- Early Warning Signs and Symptoms Of a Stroke
- Jun 24, 2009
- Category: Disease & Illness
- Classroom: Early Warning Signs Of A Stroke - Causes, Symptoms And Recovery
Early Warning Signs and Symptoms Of a Stroke
Stroke is the interruption of blood flow to the brain. This is due to a blockage caused by a thrombus, or blood leaking through a rupture or tear in the artery. Knowing the early warning signs and symptoms of stroke enables the person to get medical help quickly.
What are the early warning signs?
Days, and up to a year before a stroke, the person may have had an early warning sign that were ignored. This is a frequent occurrence related to stroke symptoms mirroring other conditions. Usually the symptoms go away in a few minutes and the person thinks nothing of it.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Also called a mini stroke, is an early warning sign of an CVA, and involves a momentary halt in blood flow to the brain, which usually lasts about 5 minutes or less. If symptoms persist, it is indicative of a stroke. Other early signs include:
- Tingling in the face or extremities that is usually unilateral (one sided)
- Jumbled speech and confusion
- Aphasia (unable to speak)
- vision impairment in one eye
- Loss of coordination
- Intense headache
If you are in the presence of someone showing these symptoms, call 911 immediately to get emergency medical help. A person who's right arm becomes numb and unable to function, that means the stroke is occurring on the left side of the brain. Stroke on the right side of the brain affects the left side of the body, and a stroke on the left side of the brain will affect the right side of the body.
The risks for stroke include:
- Age - After age 55, the risks double every 10 years.
- Family history and ethnicity.
- Gender: Women are less likely than men to suffer a stroke.
- Previous Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), or Myocardial Infarction (MI, heart attack)
How do I lower My risks?
If you have hypertension, taking your medication correctly and monitoring your blood pressure readings will help to keep your values within normal range. Sustained high blood pressure can lead to hemorrhagic stroke due to the pressure put on the blood vessel walls.
Monitoring high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and managing them successfully decrease risks for stroke. Uncontrolled high levels can deposit plaque on the vessel walls, leading to narrowing and subsequent blockage of the artery.
Having diabetes poses another serious risk. It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels daily and take the prescribed amount of insulin as directed by your physician. Proper management of glucose levels aids in preventing unwanted complications.
Eating a healthy diet of whole grains and nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and foods low in fat and high in fiber help to lower your risks of stroke, as well as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Getting regular exercise not only helps you to lose weight, but also lowers your risk for other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension that result from obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
by Barb Hicks, RN/LMT
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia License.
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