Sometimes, life could be very difficult. Problems and challenges here and there, and we would be doing our best to make ends meet. In all these engagements, we forget that we are also humans, and we forget to take care of ourselves and our health. The Result? We break down.
What Is STROKE?
This is known as a “Cerebrovascular accident”. It is what happens when there is a blockage or rupture of the vessel (like a pipe) that carries blood to the brain.
Just imagine the body like a house, and these vessels like pipes in your house that carry water to your bathroom, your kitchen, etc.
Now, imagine the pipe that is bringing water to your toilet got blocked or bursts. There would be no more supply to your toilet.
This is what happens in stroke, and because the brain needs blood to get oxygen (that you breathe) and nutrients (food) to survive, it dies when a stroke happens.
The manifestation you see on the person depends on which part of the brain that the blocked vessel (pipe) was supplying. If it is the part of the brain that controls the hand & feet, the person would stop walking or moving.
If it is the part that controls the mouth or face, the person would stop talking and so on.
There might be a short attack that looks like a stroke but recovers. This is called Transient Ischaemic Attack or pre-Stroke. Read these 6 Things you should know about stroke.
The things that can block a blood vessel are;
- Blood clot: when blood solidifies & gum together.
- Fats: especially when there is a fracture of bone or trauma (someone hits you, maybe in your abdomen or breast (for girls))
Causes Of STROKE?
- Hypertension: we call this “High blood pressure”. It’s the most common cause of stroke, especially in Africa & Nigeria. This usually causes blood vessels to burst causing stroke. Imagine pumping your car tire till it grows too big & burst.
- Diabetes: Accumulation of sugar in the body, especially in these vessels can cause stroke, especially when the sugar particles break off, and go and cause blockage in the vessel.
This sugar accumulation also causes thickening of the vessel, causing High Blood Pressure.
This is why those that have Diabetes usually have High blood pressure too.
- Smoking: There is a substance that is found in cigarettes, called Nicotine. This substance has been known to increase blood pressure which can cause a stroke.
No wonder they always write that “Cigarette smokers are likely to die young.”
- Family/Genetics: This is what they mean when they say it runs in the blood. If someone in your have had a stroke or died from a stroke before, it’s better if you start early to start staying away from things that can cause you to have a stroke.
These are things that can make you have a stroke. Those are things that can lead you to have Hypertension, Diabetes, or other conditions that can give you stroke. They are;
Age: Stroke is common in old age, although it can happen at any age. The chances go up as you age then doubles at age 55.
Gender: Scientists have observed that more men suffer from a stroke than women. We still do not know why yet. It doesn’t mean that women are free.
Obesity/Overweight: Before, we use to believe that those who are big are actually those enjoying life. Now, all that has changed. Obesity can cause you to develop hypertension, diabetes, and hence stroke. It can also cause problems for women during childbirth, and also play a part in Infertility.
Maybe it’s time to begin that exercise that you have been planning for a long time.
Diet: This is simply food. Foods containing high amounts of cholesterol, salt are not good for you, as they can cause you to develop hypertension, which can then lead to stroke.
How Do I know If someone has/had a stroke?
Ever heard of someone that was walking and suddenly fell down, whose mouth shifted to one side, cannot speak clearly, cannot move arms or legs, cannot smell, taste, or hear?
Suspect stroke. It is not Village People.
Or have you heard of someone that just came back from a long journey (that involves sitting for a long time, and after walking around small, the person falls down & dies?
We have this little acronym that can help you suspect stroke when you see it. It is known as BE FAST
B- Balance: The person Loses balance and falls (slumps)
E- Eyes: No longer sees well in one or both eyes
F- Face: Face dropping to one side (mouth deviates to one side)
A-Arms: Can’t lift one or both arms
S- Speech: Can’t make an audible speech (you would be like, what is this one saying self?)
T- Time: Rush to the hospital
What do I do If Someone has a Stroke?
Rush to the hospital immediately or call your family doctor. This is because most times, the main problem with the stroke does not happen during the stroke. It is what happens after the stroke.
The most important thing to do during a stroke is to prevent a repeat of the stroke, and this is only possible by finding & addressing what caused the stroke so that they can salvage other parts of the brain.
Please, do not rush to prayer houses at this time or use herbal concoctions (instead call your pastor to come to the hospital and come & pray for the person). Rush to the hospital as soon as possible.
Can a person that has had a stroke recover?
Brain cells are permanent cells. Once they die, they cannot recover, unlike our skin, that even if you are burnt or cut, it would still heal. Hence, once the cells that control movement die, the person can not be able to walk again.
Do you see why Prevention is better than cure?
How can I Prevent STROKE?
Most cases of strokes cases are very PREVENTABLE, and this is the sad thing. That person could have avoided the whole thing. Here is how;
- Lifestyle Changes: you have to avoid things that can cause you to have stroke-like: like Stop Smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and exercising regularly.
- Eat Healthily: Cut down on some processed meals full of cholesterol and too much salt. It is not about size but quality. Eat more fruits and vegetables. See the benefits of Fruits and Vegetables.
NOTE: That men are more likely to suffer from a stroke doesn’t mean women are free. In fact, women who suffer a stroke are more likely to die from it than men.
When Last Did You Check Your BP or blood sugar???