What Is A Stroke?
A stroke is an unfortunately common occurrence that can leave a person extremely disabled.
The stroke is a sudden loss of brain function, caused by the interruption of the flow of oxygen and glucose-containing blood to the brain (ischemic stroke). This type of interruption is often caused by a blood clot which forms in the brain’s blood vessels, or elsewhere in the body, breaking loose and traveling to the brain. Plaque can also clog the brain’s blood vessels and cause this type of stroke.
The second type of stroke (hemorrhagic stroke) occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures. Typically these strokes are caused by high blood pressure or brain aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weakness or thinness in a blood vessel wall.
When blood flow is interrupted or blood vessels are ruptured in these ways, nearby brain cells (neurons) die.
Signs Of A Stroke
Symptoms of a stroke include:
- Weakness, tingling, loss of movement or numbness in an arm, leg, or the face on one side of the body.
- Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes. This may be experienced as dimming, commonly described as being like a curtain falling.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
- Loss of speech or difficulty talking.
- Sudden difficulty understanding what others are saying.
- Loss of balance or unstable walking, usually combined with at least one other symptom.
What To Do In Case Of Stroke
A stroke is a medical emergency. Immediate treatment is essential to save the life of the afflicted person as well as to increase their chances of a full recovery. Call an ambulance immediately and get them to a hospital. There is no such thing as a “small stroke” which does not need medical attention.
Results Of A Stroke
A stroke can be fatal, or it can leave no perceptible results if you are very lucky. Because the right and left sides of the brain control different parts of your body, location and severity of the stroke influence its effects. A stroke on the right side of the brain often causes vision loss. Strokes affecting the left side frequently cause speech problems. Loss of memory is common with any stroke, and temporary or permanent paralysis on one side of the body is a frequent result.
It is estimated that 50% strokes are preventable. If you have controllable risk factors for stroke, it is important to take action to reduce your risk.
Controllable risk factors for stroke:
- High blood pressure
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythms)
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Carotid or Coronary artery disease
Recovering From A Stroke
Stroke survivors often require extensive rehabilitation to begin to recover normal activities such as walking, speech, vision, reasoning, and memory. Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture have proven to be extremely effective therapies to help stroke survivors speed up recovery and reclaim their lives.
It’s common for stroke survivors to require psychological support as well, since depression, anger, frustration at their inability to perform tasks that were relatively easy before the stroke takes a toll.
In addition, certain nutritional supplements have been proven to cross the blood/brain barrier and support brain health and neuroplasticity.
For all of these reasons, it is imperative that a stroke survivor be connected with an integrative medical support team which can offer a comprehensive range of healing modalities.