Any disruption of blood flow to the brain is considered a stroke. The brain has to be supplied with blood through the arteries all the time. If the blood stops for some reason, the result can be very serious. There are two types of a stroke - a cerebral infarction and a cerebral hemorrhage. A cerebral infarction occurs when an artery is blocked, causing the flow of blood to the brain to stop. A cerebral hemorrhage on the other hand occurs when there is bleeding into the brain, as the blood flows into the brain, there is a build up of pressure which results in an agonizing headache and it is sometimes followed by a loss of consciousness. Depending on where the brain has been damaged and how badly it was affected, the patient will usually recover, however he will probably have a physical weakness due to the stroke. Symptoms include:
Abrupt loss of vision, coordination, speech, sensation and energy
Weakness or paralysis down one side of the body resulting in loss of balance
Sudden and severe headaches that are followed by loss of consciousness
Cerebral infarctions occur because of a blocked artery, this occurs over a number of years and produces a slow blood flow to the brain. A cerebral hemorrhage occurs when weak arteries or aneurisms in the brain rupture. High blood pressure is usually the cause of weak arteries. The causes that you are able to prevent or change are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, abuse of stimulant drugs such as amphetamines and using birth control pills.
As soon as you have recovered from a stroke it is important that you start regular aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming or anything that is safe and gentle and you feel comfortable with. If you are at a high risk of having a stroke you should not smoke and only eat a low-fat diet and do not take contraceptive pills.
To prevent a stroke, your diet should be rich in magnesium, potassium, essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Selenium is also believed to protect against a stroke. Also eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid smoking, alcohol and caffeine.
Try to eat a low fat, cholesterol and salt diet, keep to your ideal weight, monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, exercise regularly and do not smoke.
When to seek further professional advice
If you or someone that you know show any signs of a stroke.
Alternative treatments can be used in conjunction to conventional medicine. There are 7 techniques that can be used to help restore circulation, mobility, and ease the other symptoms that are associated with the stroke. They include massage, shiatsu and yoga. Herbalists suggest using ginkgo as it increases blood flow and reduces blood clot formation.
It is important that you are examined by a neurologist or doctor if you have had a stroke or experienced any similar symptoms. People that have suffered a stroke are hospitalized and then given the appropriate medication. Your doctor will be able to describe the lifestyle changes that you will need to make.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.