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A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, interrupting the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain cells in the area. The breaking of a blood vessel in the brain and the resulting bleeding can also cause a stroke. In both types of stroke, brain cells may die, causing the body parts they control to stop functioning. Stroke can occur in both children and adults, but the chances increase with age.

In detail, the main warning signs of a stroke can be described as:

  • sudden weakness, numbness and tingling in the face, arm or leg;

  • sudden temporary loss of speech or trouble understanding speech;

  • sudden loss of vision, particularly in one eye, or double vision;

  • sudden severe and unusual headache; and

  • Unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the above signs.

If you or anyone you are taking care of experiences any of these signs, Call 9-1-1 immediately. If administered in the early stages of a stroke, there is now a medication that can help minimize the effects.

Age factor is one actor, but apart from that, the risk also rises if you:

  • smoke;

  • have high blood pressure;

  • have hardening of the arteries;

  • have heart disease;

  • have diabetes; or

  • have a family history of heart problems.

Lifestyle changes can increase the chances of avoiding a stroke.

  • Each cigarette smoked raises the blood pressure temporarily. It also leads to hardening of the arteries, which automatically increases the risk of stroke.

  • The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, so get your blood pressure checked regularly and if you have high blood pressure, take steps to lower it and take your medications as prescribed.

  • Have a high fiber, low-salt and low-fat diet to keep blood pressure down. Salt causes the body to retain water, which increases blood pressure.

  • Read the labels on food products for sodium content. Try avoiding convenience most food items such as canned foods as they are rich in sodium, so read carefully.

  • Replace animal and dairy fat with fresh fruits and vegetables as they are rich in nutrients and fiber.

  • It’s essential to limit alcohol intake also. More than two drinks a day can increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke.

  • People who have diabetes must make diet changes as advised by the health practitioner and take medicines as prescribed.

  • Regular moderate physical activity can help lower and even prevent high blood pressure at any age. Start slowly and build up activity. Talk to your doctor before you start on any new physical activity routine.

Stroke is a medical emergency.

Face is drooping? Arms can you raise both? Speech is it slurred or jumbled? Time to call 9-1-1 right away?

Act FAST because the quicker you act the more of the person you save.

To experience stroke through the eyes of a witness watch this video:


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