Understanding the nature of cerebral vascular accidents can help you to save your own life, as well as the lives of those you love or others. Perhaps you have a predisposition towards strokes because or your age, current health status or prolonged immobility. When something increases your likelihood of having a stroke or your stroke risk, it can have serious consequences. In other words, there are surprising things that impact stroke risk.
The article, “What is a stroke? What causes a stroke?” defines stroke as “a condition in which the brain cells suddenly die because of a lack of oxygen.” According to this article, “this can be caused by an obstruction in the blood flow, or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain.”
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures, as in a subarachnoid hemorrhage or a cerebral hemorrhage. An ischemic stroke occurs if an embolus, more commonly known as a blood clot, blocks the blood flow to the brain.
The word impact plays an important role in the prevention of strokes. For example, an infant with a defective artery may suffer a brain injury during a difficult birth. The impact of the injury results in a stroke, whereas a normal birth might not have resulted in a stroke. On the other hand, there are normal, healthy people who are not normally prone to strokes.
Hemorrhagic strokes from head injuries in sports, cycling or motor vehicle accidents happen unexpectedly. Immediate medical assistance is important with respect to the prevention of strokes resulting from or following an injury
Any kind of prolonged inactivity can result in ischemic strokes that occur as a direct result of blood clots forming in the body and breaking loose. When a person undergoes surgery, the resumption of his or her activity as quickly as possible can help to prevent these kinds of strokes.
There are major life style factors that impact stroke risk or increase the possibility of having ischemic strokes, namely heavy drinking, excessive smoking and substance abuse, including the use of cocaine. Anything that causes a high cholesterol level or an elevated blood pressure can also increase the likelihood of strokes.
Dietary management is a crucial factor with respect to decreasing stroke activity. For example, a diet that includes tomatoes regularly has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces the likelihood of strokes. Anyone who is overweight, obese or suffers from diabetes can reduce their risk of strokes by weight loss and appropriate long-term dietary management with increased physical activity.
A Mediterranean diet is highly recommended by the Mayo Clinic, where heart health leading to strokes may be problematic.
“The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating – plus a splash of flavorful olive oil and perhaps even a glass of red wine – among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.”
Medication can play an important role in reducing the potential impact of strokes, particularly when it concerns blood pressure regulation.
Caution is important with respect to the use of any medication and particularly, hormones. Over-the-counter medications like entrophen (ASA) can reduce the likelihood of clot formation that could lead to stroke activity, but at the same time, caution is important with respect to potential hemorrhagic activity related to the excessive use of ASA.
Those with a known high stroke potential should seek professional medical guidance to avoid the surprising things that impact stroke risk.