join the community. The existence of community can be a sharing container of fellow stroke sufferers, and various other positive activities.
  • It's a good idea to invite your patients outdoors to avoid always being at home. If only at home and do nothing, it is likely that the condition will be worse.
  • Give the responsibility to do light work at home when it is possible. For example, take medication, eat, clean your own room and more.
  • Keep talking to other family members.
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