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Stroke - What You Need To Know About It?

Written and reviewed by
Cardiologist, Navi Mumbai
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I am Dr. Zui Bagul. Today I will talk about the stroke. A stroke is a brain attack in which it causes damage to a part of the brain. This may be either blockage in the blood vessel in the brain or due to bleeding in a blood vessel causing damage. So, why do we need to know about stroke? This is very common and at least 3 people suffer every minute in India. And in your lifetime you may need someone who is suffering from stroke or may even be a family member who needs your help in this. So, your knowledge can help this person that may save his life or even reduce the disability. There are 2 types of stroke: Ischemic stroke & hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke causes blockage in a blood vessel due to this blood and oxygen is unable to reach that part of the brain. 2nd, hemorrhagic stroke in which due to some weakness in a blood vessel, it burst and blood leaks out and there is damage to that part. How do you recognize a stroke? Strokes are easy to recognize. In the first type, there will be a loss of power or sensation on one side of the body.

Suddenly, if someone is unable to move one hand or leg, that person may be suffering from a stroke. In 2nd type, there will be a difficulty in the speech. Suddenly, the person will be unable to speak or they may have a change in their speech. In 3rd type, a person may experience dizziness and loss of balance. They will be unable to walk. In 4th type, they may suffer from severe headache which they have not experienced before. If you are seeing that someone has suffered from this, then you should bring the person immediately to the hospital. The faster you bring, the better it is for Dr to save one life. What can you expect after bringing them to the hospital? Dr will immediately ask for a CT scan or other brain imaging. We will see whether there is bleeding or blockage. If there is a blockage and you have brought the patient within 4 hours, we have an option of giving an injection which will dissolve the clot and this may make the patient completely OK. If the patient has bleeding then Dr has to give some injections to reduce the blood pressure and also the patient may require surgery.

Other then this, the patient has to be hospitalized for a few days because the risk of complication is very high. And the patient will require at least 6 months to start the recovery. Within the first 3-6 months, recovery is maximum. After that recovery happens more slowly. During this period patient has to do a lot of exercises. At discharge, the patient will be given some medicines in the form of blood thinning agents or some cholesterol drugs. The patient has to take lifelong. Is there any way stroke can be prevented? Yes, there are 3 main reasons for stroke i.e. hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, there are several other reasons. So, these 3 needs to be maintained by yourself. If you have blood pressure or hypertension, it is essential for you to keep a follow-up with your Dr at least 3 monthly so that your blood pressure can be monitored. You have to take your medications regularly.

Many people stop taking medicines of blood pressure but that is not correct. Blood pressure medications can be stopped only by your Dr. So, you have to continue taking them. You have to reduce the salt in your diet. You can avoid sprinkling salt on top of your food. You can avoid eating papad, pickles or other processed food which have high salt. Daily exercise will also reduce your blood pressure. You need to make some dietary modification. Eat a balanced and healthy diet in the form of small and frequent meals in diabetes. For controlling cholesterol, you need to avoid ghee, oil, fried products, processed food. Eat home-prepared food. I wish you good health and if you have any more questions or you need more information, you can contact me through Lybrate.

Thank You.

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