Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the world with approximately 800,000 people dying of stroke each year; about one every 4 seconds.Know the Causes, Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment
What is Stroke?
Stroke is a sudden loss of function in a portion of brain resulting in partial or complete loss of muscle function in human body. The neurological condition occurs due to sporadic or reduced blood supply to the brain. This interruption is due to the lack of oxygen or nutrients supply to the brain causing brain cells to die.
The loss of function in brain can in turn lead to memory loss, problems relating to speech or vision, difficulties in moving parts of body such as an arm or leg (paralysis), loss of feeling etc. The three main types of stroke include ischemic, hemorrhagic and TIA.
Ischemic is the most common form of stroke caused by blockage or narrowing of the arteries connecting to the brain and blood clots caused by fatty deposits within arteries called plaque.
A Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when arteries in the brain either leaks blood or ruptures, putting pressure on brain cells, thereby damaging them permanently.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) occurs when the flow of blood to brain is disrupted temporarily often due to blood clots or other debris in the arteries.
Women is more at risk of having a stroke and more likely to die than men.
The main cause of of this loss of brain function that can progress to paralysis, loss of vision, speech or movement is not certain, but is generally thought to be due to:
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis),
- Rupture of the blood vessel,
- Nerve injury,
- High blood pressure,
- Strial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat),
- Psychological stress,
- Heavy drinking or smoking,
- Use illicit drugs,
- Longer working hours,
- Obesity or overweight,
- Lack of exercise,
- Age (>65),
- Family history of stroke,
- Gender (Some stroke risks are specific to women.)
Strokes need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible in order to minimize brain damage.
The most common symptoms of a stroke are observed as follows:
- Weakness or numbness on different parts of body including face, arm, or leg
- Unsteady or trembling of hands, fingers or legs
- Loss of vision or difficulties in speech
- Difficulty in comprehending simple day to day things
- Sudden, severe headaches
- Loss of balance
- Unsteady or shaky walking
The most effective way to prevent strokes is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Understanding stroke, its causes and symptoms will reduce the likelihood of preventable stroke. It will also aid in calling for immediate medical help that can save life or increase chances of a full recovery. A noteworthy point to apprehend here is that, up to 80% of all strokes are preventable. Some of the controllable risk factors identified for preventing Stroke are:
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Carotid or coronary artery disease
A stroke is a medical emergency, and treatment must be sought as quickly as possible.
Stroke is extensively discussed in Ayurveda as ‘Vata Vyadhi’ and Paralysis as Paksaghata, Paksha Vadha and Ekanga Vata. In this age of all latest technologies and treatments, Ayurveda has stood the test of time to be recognized as one of the most effective treatment approaches for the best possible stroke recovery.
Here, the recovery of brain function can be quite significant and in most cases, muscle functions can be recovered with age-old and time tested Ayurvedic Panchakarma, ‘Abhyangana chikitsa’ or massage therapy, Nasyam, Karna pooranam, Snehapanam, Virechanam, Shiro vasti, Sarvanga dhara (Pizhichil), Pichu, Navarakizhi, Vasti therapies and rehabilitation measures. These therapies and treatments not only gives patients improved blood circulation and adequate exercise of muscles and joints, but also leads to partial or complete recover in due time.
It is important to remember here that stroke is a medical emergency and needs proper care and treatment immediately. Treatments might vary according to the type of stroke. Any symptoms or risk factors should be discussed with your doctor during consultation in order to make proper diagnosis and treat the root cause of the disease.
We assure you that an early identification and intervention of Ayurveda care and treatment maximizes the recovery possibility of Stroke.
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