According to the World Health Organization, stroke is the second leading cause of dead and third rank cause of disability. In low- and middle-income countries, there were 70% of stroke and stroke-related deaths and disability-adjusted life 87%.
What is a stroke?
Stroke is well known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or brain attack. It causes by blood supply is interrupted to part if the brain, affecting brain cells to die. As a result, loss of brain function in the affected area.
How many types of stroke?
What are the signs and symptoms of the stroke?
Common stroke symptoms in men and women sudden:
- Numbness or weakness of the face
- Numbness or weakness of arm or leg, particularly on one side of his/her body
- Confusion, difficulty to speak, or understand
- Visual problem (trouble to see in one or both eyes)
- Difficulty to walk, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with unknown cause
What are the symptoms of stroke in women?
Women have an adverse effect on stroke than men. Thus, there are different symptoms from common symptoms among women that can be like:
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- General weakness
- Dyspnea or difficulty or shortness of breath
- Confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
- Sudden behavioral change
- Nausea or vomiting
Why do women have a higher risk of stroke than men?
The higher risks of stroke in women may be due to:
- Birth control pill (contraceptive pill)
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Migraine with aura
- Atrial fibrillation
What is the meaning of F.A.S.T for stroke?
When someone is having a stroke, every second and minute count. In order to help he/she on time, you need to learn how to recognize the telltale signs of stroke. The quickly you notice the symptoms of a stroke, you can save his/her life and even yours.
- F – Face: ask he/she to smile. Does his/her face drop one side?
- A-Arms: ask he/she to raise both arms. Does his/her arm drift downward one side?
- S – Speech: ask he/she to repeat a simple sentence. Is his/her speech slurred or strange?
- T – Time: if you see any of the signs abovementioned, call emergency number straight away
You have to note the time when any of those symptoms occur. It will help the health care provider decide the best procedure for each person.
What are the risk factors for stroke?
Numerous factors can increase your chance to have a stroke include:
- Overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity
- Heavy drinking
- Illegal drugs use (cocaine and methamphetamine)
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Smoking cigarette or secondhand smoking
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Heart diseases such as heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation)
- Age: people age 55 years old and over have a higher risk to have a stroke than younger people
- Race: African American have a higher risk to have a stroke than other races
- Sex: women usually to have a higher risk to have a stroke than men when they are getting older
- Hormone: use contraceptive pills or hormone therapies
What are the tests to diagnose strokes?
- Blood tests: to determine any signs of anemia, infection, blood sugar level, how fast blood clot, cholesterol, total lipids, LHL, and HLD level
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): to identifies the location of ischemic areas
- Computerized tomography (CT): to identifies the area of bleeding
- Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG): to determine if an underlying rhythm abnormality
- Cerebral angiogram: to determine whether the arteries in your neck or the brain blockage or clot
- Carotid duplex ultrasound: to determine whether the arteries are narrowed because of plaque buildup
- Echocardiogram: to determine if a blood clot within the heart may have caused the stroke
What are the complications of stroke?
The complications of a stroke depend on how long the brain lack blood flow and which area of the brain was affected. The complication may include:
- Loss of muscle movement (called paralysis)
- Difficulty to speak, talk or swallowing
- Difficulty to think or lose memory
- Problems with emotional
- Pain, numbness or unusual sensations
- Behavioral changes and need self-care ability
How to prevent a stroke?
You can prevent stroke by practice healthy behavior and lifestyle. This include:
- Healthy diet: be smart to choose foods that you going to eat. Low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help to prevent high cholesterol. Lower salt and sodium intake in your meals also help to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels increase your opportunity to have a stroke.
- Quit smoking: smoking increases your chance to have a stroke, so if you do smoke, quit it in order to lower your risk.
- Limited alcohol drinking: men should not have more than two drinks per day whereas women should have only one.
- Healthy weight: manage your body mass index (BMI) to lower your risk to have a stroke.
- Physical activity: keep active. It helps you to stay healthy and avoid diseases.
- Mayo Clinic. (2020, February 7). Retrieved from Stroke: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113
- American Stroke Association. (2020). Retrieved from Women have a higher risk of stroke: https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/stroke-risk-factors/women-have-a-higher-risk-of-stroke
- World Health Organization. (2016). Retrieved from Stroke: a global response is needed: https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/94/9/16-181636/en/
- Centers for disease control and prevention. (2020, January 31). Retrieved from Stroke: signs and symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/signs_symptoms.htm