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A stroke is a medical emergency, and treatment must be sought as quickly as possible. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability. How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.


Strokes occur due to problems with the blood supply to the brain: either the blood supply is blocked or a blood vessel within the brain ruptures. When this happens, the brain does not get enough oxygen or nutrients which cause brain cells 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.



There are three main kinds of stroke:

  1. Ischemic strokes

  2. Haemorrhagic strokes

  3. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also referred to as mini-strokes



The main symptoms of stroke are as follows:

  • Confusion, including trouble with speaking and understanding

  • Headache, possibly with altered consciousness or vomiting

  • Numbness of the face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body

  • Trouble with seeing, in one or both eyes

  • Trouble with walking, including dizziness and lack of co-ordination.


Risk factors

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Physical inactivity

  • Heavy or binge drinking

  • Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines


The best way to prevent a stroke is to address the underlying causes. This is best done by:

  • Eating a healthy diet

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Exercise regularly

  • Not smoking

  • Avoiding alcohol or moderating consumption.




Emergency treatment for stroke depends on whether you're having an ischemic stroke blocking an artery — the most common kind — or a haemorrhagic stroke that involves bleeding into the brain.

Ischemic stroke

To treat an ischemic stroke, doctors must quickly restore blood flow to your brain.

Haemorrhagic stroke

Emergency treatment of hemorrhagic stroke focuses on controlling your bleeding and reducing pressure in your brain.



Culled from Staywellworld blog post dated October 21, 2016.

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