Strokes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. A stroke affects the arteries in the brain and may lead to loss of brain function. There are two different types of strokes, hemorrhagic and ischemic. An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel is blocked. An hemorrhagic stroke occurs when the blood vessel ruptures. Both of these deny the brain of blood and oxygen, killing blood cells and causing a stroke.
Having a stroke requires swift medical attention. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the symptoms at the earliest. During the attack, individuals can experience:
Certain lifestyle choices may influence the chances of having a stroke. For example, individuals who smoke, use illicit drugs or drink excessively are putting themselves in danger of having of a stroke. On the other hand, patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or blood disorder are at higher risk of having an attack. We can, however, control some of these factors. Living a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and exercise reduces obesity and in turn, lowers the chances of diabetes or high blood pressure. Sadly, age, gender, race and family history are uncontrollable factors. A stroke can strike at any age and the risk rises if any family member suffered from an attack at any point.
While an ischemic stroke occurs when blood clots block blood in an artery from reaching the brain, a hemorrhagic stroke takes place when an artery ruptures in the brain. Given the two types of stroke--ischemic and hemorrhagic--doctors diagnose the attack by reviewing family history and medical history. Furthermore, they will analyze results obtained from diagnostic tests including physical exams, MRI and CT scan, blood tests and heart tests.
Doctors will treat patients depending on the type of stroke diagnosed. A patient suffering from an ischemic stroke may undergo medical procedures such as an angioplasty that helps open up the affected arteries. Medicines that include "blood thinners" to dilute the blood clots may also be a part of the treatment. On the other hand, patients undergoing treatment for a hemorrhagic stroke will not receive "blood thinners" as it will worsen the condition. They may also have surgery including an AVM repair or a coil embolization. Doctors can also recommend after-care treatment such as lifestyle changes. becoming physically active, eating healthy food and following up on the doctors' orders reduces the risks of suffering from a consequent attack. In most cases, doctors will also prescribe medicine in order to control for recurrent strokes.
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