A Detailed Guide to Diagnose & Treat Stroke
Did you know – Stroke is the 5th largest cause of death in the United States? About 1 person in every 40 seconds has a stroke each year. Stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain or blocked blood vessels. So if you are experiencing face drooping, speech difficulty or arm weakness, it is the right time to call a doctor.
Majorly stroke can be categorized into three main kinds, namely:
- Hemorrhagic strokes.
- Ischemic strokes.
- Mini strokes or transient ischemic attacks.
During hemorrhagic strokes, blood vessels present in and around the brain start leaking, while blocking of the arteries to the brain is the main cause of ischemic stroke. Treatment of the strokes differs from person to person and depends on the type of stroke.
What causes stroke?
Different forms of stroke have a specific reason for their occurrence.
- Ischemic stroke:One of the most common forms of stroke, ischemic stroke accounts for around 85% of strokes. This stroke is caused by narrowing or blockage of arteries that supply blood to the brain. The blockage is often caused by blood clots which reduce the blood flow severely.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: On the other hand, hemorrhagic stroke is caused by the arteries that have leaked into the brain. The blood puts pressure on the brain cells and causes damage to them. Arteries rupture can be a result of hypertension, aneurysms and blood thinning medications, therefore make sure you do not use a medication without consulting a doctor.
The symptoms of stroke occur almost immediately without any warning. Therefore, it is important that you know the warning signs that could save your loved one’s life.
The main symptoms include:
- Headache followed by vomiting or alerted consciousness.
- Confusion, along with having a difficulty to understand and speak.
- Numbness of the arms, legs or face.
- Lack of coordination while walking.
Depending on its diagnosis and treatment, stroke can cause long term problems. The patient can suffer from temporary or permanent disability. In addition to above stated problem, the person can also experience these symptoms:
- Bladder control problem.
- Trouble expressing emotions.
- Weakness on one side of the body.
- Pain that get worse with movement.
Diagnosing a Stroke
There are a variety of tests that can be done to diagnose a stroke. However, the only way to be sure of what kind of stroke someone has is to undergo a brain scan.
- Physical Examination: A doctor can physically examine you to check for all indications of clotting. However, this is not the best way to diagnose a stroke.
- MRI scan:One of the best ways to determine your vulnerability to stroke, MRI scan sends radio waves to create an image of brain further helping the doctor to detect damaged brain tissue.
- Blood Tests: Many doctors also choose to perform blood tests to find the time in which the patient’s blood clots, whether the patient is suffering from an infection and level of clotting factors in the blood.
- Stroke Treatment: The two different kinds of strokes need different treatments. This is because while one treatment might be suitable for Ischemic stroke but it may turn out to be harmful to hemorrhagic stroke patients.
- Ischemic Stroke
How to Prevent Stroke
Addressing the underline problem is one of the best ways to prevent it. This can be done by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking.
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Exercising regularly.