Stroke

Overview of Stroke

Stroke Meaning in Urdu

یہ بیماری اس وقت لاحق ہوتی ہے جب دماغ کے ایک حصے کو آکسیجن کی سپلائی متاثر ہوتی ہے جب کہ دماغ متوازن مقدار میں آکسیجن اور ںیوٹرنٹس حاصل کرنے میں کامیاب نہیں ہوتا، جس کی وجہ سے دماغ کے سیلز چند منٹوں میں ختم ہونے لگتے ہیں جس سے انسان کی موت بھی واقع ہو سکتی ہے۔ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے انسان کے بولنے کی صلاحیت متاثر ہوتی ہے جب کہ دوسروں کے کہے الفاظ کو سمجھنے میں بھی مشکلات کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ اس کے علاوہ اسٹروک کی وجہ سے آنکھوں کے مسائل بھی لاحق ہو سکتے ہیں۔

Stroke (اسٹروک) is a serious medical condition in which the patient suffers from a reduced blood supply to the parts of the brain. This restricts the oxygen flow to the body tissues. Low oxygen can then lead to the death of the brain cells.

In case of a stroke, emergency and prompt treatment are highly important. Not only can the patient’s lives be saved but the chances of several complications can also be reduced.

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

Some common signs and symptoms of a stroke are as follows:

Confusion

The very first sign of a stroke is that a person has trouble speaking and even understanding what others are saying. It extends to slur words and confusion. 

Paralysis

The person who is experiencing a stroke might undergo paralysis in the face, leg, or numbness. It tends to affect one side of the body. You should try raising both arms over your head in such scenarios. If one stays up and the other falls, the person might be having a stroke.

EyeSight Issues 

During a stroke, a person might end up experiencing blurred vision or weak eyesight. You might also suffer from blackened or double vision. 

Headache

A stroke is often accompanied by severe headaches. This is also followed by vomiting, nausea, and affected consciousness.

Imbalances

You might encounter serious balance issues. As it can become difficult to walk in a straight line because of dizziness and a loss of coordination.

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Types of Stroke

There are three main types of stroke. These types of strokes are given below:

Ischemic Stroke

One of the most common types of stroke is ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke involves the formation of a blood clot that prevents the flow of oxygen in the surrounding areas of the brain.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke is a serious medical condition in which the person suffers from the rupture of a blood vessel. This type of stroke is mostly because of aneurysms.

Transient Ischemic Attack

The blood flow to the brain is strictly restricted for a brief period. It is also known as a ministroke. Because the normal blood flow is resumed after a short amount of time.

Causes of Stroke

Some common causes of stroke are as follows:

  • High blood pressure
  • Overuse of medications such as blood thinners
  • Several bulges at the weak spots in your blood vessel walls
  • Car injury
  • Trauma
  • Plaque buildup in the blood vessels
  • Ischemic stroke can then lead to hemorrhage
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Risk Factors of Stroke

There are two types of risk factors for stroke:

Medical Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure
  • Second-hand smoke
  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep disorders
  • Cardiovascular diseases, cardiac issues, heart defects, heart attacks, irregular heart rhythms
  • Family history of stroke or heart issues
  • COVID-19 infection

Lifestyle Risk Factors

  • Obesity 
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Heavy drinking
  • Smoking
  • Drug abuse

Other Risk Factors

There might be some other risk factors that can increase the onset of stroke are as follows:

Age

People who are older than 55 years have a higher risk of stroke.

Race

African Americans have a higher chance of stroke than other ethnicities.

Gender

Men have a higher risk of stroke than women. But older women are also at risk of stroke.

Hormones

The use of birth control pills and hormone therapy can also put an individual at risk.

A stroke can lead to temporary or permanent disabilities. This mainly depends on the amount of time, the brain is lacking a smooth blood flow. Some of the complications because of the stroke are given below:

  • Paralysis or loss of muscle movement for longer periods
  • Difficulty in carrying out the normal tasks of life such as speech, writing, reading, or talking
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Emotional instability
  • Continuous pain in the body
  • Shift in behaviors
  • Low self-care

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Prevention

Adopting a healthy lifestyle and following your healthcare advice are some of the key preventive measures that one should follow. Given below are some key preventions that will help to prevent another stroke. 

Controlling Your BP

Hypertension is lethal as it is a leading cause of stroke. Thus patients are often advised to keep a check on their blood pressure levels. Both healthy lifestyle habits and certain medications can help in such a regard. 

Maintaining the Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol or fat build-up in the body can lead to pile-up inside the arteries. Thus it is essential to lower the intake of cholesterol. Either a person can make subsequent dietary changes or can adopt lifestyle habits to lower the levels of cholesterol in the body. 

Give Up on Smoking

Tobacco intake can increase the risk of stroke in smokers. It can also pose a serious health threat to non-smokers who inhale secondhand smoke. Thus quitting smoking can help in preventing stroke. 

Diabetes Management

You can control your blood sugar levels with the help of diet, exercise, and managing body weight. Your doctor might also recommend you some medications to control your blood glucose levels. 

Consume a Healthy Diet

A diet that is rich in fiber and nutrients is highly important as it can control high BP, sugar, and levels of cholesterol in the body. Thus, make sure to consume a balanced diet that has fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains in it. 

Getting Enough Sleep

If the patient is already suffering from a sleep disorder, the doctor might devise a sleep schedule accordingly. It might involve healthy exercises as well as some medications that can be helpful in preventing stroke. 

Medications

The doctor might also recommend some medications so that the chances of a second stroke can be minimized. These medications are of two categories. Such as:

Antiplatelets Drugs

These drugs can help make the cells less sticky and less likely to clot. The most widely used antiplatelet drug is aspirin. But remember that your doctor has to provide you with the right dose in which you can take these drugs. 

Anti Coagulants

Anticoagulants are helpful as they reduce the chances of blood clotting. Heparin is one such anticoagulant drug that is used for reducing the occurrence of stroke. 

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Diagnosis

One of the first things to do is to move the person to the hospital where the emergency response team can undergo an initial assessment. The initial assessment includes having a CT scan or other imaging tests that can provide an insight into the internal workings of the body. Doctors can also account for other conditions or complications such as tumors or any drug reaction. 

Further stroke diagnoses include the following:

A Physical Exam

Healthcare providers will carry out several familiar tests such as checking the blood pressure and listening to the heart rhythms.

Various Blood Tests

The next step involves various blood tests such as the D-dimer test, bleeding time test, blood clotting test, blood glucose test.

CT Scan

A CT scan MRI involves the use of a series of X-rays to create a picture of the internal workings of a body. CT scans are important as they show a visual image of how the different areas of the brain are affected. It also provides a visual image if there is internal bleeding.

MRI

MRI involves the use of powerful radio waves to create a detailed view of the brain. An MRI is important because it provides a real-time assessment of the potential damage to the brain after a stroke.

Carotid Ultrasound 

This test involves the use of sound waves to check out the insides of the carotid arteries inside the neck region. A carotid ultrasound is also important because it shows the buildup of fatty acids inside the arteries of the neck region.

Echocardiogram or Echo Test

An echocardiogram test comprises sound waves to create an in-depth image of the heart. It is productive in finding the location and size of the clot if present.

Treatment of Stroke | When to Consult a Doctor

The treatments of a stroke depend on the type of stroke that you are having. 

 

In Case of Ischemic Stroke

 

The first goal of the treatment of ischemic is to restore the blood flow to the brain. This can be done in the following ways:

 

Emergency Intravenous Medication

 

In this method, medicines are administered through IV so that the clot can be broken down within a span of 4 to 5 hours. The on-time treatment does not only increases the chances of survival but also reduces the risks and associated complications. 

 

Emergency Endovascular Procedures

 

Doctors might also choose to treat the ischemic stroke inside the blocked blood vessel. It is an effective method as the chances of long-term disability can also be minimized. But these procedures must be performed quickly. 

 

Medications

 

In this method, a long tube is inserted inside an artery in the groin. This tube is then threaded to the brain to deliver. The time window for this one is within the initial hours of the diagnosis of stroke. 

 

Use of a Stent Retriever

 

Doctors can also make use of a catheter to remove the clot presence from the blocked blood vessel. This method is highly important because large clots cannot be dissolved with TPA or medications. 

 

To lower the risk of another stroke, doctors might open up the blocked arteries. And there are multiple ways of doing that such as:

 

Carotid Endarterectomy

 

This procedure removes the plaque buildup inside the veins of the neck. It also reduces the risk of another ischemic stroke. But this invasive procedure might also involve some other risks for people who have cardiac issues. 

 

Angioplasty and Stents

 

A catheter is inserted inside the arteries of the groin. Then a balloon is inflated to expand the narrowed artery. A stent is then threaded to support the opened artery.

 

Hemorrhagic Stroke

The emergency response to the onset of a hemorrhagic stroke mainly focuses on controlling the bleeding and thus reducing the pressure on the brain and its membranes. Some common treatment options are as follows:

Medications

Some medicines can be administered to counterfeit the effect of blood-thinning medications in the bloodstream. Medicines can also be used to lower blood pressure so that further complications can be reduced.

Surgery

If the area where the bleeding is occurring is large, then the doctor might opt for surgery to remove the blood and relieve the pressure on the brain. This invasive procedure can also be used to repair damaged blood vessels.

Surgical Clippers

In this surgical procedure, a tiny clip is placed to stop the blood flow at the base of the aneurysm. Furthermore, it protects the aneurysm from bursting or bleeding again.

Coiling

Several coils are placed inside the aneurysm with the help of a catheter.

Surgical AVM Removal

Surgeons might also try to remove smaller AVM if the location of it is accessible. This not only eliminates the risk of rupture but also reduces the chances of a hemorrhagic stroke.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

This advanced method involves the use of highly focused radiation. It is a minimally invasive treatment method that can be used for the repair of blood vessels.

Doctors to treat Stroke

Last updated on Thursday 08/12/2022

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