The word Stroke surely strikes a strong reaction from anyone today. The most important thing to know here is that Stroke is different from a heart attack, although they might seem to suggest similar problems.
A heart attack is when there is damage to the heart’s muscles and this is because there was not enough blood flow. This can be due to the blood clot forming on one of the arteries connected to the heart muscle which was supposed to supply the blood. With that, the flow of blood is blocked or restricted and when that happens, the heart is not getting enough blood which will eventually cause pain in the chest.
On the other hand, a stroke happens through a similar start but instead of affecting the heart, it affects the brain. In other words, you can say that a stroke is actually ‘brain attack’ as opposed to ‘heart attack’. When the blood clot is formed in the arteries and blood flow is stopped or restricted from going to the heart, it affects the brain which begins to stop functioning. Unlike a heart attack, it does not cause any sort of pain or anything like that. Instead, it will affect one side of the body where you lose the feeling or the ability to activate that part.
A person who suffered a stroke will have their senses affected, most likely the speech. One side of the body might be paralyzed and it could result in memory and through pattern changes too. It can be treated if detected early with symptoms like blurred vision, numbness on either side of the body, slurring, loss of feeling of touch, sudden headaches that are severe and others, all of which should get immediate medical attention. Smokers, alcohol drinkers, people with high blood pressure and obesity are major causes of strokes.
The best way to prevent stroke is to lead a healthy lifestyle. The main reason why stroke is the ‘top killer’ in many countries around the world is mainly because of food intake and the way people lead their lives. Taking important minerals and nutrients that help in regulating blood circulation will help in reducing blood pressure that usually leads to hypertension and potentially causing strokes. This can be helped through taking food with high fiber like vegetables and vegetables while reducing on foods with saturated fats are all methods to prevent stroke as well.
Signs that you might be having a stroke are very obvious and if it occurs, chances are you do not have much time to get it treated. A stroke can happen like a lightning and the person would collapse. However, there are situations where you might have some time to get it treated. This is when you face a sudden difficulty in walking or talking and more so when you have a certain weakness on one side of your body. The most common method of diagnostic that the doctor will usually carry out is to use a Brain Computer Tomography or CT scan while MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is used as well which will then determine the next course of action for you.
Stroke is the top killer in many countries in the world. In fact, it is often closely associated with heart attack which accumulatively form the highest joint-killer among many other diseases comes together. In Malaysia, it has caused more than 10,000 deaths each year alone which is about half of what is caused by coronary heart diseases. This is almost similar to other countries, especially in the United States, in many parts of Europe and Asia where stroke is among the main health problems faced by the people there.
Over the years, Stroke has become one of the major causes of death in Malaysia. It could happen to anyone at any age. According to the National Stroke Association of Malaysia or Nasam, the youngest patient they ever recorded was 6 years of age. This is a very dangerous disease because many people are not aware that it is actually happening. As the brain receives 20% of the body’s blood for oxygen and nutrients, when the blood vessel is clogged, the brain stops receiving its supply and the effects could be immediate or gradual but it is very silent.
Dietary Guide for Stroke Patients At Home
Stroke in Malaysia is one of the top killer-diseases together with cancer and heart attacks. It is most common among those who are over 65 years of age where the patient is often found to have increase malnutrition in the 2 weeks after treatment. When the patient returns home, the situation worsens and if the diet is properly taken care of, it could lead to more complications to health.
Dysphagia – This is a situation where the patient faces difficulty in swallowing food and drinks. Stroke patients have the highest percentage of experiencing this as a part of the body becomes temporarily or permanently paralyzed after suffering a stroke. As such, it could lead to reduced food intake, loss of appetite which will then lead to malnutrition that can obstruct the healing process.
For stroke patients who experience dysphagia, they can either practice oral food intake or feeding through an Enteral Feeding Tube.
Oral Food Intake – First, it should be determined which type of foods should be taken by the patient. This is usually done by the therapist or the doctor concerned. Then foods and drinks should be ‘processed’ before serving to the patient with this condition. This can be done by mincing them, grinding or pureeing the foods. Among the most common practices here is porridge with minced meat (chicken) or anchovies.
Enteral feeding tube – Known as the Ryles Tube, feeding through the enteral feeding tube can be practiced until the patient is able to swallow normally. This method should be practiced for those who are facing some extreme situations of dysphagia. Food intake using this method can only be done with proper consultation and help from hospital staff which will usually involve the type of food (usually in liquid form) that provides a balanced and complete source of nutrition and minerals needed for the healing process.
Suffering a stroke is a serious condition and even if it is a minor occurrence, you must consult your physician for treatment and recommendations for further observation. If the stroke is severe, you need to call the emergency number to be admitted to the hospital immediately. For minor strokes, your doctor will carry out preliminary tests to determine if you need further examination and observation. This is where you might be referred to a neurologist, basically a specialist who is trained in the treatment and management of stroke. The neurologist will ascertain the type of stroke you are suffering and if surgery will be required where you might be referred to a neurosurgeon.
Once it has been determined that you are suffering from stroke, the doctor will prescribe medications like anticoagulant or antiplatelet medicines. Basically, medication is used to prevent blood clots which are the main causes of strokes. As this disease’s initial cause comes from blood pressure, you might be given cholesterol-lowering or blood-pressure regulating medication as well.
Anticoagulant medication includes warfarin which is specially designed to prevent the forming of blood clots while aspiring and clopidogrel are antiplatelet medicines designed to keep apart platelets in the blood.
Strokes are fatal diseases and the symptoms can range from mild to very serious. In serious conditions, the symptoms are very sudden and can escalate very quickly. If you feel a sudden numb on your face or weakness on one part of your body, then it could be an early sign of an attack. This is where you must seek medical treatment immediately as it could very quickly result in paralysis on one side of your body. Other warning signs include face drooping, difficulty in breathing normally, difficulty in speech and normal talking and severe headache.
If you have suffered a stroke and has been treated, you must change your lifestyle and dietary habits. This means you need to change your daily food intake, reducing sodium and salt that can spike your blood pressure. Your body must constantly stay hydrated where you must drink lots of water each day. Sugary beverages must be avoided at all times as it might detriment your condition further, leading to more health problems. Meanwhile, take garlic-related foods as it helps to reduce and regulate your blood pressure. Gingko Biloba is a type of traditional herb known for treating stroke conditions. It is available as a health supplement product which helps to prevent blood clots from forming.
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