What is stroke? Is it an incurable disease? Or is there any treatment? Is it only seen at an advanced age? Can damage be prevented from becoming permanent? What are the measures that reduce the risk of paralysis?
Feeding and oxygenating brain tissues and cells is carried out by blood flow carried through the brain vessels. Neuronal damage caused by obstruction and tearing of these vessels is called ‘cerebrovascular disease’, or ‘stroke’. Developing due to obstruction and bleeding; Neurological findings such as vision loss, speech impairment, loss of strength in the arms and legs determine the affected areas of the brain.
Since there is not enough awareness about stroke in the community, protective measures are not taken, and warning signs are not noticed or delayed in contacting the health care provider with the idea that ‘it has passed anyway’. As a result, patients who have a chance of being saved by early intervention can lose their lives.
Contrary to popular belief in society, most stroke cases today can actually be treated, experts said. As long as the application to the health care provider is not too late,” he said.
Wrong: Stroke symptoms have passed, I don’t need to see a doctor
Facts: “Strokes whose symptoms such as numbness or weakness in the arm or leg, difficulty speaking and sudden severe headache are called ‘temporary ischemic attacks’ within 24 hours and these are the warning signs for a full stroke. Therefore, it should be taken seriously and necessarily consulted by a doctor,” the doctors said of the ischemic attack. The short duration should not be seen as a comforting feature. Within 90 days of a temporary ischemic attack, the risk of a stroke is about 10 percent. About half of these cases occur within the first 1-2 days. If important stimulating findings are overlooked or not given importance, the chance of permanent disability or death that may occur in the following days may be lost.”
False: Stroke is an unstimoidable disease
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, ‘stroke’ is a preventable disease. Hypertension is the primary risk factor for all types of stroke. It can disrupt the brain vascular structure, causing a stroke. Diabetes often causes stroke, disrupting the large vascular structure. Heart rhythm disorders, rheumatic heart disease, heart attack and cardiovascular diseases are also serious risk factors for ischemic stroke. Therefore, strokes can be prevented by almost 80 percent when high blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides), hypertension, diabetes and obesity, as well as risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and sedentary life are controlled. The Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, vegetables and olive oil, also helps reduce the risk of stroke.
False: Problems such as speech difficulties, vision loss, loss of strength in arms and legs that develop after stroke are permanent
Fact: Damages such as loss of strength, speech impairment and vision loss after stroke can be treated when treated early. However, damage in some patients can be repaired within days and weeks, but if the damage is severe, it can take months. Neurologists stated that the most important period in rehabilitation is the first 6 months, “The patient reaches about 50 percent of the healing potential during this period. The stroke patient can see a rapid recovery in a year and partial or complete improvement in the stroke. In findings that last more than a year, the recovery is much slower.”
False: There is no treatment for stroke
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, stroke can be treated in many patients when admitted to hospital on time, neurologists say. However, in order for this treatment to be applied, patients need to be delivered quickly to the appropriate hospitals where treatment can be performed.”
Emphasizing that the treatment is applied for the cause, the experts said, “For example, if the patient has an arrhythmia such as ‘atrial fibrillation’ or if he has undergone heart valve surgery, anticoagulant, in other words, treatment that prevents blood clotting is applied. If a plaque is responsible for the stroke, which leads to advanced stenosis in the carotid artery, it is recommended that this vessel be opened surgically or by stent. As a result, treatment and approach vary from patient to patient.”
False: Stroke occurs only at an advanced age
Fact: Although the risk increases with age, stroke can be seen at any age. So much so that an estimated 10 percent of strokes develop in people under the age of 50. Neurologists list some of the causes of stroke in people under the age of 50 as follows:
Congenital heart disease: Structural anomalies of the heart or structural disorders of the heart that lead to irregular heart rhythms increase the risk of stroke.
Bleeding-clotting disorders: Sickle cell anemia and deformed sickle cell-shaped blood cells can block arteries and vessels and significantly increase the risk of stroke. In young people, the risk is 200 times higher than in someone without sickle cell disease.
Metabolic conditions: conditions such as Fabry’s disease; narrowing of blood vessels supplying blood to the brain can lead to the development of stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol levels.
Vasculitis: inflammation of the walls of the blood vessel (artery, balls vein and capillary); it can cause damage to the vessels by making changes such as thickening, narrowing and weakening of the vessels. As a result, damage occurs in these sections as blood flow to the tissues and organs fed by the vessel will be limited.
Alcohol-substance abuse: Alcohol and substance abuse are other causes of stroke.
3 measures that reduce stroke risk
Stroke is one of the top health problems that require immediate intervention as it can cause permanent disabilities and life-threatening injuries. Race saves lives over time in a stroke that happens to one person every 40 seconds in the world. It is also vital to know the risk factors for stroke and to take the necessary measures.
Intervention is important in the first 3 hours
Stroke, which affects thousands of people all over the world every year, causes bigger problems when not intervened in the first 3 hours. Stroke occurs due to obstruction, narrowing or bleeding within the brain tissue of the vessels leading to the brain and brain. Permanent damage occurs because obstruction or bleeding prevents brain cells from feeding. The symptoms that occur in the body vary according to the brain region where the damage is experienced. Numbness, felting, loss of strength, impaired balance, loss of vision, headache, dizziness and unconsciousness or loss of consciousness are the first symptoms indicating the presence of stroke.
Risk can be reduced by taking precautions
Although it is not possible to intervene in risk factors that cannot be changed in terms of stroke, the total risk can be reduced by consciously and taking precautions against modifiable factors. Modifiable factors pose a threat to stroke even on their own, causing the risk to be multiplied if seen together. Diabetes, for example, is an important risk factor for stroke. However, if it is experienced with other risk factors, the risk of stroke increases. Therefore, taking the necessary precautions against diabetes is also important in reducing the risk of stroke.
Men have a higher risk
In society, every individual over the age of 55 has a double risk of having a stroke every 10 years. Therefore, age is one of the most irrevocable risk factors. Another important factor is gender. It is known that men have a higher risk of stroke than women. However, it is seen that the risk increases in women who are pregnant between the ages of 35 and 44 or use contraceptives compared to women in the normal population. Scientific studies show that if there is a history of stroke or a genetic predisposition in the family, the risk of stroke also rises. For example, family members with genetically diverse clotting factors may experience stroke even at an early age. Therefore, regular health checks are very important.
Measures that reduce the risk
Obesity, fat in the abdomen and neck area and high cholesterol are among the factors that invite a stroke. Changes in lifestyle, balanced and regular diet and exercise will reduce the risk of stroke. Although irreparable risk factors such as age, gender or race are found, it is possible to prevent possible loss of life by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, taking precautions against obesity, hypertension and diabetes, greatly reducing the risk of stroke.
Hypertension is one of the modifiable risk factors for stroke. By keeping blood pressure under control, the risk of stroke can be prevented by 35-45%. According to scientific studies, blood pressure should be kept below 140/90 in order to prevent stroke.
Smoking is a cause that doubles the risk of stroke compared to non-smokers. For example, if women who use the contraceptive pill also smoke, cerebral vascular obstruction increases 7 times and the risk of brain hemorrhage increases about 4 times. In addition, exposure to cigarette smoke can cause stroke by increasing heart rate, vascular hardening and blood clotting. The risk of stroke decreases after smoking cessation.