What Causes a Stroke in the Brain and how to Prevent it ?

brain stroke
Image concept of neurons from the human brain.

Recent surveys suggest that every 40 seconds someone is affected by a brain stroke & every 4 minutes someone dies from it. Brain stroke is crucial & common health nowadays. A brain stroke can happen to anyone at any time & may even reoccur in some cases. It has become one of the leading causes of death around the globe. Remarkably few people recover entirely from the brain strokes, while some disability strikes most of the survivors for a lifetime. The harm caused by & also the treatment of a brain stroke depends upon the part of the brain that is affected by the stroke. Besides all this, 80% of the brain strokes can be prevented, only if we have sufficient knowledge of the topic.

What is a brain stroke?

A brain stroke is necessarily disruption of blood flow to a specific part of the brain. This confuses oxygen to the brain thus damaging the brain cells & ultimately causing them to die. Due to this, the functions of that part of the brain are disturbed & might stop altogether. A brain stroke might be of little frequency or even significant. Small brain strokes might cause temporary inability to move a muscle while large brain strokes may also cause permanent paralysis of half or yet complete body. Whether the brain stroke is large or small, it is necessary to seek medical help in both the cases as soon as possible.

What causes a stroke in the brain?

The primary cause of a brain stroke is the break in supply of the blood to the brain. This deprives the brain of oxygen & other essential nutrients due to which it ceases to function. The brain cells start dying thus causing non-functioning of a particular part of the brain. Brain strokes are differentiated into various types, depending upon their causes as given below.

Ischemic Stroke:

Ischemic brain strokes are caused when the arteries carrying blood to your brain are either narrowed or blocked due to mostly a clot or thrombus, reducing blood supply to the brain. It is the most common type of brain strokes & occurs in 85 of the people reporting brain strokes. Common types of Ischemic brain strokes are Thrombotic Strokes & Embolic Strokes.

Haemorrhagic Strokes:

Haemorrhagic brain strokes are caused by either a leaking or a ruptured brain artery. Bursting or leaking of a brain artery may be caused by some health conditions like high blood pressure, overuse of anticoagulants or weak spots in arterial walls. Another rare cause of haemorrhagic brain stroke is bursting or rupturing of an abnormal tangle of thin-walled artery present at birth. Common types of Haemorrhagic brain strokes are intracerebral haemorrhage & subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Reason for a brain stroke

Though a brain stroke might occur to anyone at any time, following are some of the basic reasons of a brain stroke.

  • Obesity or being overweight.
  • Binge drinking ( drinking too much)
  • Active or passive smoking
  • Use of illegitimate drugs (like cocaine or methamphetamines)
  • Physical inactivity (or complete lack of physical exercise
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Family history of brain strokes
  • Being very old (of the age 55 or more)

Besides all these reasons for brain strokes, some rare reasons are being to African-American race, as people belonging to these breeds have a high risk of having a brain stroke than any other race. Also, men have a higher chance of having a brain stroke at a younger age as compared to women.

Symptoms of a Brain Strokes

Before a brain stroke, specific signs & symptoms occur in the body. Recognizing these symptoms might help you to get medical treatment for a brain stroke for you & your loved ones. If anyone experiences any of the following symptoms, they should immediately seek medical help. The most common symptoms of brain strokes are as follows.

  • Drooping of the face to one side or difficulty in raising both the hand to the same level, as one hand may droop or fall.
  • A sudden & severe headache causing dizziness & altered consciousness is another prominent symptom of a brain stroke.
  • Also, there might be trouble or discomfort for the person in talking & understanding. The speech of the person might get slurred & even he might be unable to understand or grasp what is being said to them.
  • Besides, one might also feel dizziness & loss of coordination while walking. This means that stumbling & loss of control of the body while walking is yet another symptom of a brain stroke.
  • One might even experience trouble while seeing with either one or by both the eyes. They may have blurred or blackened vision.
  • Under severe circumstances, one might even develop symptoms like numbness or paralysis in a part or the whole of the body.

Ways to Prevent Brain Strokes

There are a few ways by which these brain strokes can be prevented to up to 85%. Below are mentioned a few of such methods to avoid brain strokes.

  • Blood pressure must be lowered & maintained at an average rate of 140/90, to reduce the risk of a brain stroke.
  • Weight must be lost & the BMI must be maintained at the normal range of 25 or less. Eating only 1500-2000 calories per day might help a lot.
  • Regular exercise is yet another useful aspect in reducing the risk of a brain stroke. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to heavy workout at a gym daily. Walking & doing some simple cardiovascular exercises for at least 30 minutes every day will also help a lot.
  • Also, if anyone has atrial fibrillation, they should get it treated as soon as possible as this may cause brain stroke. Getting atrial Fibrillation treated lowers the risk of a brain stroke t0o a large extent.
  • Lowering blood sugar level also helps a lot, since diabetes is the leading cause of formation of clots in the body.
  • Also, one should even lower & if possible quit smoking & drinking alcohol entirely as these things enhance clot formation in the body.

Also Check : How to Relax when Anxious and Feeling Stress ?

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