Prevention Of Stroke

Several people across the world are predisposed to different diseases depending on their lifestyle and their geographical location. The only good thing is that the diseases can easily be managed and the prevalence can be lowered with dietary changes, and environmental and lifestyle modifications. These lifestyle diseases have a slow onset but once in the body system, it becomes difficult to eliminate them. The main factors contributing to the lifestyle diseases include poor diet, increased intake of alcohol and fast foods, physical inactivity and disturbed biological clock. One such disease is a stroke.
Stroke (also medically termed as a cerebrovascular accident) occurs when there is inadequate blood supply of blood to the brain cells. Disturbance to neurological supply may lead to focal or non-convulsive deficits which cause the brain cell deaths. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the USA and the leading cause of disability in adults worldwide. The social economic burden brought by stroke is very huge and without proper management, it can lead to an economic meltdown.
There are two types of strokes namely ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Ischemic stroke occurs when there is occlusion to the brain vessels majorly due to thrombus formation or due to the insufficient blood supply to the vessels. A hemorrhagic stroke which constitutes up to 20 percent of the cases is caused by a rupture of brain blood vessels. Hypertension is the most common risk factor of stroke because of its influence on the blood vessels which can lead to atherosclerosis. Other risk factors for cerebrovascular accidents include diabetes, high alcohol intake and smoking. These risk factors have the ability to narrow the blood vessels in the brain leading to cerebral imperfusion. Continually raised blood pressure also have a direct tear effect on the blood vessels and may cause hemorrhagic stroke.
Stroke presents with sudden onset of neurological deficit features such as hemiplegia, aphasia and ataxia. The disease may also present with hemorrhagic stroke features such as a headache, vomiting, reduced consciousness and stiffness of the neck. Other symptoms include fits and migraine. Currently, arterial fibrillation has been shown to be a major risk factor in causing a stroke. It causes the formation of thrombus along the brain vessels hence impairing blood flow.
Diagnosis of cerebral vascular accidents is done by among other parameters; a thorough history taking and physical examination, neurological examination and use of MRI or x-rays. While taking history and performing a physical examination, it is important to differentiate fainting caused by syncope and that one caused by stroke.
Treatment majorly involves lifestyle modification. By adopting the right lifestyle there is an increased incidence of stroke. Lifestyle modification includes reducing or stopping smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. Others include reducing fast food intakes. Fast foods include all the fries. Reducing sugar intake is also very important in eliminating strokes. Increased daily exercise is also important in reducing heart diseases hence reducing the risks of stroke. Taking a walk from the office or walking to work daily really helps in managing the condition. Reducing sedentary lifestyle and reducing number office sitting hours has also been approved to be effective in the management of cerebral vascular accidents. Medical treatment involves the use of anti-platelets such aspirin and or use of blood thinners such as heparin. Other drugs that can be used include antihypertensive such as atenolol and anti-diabetic such as metformin. Surgeries have also proven very effective in the management of cerebral vascular accidents (endovascular and vascular surgeries).