What is Stroke?
A stroke is a “brain attack”. It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.
How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as a temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body 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
I was 33 years when I had my stroke in 2012. I used to drink a lot of alcohol and smoke cigarettes. I think I may have been hypertensive before the stroke occurred but I have no way of knowing since I had never checked my blood pressure before then. That is why it is very important to have yourself checked once in a while.
Important checks to prevent strokes include Blood pressure, Blood sugar, Cholesterol, and a good knowledge of your Family history.
Stroke is a serious deal! It is the second leading cause of death and disability in the world. Even after surviving a stroke, you’re not out of the woods, since having one makes it a lot more likely that you’ll have another.
In Nigeria, reports show that people of all ages can have a stroke. Children including the newborn are victims of stroke. This is contrary to the general belief that, it is a disease for the aging and old people.
Symptoms and Signs to look out for and which readily point to a stroke include the Four FAST Signs and Symptoms of a stroke which are:
- Face Drooping
- Arms Weakness
- Speech Difficulty, at which point it is
- Time to call
Preventing Stroke by knowing your risk
Stroke is Preventable, 90% of strokes are linked to 10 key risk factors which can be prevented as follows:
- Control High Blood Pressure: Hypertension is linked to almost half of all strokes.
- Maintain a Normal Blood Sugar: Diabetes is a major risk factor for strokes
- Maintain a Healthy BMI Or Waist to Hip Ratio
- Reduce Your Cholesterol
- Stop Smoking And Avoid Second-Hand Cigarette Smoking Exposure
- Reduce Alchohol Intake
- Identify And Treat Atrial Fibrillation
- Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
- Do Moderate Excercise 5 Times A Week
- Income And Education: Across and within countries, low levels of income education are linked to stroke