From year to year stroke takes lives of 137 000 people in the US, ranking third in the most common death causes among Americans.

Just imagine that every four minutes somebody dies of this trouble.

Stroke occurs, when certain part of the brain doesn't attain sufficient amount of oxygenated blood.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Nearly 85% of all strokes are ischemic. They develop as a result of extreme narrowing of the brain arteries and reduction of the blood flow. Lack of blood supply leads to damage and dying of the brain cells.

Sometimes stroke may be caused by rupture of the blood vessel, located in the brain. As a result, brain cells become impregnated with effluent blood that leads to their necrosis. In addition to this, other brain cells suffer from oxygen deprivation and become also hurted.

Trauma, unmanaged hypertension, taking blood thinners and having aneurysms (weakness of the vessel wall) are the most common reasons of the hemorrhagic stroke.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

The good news is that it's still possible to prevent disability and death, even if stroke affected a large zone of the brain.

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According to studies, medications, which can dissolve blood clots in the vessels and reduce the blockage, work properly only within three hours from the beginning of the stroke.

The National Stroke Association recommend these FAST steps to recognize this life-threatening condition and seek for medical help without delay.

F (face) – ask a person, who is supposed to have a stroke, to smile. Droop of the one side of the face or asymmetric smile can indicate stroke occurrence.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

A (arms) – weakness and unsteadiness of the extremity is one of the most frequent signs of stroke. Ask the person to elevate both of his or her arms. Weak arm would drift down involuntary.

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S (speech) – stroke sufferers often can't pronounce familiar and simple words. Ask him or her to repeat a simple sentence. Slurred speech, inability to say anything or confusion signal that something is wrong in the brain.

T (time) – if any of listed symptoms is positive, call 911 immediately. And remember that time can save a life.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

But these are not the only symptoms, people experience when have a stroke. Don't ignore these warning signs of damaged brain cells:

  • Numbness of the face or limbs (especially, if that occurs in the one side of the body)
  • Severe headache, which started abruptly
  • Blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking and loss of coordination
  • Problems with understanding the speech
  • Lightheadedness

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Actually experts say that women often have unusual symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea, seizures, extreme sudden fatigue and hiccups.

Though it's not always possible to prevent stroke, we still have ability to decrease our risks by changing modifiable factors like smoking, obesity and alcohol misuse.

Exercise regularly, stay on healthy diet, manage your elevated blood pressure and keep under the control blood sugar levels to minimize your risks of stroke and to improve your well-being.

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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