optifast-beverly-hills-medical-weight-loss-strokeStrokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and sadly, according to the National Stroke Association, 80% of strokes are preventable. When a stroke happens, a blockage or a break in a blood vessel in your brain prevents blood from flowing properly. Your tissues are cut off from the oxygen they need. In the worst case, a stroke can cause paralysis or death.

Types of Strokes

Ischemic

. Blood clots are typically beneficial. When you are bleeding from a wound, blood clots work to slow and eventually stop the bleeding. In the case of stroke, however, blood clots are dangerous because they can block arteries and cut off blood flow, a process called ischemia. An ischemic stroke can occur in two ways: embolic and thrombotic strokes.

  • Embolic. 

In an embolic stroke, a blood clot forms somewhere in the body (usually the heart) and travels through the bloodstream to your brain. Once in your brain, the clot eventually travels to a blood vessel small enough to block its passage. The clot lodges there, blocking the blood vessel and causing a stroke.
  • Thrombotic. 

In this type of blood-clot stroke, blood flow is impaired due to a blockage to one or more of the arteries supplying blood to the brain.

Large Vessel Thrombosis

. This is the most common type of thrombotic stroke. Most large vessel thrombosis is caused by a combination of long-term atherosclerosis followed by rapid blood clot formation. Thrombotic stroke patients are likely to have coronary artery disease, and heart attack is a frequent cause of death in patients who have suffered this type of brain impairment.

Small Vessel Disease/Lacunar Infarction. 

Develops when blood flow is blocked to a very small arterial vessel. Little is known about the causes of small vessel disease, but it is closely linked to hypertension (high blood pressure).

Hemorrhagic. 

Strokes caused by the breakage or “blowout” of a blood vessel in the brain are called hemorrhagic strokes. Hemorrhages can be caused by a number of disorders, which affect the blood vessels, including chronic high blood pressure and cerebral aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weak or thin spot, on a blood vessel wall, that develops over a number of years and usually doesn’t cause detectable problems until it breaks. There are two types of hemorrhagic stroke: subarachnoid and intracerebral.

  • In an intracerebral hemorrhage, bleeding occurs from vessels within the brain itself. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the primary cause of this type of hemorrhage.
  • In a subarachnoid hemorrhage, an aneurysm bursts in a large artery on or near the thin, delicate membrane surrounding the brain. Blood spills into the area around the brain, which is filled with a protective fluid, causing the brain to be surrounded by blood-contaminated fluid.

Symptoms

According to the National Stroke Association – someone who has a small stroke may experience only minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg.  People who have larger strokes may be paralyzed on one side or lose their ability to speak.  Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

Stroke Prevention

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of stroke and prevent it all together.

  • Obesity can put a strain on your circulatory system. By reducing your weight by just 5 to 10 percent, you can substantially lower your risk of having a stroke.
  • Alcohol use has been linked to stroke in many studies. Reducing your alcohol consumption can decrease your risk of stroke.

Make one change: Eliminate smoking. Smoking doubles the risk of smoking because damages blood vessel walls, speeds up the clogging of arteries, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. By making this change, you can dramatically reduce your chance of having a stroke.

Want to Learn How to Decrease Your Chance of Stroke

Talk to your medical professional, Ari Nowain, M.D. and he can educate you on how to prevent the occurrence of a stroke. His team can help you achieve success in your weight loss, lifestyle and nutrition goals in order to eliminate risk factors. Contact Dr. Nowain at his Los Angeles office today (310) 689-9490.

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