It seems that every week there is a new health concern being publicized and promoted; making it difficult to know what is a real concern, and what is simply hype. Strokes and heart attacks are nothing to shrug off. Even with all of the advances in technology, diagnostics, and treatments; death due to heart or stroke related causes has increased by four times since the 1920’s. This increase is in part due to the increase in obesity, and the overall poor health of the masses. With these statistics it is more important than ever to be able to recognize and know what to do if having a stroke. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to saving a life and stopping the brain damage from spreading in the case of a stroke.
What is a stroke?
The short answer is a stroke occurs when a blockage stops the blood flow to any region of the brain, or travels to the brain inhibiting blood flow. Heart issues and stroke are often referred to in tandem since artery blockage is a key contributor to both.
Strokes do not discriminate between age, gender, or nationality, making it important to know how to recognize if you or someone around you is having a stroke. According to the American Stroke Association you should get immediate medical attention if you see the following signs:
- F – Face Drooping
- A – Arm Weakness
- S – Speech Difficulty
- T – Time to Call 911
In addition to the F.A.S.T. acronym there are also several other signs that you should be aware of.
- Trouble Seeing
- Severe Headache
- Trouble Walking
What causes a stroke?
As listed above the number one cause of stroke is a blockage or tear in the artery that leads to blood not reaching the brain. This can be caused by poor health, a sedentary life style, genetic predisposition, injury, or even a bad neck adjustment from the chiropractor. (This type of cause is heavily debated, but statistics show that chiropractic induced strokes are much, much more prevalent than the board of chiropractic wants the public to know about.)
Treatment for strokes is often blood thinners. However over the past decade or two there has been a tremendous amount of advancement in the treatment of stroke when caught early. Scientists have even discovered a medicine that if administered within two hours of having the stroke, can stop the progression of the stroke minimalizing the damage caused. There are also enzyme tests that can be administered within this time frame to detect when the stroke occurred. These enzymes only present themselves in the blood stream when a stroke has occurred. It is this type of research and treatment options that make it vital that people learn to recognize stroke symptoms early and seek out immediate medical attention.
Strokes can devastate a person’s life as well as their families if not detected and treated early. Modern medicine is improving all the time, however without public awareness of the cause, symptoms, and treatment options the increase in stroke occurrence will continue to rise. Educate yourself on these things and protect your family from this devastating event.