Stroke

Stroke

Part 1

Above is the picture of a stroke caused by blockage or a clot.

A stroke or cerebral vascular accident can be classified in 3 basic ways.

  • Rupture of a blood vessel in the brain (hemorragic stroke)
  • Blockage of a blood vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke)
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) Blood flow to the brain stops for a short period of time and it mimics the symptoms of a true stroke

The stroke from blockage can come from plaque or a clot that traveled from somewhere like the heart (embolus) or a local clot (thrombus -usually caused from high cholesterol in something called large vessel disease, small vessel disease which is less common is usually from high blood pressure)

  • It is the 5th leading cause of death to Americans
  • 80% of strokes are preventable

 

The most common symptoms of stroke

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Other signs may include confusion of understanding speech, sudden difficulty with balance/walking, numbness on one side of the body, weakness on one side of the body, sudden trouble with seeing in both eyes, sudden confusion, severe headache of unknown cause.

 

strokeassociation.org

FACE drooping is on one side.

ARM weakness on one side.

SPEECH difficulty/slurring of speech.

TIME- call right away to 911. If you get treatment quick enough and the stroke is caused by a clot you can get a clot busting drug that can help significantly!!! It is called tPA. It is a medicine that will be from an IV line.

If you can have an ambulance take you to the ER right away (don’t drive to the hospital because you could get stuck in traffic- an ambulance can start treatment right away sometimes and evade traffic), get and MRI or CT scan and determine your stroke is from a clot and not from a hemorrhage (80% are a stroke from a clot) , you get treatment in 3 hours from the start of your first symptoms you can use the tPA drug and 1 in 3 patients have exceptional results and almost no symptoms.

Below is a picture of a hemorrhagic stroke versus an ischemic stroke

stroke_hem_iso

 

 

 

Hemorrhagic stroke ( sometimes called an aneurysm or atrial venous malformation – AVM)–…treatment.

  1. A surgical clip
  2. A surgical inserted coil that stops the flow of blood
  3. Surgical removal of the AVM
  4. If you are taking blood thinners you may need medicines to reverse the blood thinning

It is critical for risk reduction of a stroke to…

  1. Get your blood pressure under control with your Dr. – don’t eat more than 2300 mg salt per day. One serving of Ramen has 1200 mg. Canned goods have a lot of salt!!! The average US intake of salt per day is 3400 mg.
  2. Lower your cholesterol with the help of your physician. Important thresholds to know about per harvard.health.edu Total cholesterol <200 mg/dL, LDL bad cholesterol <100mg/dL, HDL good cholesterol >40 mg/dL for men, >60mg/dL for women,  triglycerides <150 mg/dL.
  3. Exercise!! Even if it is walking your dog, taking the stairs, standing at a stand up desk instead of a sit down desk at work.

 

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