What is a Stroke? It's a medical occurance and subsequent disease. It's been well defined medically that a stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. This can happen at many ages for a number of reasons. It is a serious condition. Without prompt treatment, results could be devastating. Be proactive while dealing with a Stroke. Follow a support system.

Forward Health Thinking

To be perfectly honest, a vast majority of Strokes can be avoided. Prevention starts in youth. This is easier said than done. Most young people simply don't care about forward health. The use of alcohol and drugs, the consumption of foods high in fat, cholesterol and sodium, are just part of fun. This lifestyle is quite tasty and enjoyable. No one thinks about the possibility of a Stroke at 20, 30 or even 40 years of age. At age 50, one MIGHT think about health conditions, but it's doubtful. There is too much fun and satisfalction involved. There may some minor aging pain, but nothing to be concerned about, right? Wrong. This is where the problem really begins. Ingnoring "simple" issues are creating "major" issues, whether one understands this or not. A Stroke is looming. It's hovering around you. It's only a matter of time. Pay attention to your lifestyle and things that can point to a Stroke event. No one can look after you better than you. Diet and planning are important. Understand the benifits of doing this. It may be difficult, but the rewards are plenty. It's not just for your health, but for the company of those you love.

What is a Stroke?

A Stoke comes in many different forms and affects people differently. It is quite dependent on a person's health and lifestyle. To make it clear, the event is a PHYSICAL occurance that affects the brain. The human body is dependent upon blood to "run the system" including the functions of the brain, which ultimately controls the enire "machine", so to speak. An interruption of blood flow to the brain will result in a failure of that organ to do it's job. The event is often referred to as a "Brain Attack", which makes sense. Without fuel, the brain cannot function correctly. The end result(s) depend on the amount fuel lost, which area of the brain lost it, and the TIME taken to treat the immediate effects and then subsequent after-effects. Strokes vary in nature and severity. The results also vary as well. One thing agreed upon in the medical field is that even "minor" strokes are a cause for alarm. There is no real cure for a stroke; only prevention. If you are diagnosed with a Stroke, follow a good system. Diet is important, and there are good support systems in place as well. Use all the tools available.

The TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)

Although not a "genuine" Stroke, it is generally thought of as a "warning shot". In this case, there is a temporary interruption of blood supply to a certain part of the brain. In most cases it is caused by a clot of some type in one or more of one's body arteries. Depending on which part of the brain is affected, the victim experiences the outcome. In general, it results in the malfunction of certain physical functions. Normally this will affect vision, hearing, walking and, at times, "drooping" of the face, slurred speach, and/or other basic physical functions. Because the original clot tends to dissapate and the symptoms are temporary, many people tend to recover and ignore the potential dangers that lie ahead. There is a cause for such an event and the proper thing is to seek medical help, attempt to find the cause and initiate prevention. It's crucial to develop a good system with one's primary care provider. Things such as medication and diet change could very well accelerate recovery and prevent any permanent physical damage. The last thing one needs is a "full blown Stroke". Make every effort to prevent this from happening.

The Hemorrhagic Stroke

A Hemorrhagic Stroke (sometimes called an Embolic Stroke) results when a blood clot formed in other than a cerebral (brain) artery travels through the bloodsteam and blocks an artery supplying blood to the brain. What happens during this event is that a weakened blood vessel in or around the brain ruptures, spilling blood into the brain or the surrounding tissue. This is a major event that will require a good amount of attention. Again, the results do vary dependent upon the person's situation. As with many medical conditions, it could be totally disabling or it could be controllable. Age, health, diet, lifstyle all contribute to how it's dealt with. Realize this one thing, though, there is some type of permanent damage; it may appear minor, but it's quite important. This fact itself should make one take the steps to prevent any further damage.

Stroke Prevention

Preventing a Stroke is simple but difficult. The key is knowledge and perseverance. It's important to know what one is dealing with and how to deal with it. Yes, there are a number of multiple factors involved. There are extreme mitigating factors, regardless of age, that could lead to a Stroke. Alcohol, drugs, high fat and sodium intake wiil and does contribute to higher chances of Stroke. Age, of course, is a major issue. Many people over the age of 50 are vulnerable to a Stroke event. In this case, it's important to take extra precautions. Again, this is not an easy thing to do. Ingrained lifestyles are difficult to change. Most people enjoy their lifestyles and diet, even it is bad for them. It's quite understandable. Yet, a decision must be made. Frankly, it's change the lifestyle or face uncertain death. This may sound dramatic, but it's quite real. I have felt the pain of a Stroke. I can honestly say, it has not been fun. But, the challenge is here and I'm looking forward to meeting the challagenge. After all, one wants to live.

A Victim's Statement

Stroke victims are not idiots. They are victims of a physical and mental situation. The American medical industry is pretty good, but not perfect. Analysing the results of tests does take time and can be daunting. Finding the root causes of Strokes is an ongoing project itself. In my personal experience, things were missed early. The time cost was critical. Had I been diagnosed correctly within the first 48 hours, things could have been different. Those I personnaly dealt with failed to understand the situation. While there was nothing done "incorrectly", there was nothing done to recognize the situation. I attempted to explain the situation, but was rebuffed. It was 7 days later that the SAME establishment ran a test on me, because of the concern of my private health care provider, to confirm my OWN fears. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with an Embolic Stroke. The CAT Scans, the MRI Scans could not refute that. It's all in the picture. I'm very angry with those that doubted me. Yes. I'm very angry. Yet, anger can lead to good things if used properly. There are those that support Stroke victims.

Becoming A Healthy Person

In reality, prevention is the best bet to avoid, or, at least minimize the effects of a Stroke. This, of course, can be the most difficult task for anyone, including family members, health care providers, and potential victims themselves, to understand and actually follow. Most people under 50 years of age will simply dismiss a TIA as a "minor" event without heeding the warning signs. Many older people will reluctantly realize the consequences of a Stroke, but not follow up on some simple solid adice. Everyone is different, but there are some common and important factors, as follows:

1) High Blood Pressure - There are many reasons for this, but, the bottom line is to attempt to control this by a combination of medication and diet change. There may be no cure for High BP, but there is control.

2) Diet - Oh, that damned diet. You love foods high in fat, cholesterol and salt. It tastes so good. So it does. But it could potentially kill you. If you want to die "happy", so be it. But you may be dying younger than you should. No care giver can force one to change one's diet. Only you can. 

Yes, both you and I can be healthy if we want to. If we want to.

What do you think?