Six “early” signs of a stroke that appeared in the week before emergency care in 43% of cases
Many people die of stroke because the brain cannot survive without a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood. Therefore, it is extremely important to provide emergency medical care as soon as possible. Since minutes can make all the difference, being aware of early symptoms comes first.
The life-threatening nature of a stroke is partly due to its ability to appear out of nowhere.
Despite his unpredictable behavior, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology describes “early” signs of ischemic stroke that can occur up to a week before a medical emergency.
Considered the most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
The study explains that 80 percent of strokes are ischemic and are often preceded by a so-called preventive stroke or mini-stroke.
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Mini strokes are general terms used to describe a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Professor Louise Connell, clinical and academic physiotherapist at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “Ministroke and true stroke are caused by a disruption in the blood supply to the brain. They are often caused by blood clots.
“Really, the only difference between a stroke and a mini-stroke (TIA) is that a mini-stroke is temporary and your blood supply manages to find its way out.”
In a study of 2,416 people, the study found that mini-strokes occurred in 549 patients before there was a real emergency.
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In addition, about 43 percent of participants with a mini-stroke experienced “early” signs at some point during the week, leading to a full-blown stroke.
According to the study, warning signs to be aware of include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
- Sudden difficulty speaking
- Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or difficulty walking
- Sudden severe headache for no apparent reason.
Professor Connell said: “When you’re going through a mini-stroke, at that time you probably won’t be able to tell it apart from a stroke.
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“So, you should treat any possible signs of a stroke or mini-stroke as a medical emergency.
“Thinking FAST prompts you to consider if the person can smile, if they can raise both hands, and if they can speak clearly. If you experience any of these signs, you should call 999.”
The good news is that medical intervention can help prevent a minor stroke from turning into a full-blown stroke.
“Medical treatment may include removing blood clots in the neck (carotid artery) before they cause a stroke, and treating things that increase the chance of a stroke (eg, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, taking blood-thinning drugs),” the professor added.
How to prevent a stroke
From a healthy diet to exercise, lifestyle changes can be very effective in reducing the risk of a medical emergency.
The NHS recommends a low-fat, high-fiber diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
You should also reduce your salt intake to six grams per day, as the popular ingredient is a major cause of blood pressure, which is a precursor to stroke.
In addition, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, and exercising can help.
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