How to Prevent It Naturally
Understanding the Disease
A stroke, or brain attack, is the death of brain cells due to either a lack of oxygen caused by a blockage of blood vessels feeding the brain or to leaking of blood vessels feeding the brain. The following are descriptions of the two types of the disease:
- Ischemic Brain Attack: This is a failure to deliver oxygen to brain cells, causing them to die, and accounts for 80% of all strokes. Causes include:
- A blood clot that forms in the blood vessels feeding the brain.
- A blood clot that moves from another part of the body and becomes lodged in a blood vessel feeding the brain.
- A narrowing of blood vessels feeding the brain, a condition called stenosis.
- Hemorrhagic Brain Attack: This is a rupture of blood vessels feeding the brain, and accounts for 20% of all strokes.
Signs and Symptoms of the Disease
The following are indications that you may have become a victim of the disease. Especially if they occur suddenly and on one side of the body, immediate medical attention is required.
- loss of coordination
- visual problems
- balance problems
- speech problems
- difficulty in understanding
- severe unexplained headache
Risk Factors for the Disease
The following factors increase your risk:
- Age: Starting at 55, risk increases with age. Men aged 55-59 have a 6% risk of the disease within 10 years, while men 80-84 have a 22% risk.
- High Blood Pressure:. As systolic blood pressure (the higher number) increases above 100 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), risk increases with increasing pressure
- Smoking: Smokers have twice the risk of non-smokers, an increased risk equivalent to a 30-point increase in systolic blood pressure above 100 mmHg.
- Heart Disease: The presence of cardiovascular disease increases risk the same as a 40-point increase in systolic blood pressure above 100 mmHg. Enlargement of the left side of the heart, indicative of severe heart disease, increases risk the same as a 50-point increase in systolic blood pressure above 100 mmHg.
- Diabetes: The increased risk for diabetics is equivalent to a 20-point increase in systolic blood pressure above 100 mmHg.
- Atrial Fibrillation: This is the most common cause of an irregular heartbeat and increases risk of stroke the same as a 40-point increase in systolic blood pressure above 100 mmHg.
- Previous Stroke or Symptoms of the Disease: Men who have already had the disease or undiagnosed symptoms suggestive of the disease are more likely to suffer an attack than other men.
Reducing Your Risk
You can take the following steps to naturally reduce your risk for the disease. Individuals at high risk should consult a physician to determine if medication is warranted.
Stroke > Disease Prevention