A stroke is a terrible catastrophe, not only for the person himself, but also for his entire family. After all, it is only in the best case that after this disease there will remain a slight speech impairment or slight movement disorders.
But there is hope! In most cases, the body warns of an impending disaster in advance. And if there were no signs, or you missed them, then not everything is lost: qualified help provided in the first 1-1.5 hours from the onset of the disease gives a chance to get off with a “slight fright”, provided that the stroke is ischemic.
What is ischemic stroke? Who and when should he be suspected first of all? What are the first signs of a stroke? What to do when they occur? Read the answers to these, as well as some other questions.
The stroke recognition technique, named after the first letters of the checked symptom - BLOW:
- Y is smile: if you ask the patient to smile, the smile will be crooked,
- D - motion: in response to a request to raise both hands (or legs - if a person is lying) at the same time, he will not be able to do this: one limb will noticeably lag behind or will not be able to move at all,
- A is articulation, that is, the movement of the speech apparatus during the pronunciation of words. If the articulation is impaired, then the person’s speech becomes blurred, incomprehensible, while his lips and tongue almost do not move,
- P is decision. That is, if you see that the symptoms are positive - call the ambulance.
Unfortunately, classic symptoms are not always observed. The disease can begin in a completely different way, and only after a while cause the appearance of any asymmetries of movements and muscle tone. It depends on the type of stroke: ischemic or hemorrhagic.
Stroke catastrophically younger
Its victims are increasingly people under the age of 40. Even the blogosphere has taken care of this circumstance. And no wonder: it’s one thing when you hear that someone’s grandfather died of a stroke, and it’s quite another when this affliction has struck your peer, who is not even 30 yet.
For several months now, one of the most popular posts on the Internet was the following story:
"During the picnic, the girl stumbled and fell. She was asked to call an ambulance, but she assured that everything was in order and that she tripped on a stone just because of new shoes. She was chilling, she looked a little pale, it seemed that it's hard for her to talk.
We picked it up, helped shake it off, set it down comfortably and brought a plate of food. Our friend spent the rest of the day cheerfully and naturally, only her smile looked a little tortured, not as open as usual. Later, the girl’s husband called everyone and said that his wife was taken to the hospital. At 23.00 she died. At a picnic, she had a stroke (acute cerebrovascular accident).
If we, her friends, knew what the signs of a stroke looked like, she could live today! "
How to recognize a stroke
The Internet message is accompanied by advice on how to determine the disease accurately with just 4 questions.
1 Ask the person to smile (he will not be able to do this with both corners of his mouth, the smile will turn out to be crooked).
2 Ask for a simple sentence, for example, "Today is good weather" (speech will be slowed down, a person may not remember the text).
3 Ask to raise both hands (not able or only partially able to raise).
4 Ask to stick out the tongue (if the tongue is curved, rotated - this is also a sign).
If a person has problems even when performing one of these tasks - call the "ambulance"! After all, doctors assure that if they have time for a stroke victim within 3 hours, then the consequences of the attack can be eliminated.
Bloggers send out a stroke test to all of their acquaintances with a note: "Send this message to at least 10 recipients. And, perhaps, someone else’s life - maybe ours - will be saved.
Every day we send so much “rubbish” around the world that maybe it’s worth it to put something really useful and necessary through the wires. ”
There are other obvious symptoms of a stroke that allow you to "calculate" the disease:
- Severe headaches, which are most often accompanied by flickering "flies" in front of the eyes.
- Numbness of the limbs, inability to move with either the right foot and the right hand or the left foot and left hand. What is characteristic, if mobility is lost on the left, this means that the right half of the brain has suffered. And vice versa.
- Dizziness, blurred consciousness.
- Nausea (sometimes vomiting).
- Visual impairment.
- Impaired gait and balance.
Remember, the faster you call an ambulance, the better. In the case when a stroke develops, the score really goes for minutes.
Attack on the young
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed medical records of 8 million patients and found that stroke rates among people under the age of 50 have grown by about a third in recent years. The mostly unhealthy lifestyle is to blame for this, doctors say.
To avoid a stroke, you must:
- give physical activity at least half an hour a day,
- eat right - eat 5-6 times a day, do not get involved in junk food and foods containing saturated fatty acids, give preference to fruits and vegetables, eat fish, walnuts, honey,
- lose weight (if you are overweight),
- avoid bad habits, remember that smoking and alcohol greatly increase the risk of developing strokes,
- sleep at least 8 hours at night.
And, of course, the most important measure for the prevention of stroke, doctors say, is the control of blood pressure and the proper treatment of hypertension.
If your pressure is 140/90 mmHg. Art., and even more so if higher, there is good reason to consult a doctor. It is also necessary to control the level of cholesterol in the blood. This is usually done with a blood test for fats.
Doctors say that every person over 20 should check this figure at least every 5 years. And at a more mature age and more often.
If you take rose hips daily, you can forget about heart and vascular diseases for a long time. This conclusion was reached by researchers from the University of Lund in Sweden, writes The Daily Mail. Scientists conducted an experiment: obese people drank a rosehip drink from 40 grams of crushed berries every day for six weeks. At the same time, changes in blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol in the blood were recorded.
At the end of the experiment, these harmful indicators decreased, reducing the risk of stroke by 17%.
Rosehips have a lot of vitamin C, and it has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect. For example, in a 2007 study, it was found that people who took capsules with wild rose daily showed a 40% reduction in joint pain and a 25% improvement in mobility.
- American scientists from the Cardiovascular Epidemiological Research Group at the Harvard School of Medicine found that within an hour after drinking wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages, the risk of stroke doubles.
- Scientists have found that if a patient has already had a mild stroke, but has not quit smoking, then the risk of a repeated, more severe stroke increases by 10 times.
- Women should especially be careful with dietary supplements. Studies show that calcium intake and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke are directly dependent on women.
- In men, more often than in women, strokes are fatal.
58 years old is the average age at which active smokers get a stroke. For non-smokers, this age is 9 years old.
Sounded at the congress of cardiologists in Ottawa
The first symptoms of ischemic stroke
Ischemic stroke is a situation when the lumen of one of the cerebral arteries overlaps sharply. It usually develops in the morning, after the blood flow in the head, reduced at night, begins to recover.
From the side, speech disturbance may look like a person repeating one syllable, uttering incoherent sounds or words that do not add up to a separate sentence. Maybe he just look at his relatives, not understanding the speech addressed to him.
Vision may also suffer, coordination may be disturbed, and gait unsteadiness may appear.
Loss of consciousness with ischemic stroke can be, but this is rare. Vomiting for this disease is also not characteristic.
The first signs of a hemorrhagic stroke
According to the localization of a bursting vessel and spilled blood, hemorrhagic stroke is divided into 4 types:
- cerebral hemorrhage,
- ventricular hemorrhage,
- hemorrhage into the spaces between the meninges (subarachnoid hemorrhage),
- mixed view: hemorrhage into the ventricles and brain tissue, into the space between the membranes and into the brain tissue; common hemorrhage: into the ventricles, brain tissue and between the membranes.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage also often begins after stress or exercise in the daytime. A person suddenly feels a terrible headache, which can even be described as "a blow to the head with something heavy." The pain is usually accompanied by 1-2-fold vomiting, after which a short-term loss of consciousness may develop. Sometimes it is accompanied by convulsions, when the body either stretches out “like a string”, or the muscles of the arms and legs begin to contract. Consciousness is absent, breathing is often impaired (the person’s tongue sinks), the mucous membrane of the lips and skin acquire a bluish tint.
After that, a person can even get up, walk. A severe headache continues to bother him. Over time, its inadequacy and drowsiness will be more and more noticeable.
If a person does not regain consciousness within 10 minutes, this indicates the likely development of hemorrhage in vital areas of the brain: trunk, ventricles, cerebellum.
Harbingers of stroke
A stroke rarely develops from scratch. For the most part, the body warns a person about an impending disaster.
In an ischemic stroke, it looks like numbness of the limbs, speech impairment, severe headaches, blurred vision, or severe dizziness. It lasts from several minutes to several hours and passes on its own. In medicine, this condition is called transient ischemic attack (TIA), and the people call it a microstroke.
Hemorrhagic stroke, especially its appearance such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, can occur without any “warning symptoms”. In some cases, precursors are hypertensive crises - increased pressure to high numbers, which are accompanied by various symptoms: headaches, transient blindness, pain in the heart.
Such precursors can be repeated many times, or can be only once, after which a stroke develops. Therefore, the best option is to contact a neurologist if even one TIA appears. If you suffer from arterial hypertension and are not taking anything, then you should start to do it. Particularly quick steps must be taken if the pressure begins to rise or if there has been at least one hypertensive crisis.
Stroke Risk Factors
Which relatives have the slightest dizziness or headaches should be regarded as harbingers of a stroke?
These are the people:
- suffering from hypertension
- in which memory impairment, frequent headaches, frequent mood changes (this is a sign of cerebral arteriosclerosis) has become noticeable
- suffering from coronary heart disease,
- with varicose veins of the lower extremities,
- who have high cholesterol levels in their blood,
- if a woman is taking birth control pills.
A test by which you can learn about the imminent approach of a stroke
Scientist Manvelov revealed signs that are noticeable to a person without a medical education, which indicate a violation of cerebral circulation. Now you can recognize them by answering the questions:
- Are there headache attacks that occur “on the weather” or after overwork.
- Is there dizziness that appears at rest and intensifies at the start of movement.
- Is there a tinnitus, even sometimes.
- Whether memory lapses developed for some events.
- Has performance recently changed?
- Is drowsiness overgrown? Is there insomnia?
If during the last three months at least 2 symptoms recur 1 or more times a week, you are at great risk of developing a stroke. You need to contact a neurologist, undergo ultrasound dopplerography and follow the doctor’s recommendations.
Other diseases whose symptoms are similar to a stroke
You do not always sit at home, and you can not always notice the onset of the disease. Finding your relative in a “strange” state, you need to understand that not only a stroke can cause it.
So, if it is a cramp, it can also be an epileptic seizure. In this case, you begin to provide first aid, as described below, call the ambulance. Then you look: if the consciousness does not recover or if it has restored, but the person has become inadequate, his face is distorted or his limbs do not move, this is a stroke. If everything has returned to its previous level - epilepsy.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage is very similar to meningitis, even temperature and pressure can be increased in either case. Here it is necessary to take into account such a factor that meningitis does not develop from scratch or after stress. It is preceded either by a catarrhal disease, or otitis media, or pneumonia.
A “strange” condition and headache can occur during a stroke or migraine. But a stroke is characterized by confusion, with migraine it is preserved. With a stroke, asymmetry of the face appears, a violation of the movements of the limbs, this is not typical for migraines.
What to do when the first signs of a stroke appear
- Call an ambulance by telling the dispatcher that there is a stroke.
- Open the windows, windows so that more air enters the room.
- If the patient is conscious, lay him on his back so that his head is about 30 degrees above the body. He needs to measure blood pressure and, if it is elevated, give the drug he usually takes.
- If the patient is unconscious, he also needs to be laid on his back with a folded sheet or a hard pillow under his head. The patient's head is turned on its side, so that if he starts vomiting, he does not choke on the vomit. If there are removable dentures in the mouth, they must be removed. No drugs are given to unconscious people to reduce blood pressure!
- Be sure to monitor the condition before the arrival of the ambulance.
- With the development of seizures, you need to observe breathing: if it stops, try using your spoon or other handy item to open your teeth. Then, until the cramps have stopped, you need to put the thumbs of both your hands on the corners of the lower jaw, and put all the other 8 fingers under the chin, bring the lower teeth forward of the front.