National Walking Month for Action on Strokes!

March 31st, 2016
National Walking Month for Action on Strokes!

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a medical condition which is life threatening and very serious – it occurs when the blood supply to parts of the brain is cut off.

Signs and symptoms of a stroke:

F-A-S-T

  • Face – the person’s face my drop on a certain side and they may not be able to smile or their eyes/mouth may drop.
  • Arms – the person won’t be able to life their arms and keep them there due to weakness or numbness.
  • Speech – the speech from the person may become slurred/distorted or they not even be able to talk at all.
  • Time – it is important that if these symptoms happen to immediately dial 999!

Why do they happen?

Strokes occur as the brain needs nutrients and oxygen provided by the blood to function properly. If the blood has been stopped or restricted it will cause brain cells to die meaning this could cause brain injury, disability and in some cases, death.

There are 2 main reasons that stroked could occur:

  • Haemorrhagic – weakened blood vessels that provide blood to the brain burst.
  • Ischaemic – blood clot, where the blood supply is stopped altogether.

How strokes are treated:

Treatment for strokes is dependent on the type of stroke the person has and what part of the brain was affected. The majority of strokes are treated with medication to prevent or remove blood clots, reduce cholesterol levels and to reduce blood pressure. In more serious cases, surgery may be required to treat brain swelling and to reduce risk of more bleeding.

Life after a stroke:

If a person survives a stroke they are often left with long-term issues. Some people will have a long period of rehabilitation before they can go any further in their recovery – they will never fully recover meaning that support with adjusting will be needed.

Who is at risk?

In the UK, strokes are massively related to health problems. Around 110,000 have a stroke in England alone and is the third largest cause of death. Older people are also more at risk. Smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise and poor diets are a risk factor regarding strokes.

Can they be prevented?

You can vastly reduce risk of having a stroke with having a healthy lifestyle – healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking and only drinking alcohol in balance.

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