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Stroke Recovery, Complications

A stroke can be described as a disabling attack or the loss of consciousness, which occurs because of an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain. When the supply of blood to your brain is interrupted of reduces significantly, the tissues and cells get deprived of oxygen as well as nutrition. Within a matter of minutes, this could cause the cells to die. Therefore a stroke is a serious medical problem, which can also result in death, if it is not given emergency attention. Prompt and immediate action is very important for minimizing damage to the brain and reducing the risks of any potential complications.

Fortunately, it is possible to treat a stroke and to prevent it too. In order to follow a stroke prevention lifestyle, you need to control the factors that could cause this problem, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and habits like smoking.

Most patients are required to stay in the hospital for a couple of days, while undergoing treatment for this problem.  This also includes the stroke recovery and rehabilitation phase, in which the patient needs to focus on regaining strength and recovering as much function as possible, so that he or she can resume a normal life. However, recovering from a stroke is a long process and requires a lot of determination and commitment, not just from the patient, but also the family members and other helpers. One of the most essential aspects of the recovery period is following a stroke diet carefully.

There are several do's and don’ts that patients need to follow in order to prevent a stroke and treat it. It is absolutely essential to seek help from a medical health care provider for this purpose.

Is Stroke Hereditary

It is important to realize that a stroke is not a disease, but more like a symptom of cardiovascular problems. Hence, a stroke and cardiovascular disease are closely related, and you could be at a high risk for strokes, in case you have any preexisting cardiovascular diseases. There are several people who worry that they may be more likely to suffer from a stroke, because one or both of their parents had one. Anyone can have a hereditary stroke, but this does not mean that a person is at a high risk of getting a stroke, mainly because his or her parents had one. There are several factors that can influence your likelihood of suffering a stroke, the most important one being high blood pressure, also commonly referred to as hypertension.

It is important to prevent a stroke as it could incur permanent damage to the body or can also be fatal. There are studies on a stroke and neurological disorders, which claim that a stroke can lead to irreversible neurological complications or even death.

Stroke Causes

A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to the brain has been interrupted, which in turn damages the cerebral tissues. There are two types of strokes, i.e., the ischemic stroke and the hemorrhagic stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when there is a blockage within the artery and a hemorrhagic stroke is usually the result of a blood vessel leak or burst. Another type of stroke known as the Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) causes a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain. This is often referred to as a mini-stroke.

Almost 90% of the strokes that occur in people are ischemic strokes, where the arteries are either narrowed or blocked. This in turn affects the supply of blood, nutrients and oxygen to the brain, causing the cells to die within minutes. Hemorrhagic strokes are usually a result of uncontrolled high blood pressure. Most health experts warn hypertension patients about the risks of high BP and stroke, asking them to bring their blood pressure levels under control as quickly as possible, with the help of medication, a diet, an exercise routine and lifestyle changes.

There are several other factors too, that can raise the risks of strokes in people. Given below are some of the most common stroke causes in men and women:
  • Brain aneurysms
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Habits like smoking or drinking excess alcohol
  • Use of illegal drugs
Older people are more likely to get a stroke. However, in today’s world there are several young men and women who also suffer from this problem. Excessive stress and anxiety as well as unhealthy eating habits are common stroke causes in young people. Therefore, in to prevent stress and strokes, people are advised to go in for stress-busters, like exercising, engaging in a relaxing hobby, massage therapy or even yoga.

Though rare, children have been known to suffer from strokes too. Given below are some of the common stroke causes in children:
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Blood disorders
  • Infections
  • Arterial dissection
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Coagulation disorders
  • Rare genetic disorders
In the United States, there have been several cases of women suffering strokes when they are in their 30s. This could be due to the fact that some of the stroke causes in women include pregnancy and childbirth. Some of the other factors that could lead to strokes in women include migraines, inflammatory diseases and smoking, to name a few.

Does Smoking Cause Stroke

It is a well-known fact that cigarette smoking is highly injurious to health. It is a dangerous habit, which leads to serious health problems in individuals, as well as those who are around them and inhale the cigarette smoke. Some of the health conditions that smoking can trigger off include cancer, lung problems, asthma, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. While these problems can occur in anyone, people who smoke or are exposed to smoke constantly are at a much higher risk.

Report on smoking and strokes indicate that a stroke could indeed be a direct result of smoking. Cigarette smoke contains significant amounts of nicotine and carbon monoxide. These substances reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood vessels, which in turn damages the vessels’ walls. Blood clots could also form in the vessels due to this and the blood pressure rises. In case the clot is in the brain, the clot may be a lot more severe. Of course, this does not mean that all those who smoke will indeed suffer from a stroke.

Stroke Treatment

The stroke treatment guidelines are aimed at tackling the effects of a stroke and preventing the complications that may arise due to them. There are various stroke treatment options, which usually include drugs and if necessary surgery. Patients are also required to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, in order to speed up the recovery and prevent a stroke from recurring.

The stroke treatment medications include:
  • Cholesterol lowering medication
  • Clot dissolving drugs (if required)
  • Medicines to reduce brain damage
  • Anti-hypersensitive drugs for reducing blood pressure
  • Anti-coagulant drugs
  • Anti-platelet drugs
It is essential for people to understand that these drugs should be taking in the right doses and only on the recommendation of a doctor.

How to Cure Stroke Naturally

For a detailed stroke diagnosis, a patient may need to undergo certain tests so that the condition of the brain can be studied. These include CT Scans, MRIs, Swallow Tests, Ultrasounds, Echocardiogram and a physical exam.

The immediate and appropriate treatment of strokes is absolutely essential, or else it could result in death. The severity of a stroke can also be reduced to some extent, with the help of the right treatment. There are people who also include a remedy for brain stroke in their treatment, which could include vitamin supplements, Epsom salts and raw fresh juice. While opting for a natural cure for stroke can be beneficial in speeding up the recovery process, the importance for conventional medication cannot be overlooked.
Submitted on January 16, 2014