5 risk factors of a stroke and what to do if it occurs

Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the second cause of death in the world

Stroke or stroke is also known as stroke, stroke, stroke and also known as stroke, stroke or stroke. In Life and Health we remind you what are the symptoms and risk factors of this dangerous condition , so that you learn to recognize it and you can avoid it, and also so that you can act quickly in an emergency.

Whatever you call it, this situation is always an emergency and is the first cause of disability and the second cause of death in the world. According to the American Association of Emergency Physicians, strokes are the fourth leading cause of death among Hispanics in the US: they are responsible for one in four deaths among Hispanic men and one in three deaths among Hispanic women.

A stroke occurs when, for some reason, it stops or interrupts the flow of blood (and oxygen) to the brain. This is an emergency situation in which every minute counts, because if the oxygen does not reach the brain, its cells die causing permanent damage, and up to 1.9 million cells per minute can be destroyed!

There are two types of vascular brain accidents (CVA). The most common is the so-called ischemic or thrombotic stroke , caused by a clot (thrombus) that blocks a blood vessel in the brain. The other is called hemorrhagic stroke and is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel that bleeds into the brain. On the other hand, “mini-strokes” or transient ischemic attacks occur when the circulation of blood to the brain is interrupted briefly. In all cases it is an emergency, even if the symptoms disappear.

This can happen to both men and women, and although it is not possible to predict whether or not an episode of this type will happen, or when it will happen, some risk factors are known that increase the chances and put you in danger. Take note to control or avoid them when possible:

  1.  High pressure . It is the main risk factor that causes these episodes. To avoid it, control the consumption of salt or sodium. If you already have it, the doctor may indicate that you also take some medicine.
  2. Atrial fibrillation . A condition that affects the heart and that is characterized by rapid and irregular heartbeats. Although it does not cause heart attacks, it can cause other complications, such as the formation of clots and therefore requires medical treatment.
  3. Diabetes . A health condition that can be prevented or controlled by losing weight if one is overweight, increasing the amount of fiber and whole grains in the diet and increasing physical activity.
  4. High cholesterol . Another condition that you can control by improving your diet (including oats, fatty fish, tree nuts, olive oil, for example); losing weight if you are overweight and exercising regularly.
  5.  Family history of the disease and increase in age (especially after age 55). Two factors that you can not avoid but to counteract or cope with, leading a healthy lifestyle.

Likewise, obesity, alcoholism and the consumption of tobacco or illegal drugs also increase the chances of suffering a cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Talk to your doctor about your particular risk factors and how you can keep them under control.

And do not forget to review the main symptoms of stroke, to be able to act effectively in this emergency and ask for help immediately .

Keep in mind that, in general, these signals occur suddenly, from one moment to another and for no apparent reason:

  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the face
  • Numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Confusion and difficulty to speak or understand.
  • Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes.
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Severe and sudden headache with no known cause

In addition to these symptoms, which can occur in people of both sexes, women may have other signs of stroke, which also occur suddenly:

  • Pain in the face or extremities.
  • Sickness.
  • General weakness
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Palpitations

In case you or someone you know has these symptoms, you can practice the so-called HBCH test proposed by the National Stroke Association ( National Stroke Association ), which consists of:

  • Speak : Ask him to repeat a simple sentence.
  • Arms : Ask him to raise both arms.
  • Face : Ask him to smile.
  • Time to act! If the person is not able to speak, an arm or side of the face falls when trying to smile, you need to receive medical attention immediately. The sooner, the more chances you will have to recover.

It is important that you keep this data in mind if you live with people with risk factors or have them yourself. Remember that a stroke is ALWAYS an emergency. Call 911 immediately in the US or your local emergency number to transport the patient to the emergency room. If you act on time, you can save his life!

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