Occurs when the
blood supply to the brain is stopped.
What to look for
abrupt loss of vision,
energy, coordination, sensation, speech.
weaknesses or paralysis
down one side of the body, loss of balance.
sudden and severe
headache followed rapidly by loss of consciousness.
Our brain must be
continually supplied with blood through the arteries. If the blood supply stops for some
reason, the result is very serious. Disruptions of blood flow to the brain are known as
stroke. There are two types - a cerebral infarction and a cerebral haemorrhage.
A cerebral infarction
occurs when an artery is blocked, halting the flow of blood to the brain. The second basic
type of stroke is cerebral haemorrhage which occurs when there is bleeding into the brain.
As blood flows into the brain, the build up of pressure results in agonising headache,
sometimes followed by loss of consciousness.
Depending on where the
brain has been damaged and how badly it has been affected, the patient usually recovers
but they may have a physical weakness as a result of the stroke.
A cerebral infarction
occurs as a result of a blocked artery. (see
heart disease). The arteries become blocked
over the years and this produces slow blood flow to the brain.
usually occur as a result of weak arteries or
aneurisms in the
brain that rupture.
High blood pressure is the cause of
weak arteries in most cases.
The causes you are able to
prevent or charge are - high blood pressure,
cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle,
obesity, the abuse of
stimulant drugs such as amphetamines, smoking, use of birth-control pills, and stress.
If you have had a stroke or
have any similar symptoms, you must be examined and diagnosed by a neurologist or a
Victims of stroke are
hospitalised and given the appropriate medication.
Your doctor will describe
the lifestyle changes that will need to be made by yourself.
Alternative treatments can
be marvellous adjuncts to conventional treatments with stroke patients.
Several techniques can help
restore mobility, circulation, and ease other symptoms associated with stroke. Among these
are shiatsu, and massage.
Therapies - A number of scientific studies have shown that ginkgo increases blood flow also reduces blood-clot
formation. A number of scientific studies have shown that ginkgo increases blood flow also reduces blood-clot
It is vital that you
commence regular aerobic exercise - swimming, walking or anything safe and gentle that you
feel comfortable with.
People at high risk for
stroke should not smoke and should eat a low-fat diet and not take contraceptive pills.
To prevent strokes, your
diet should be rich
E, and the essential fatty acids contained in fish oils. Some studies suggest that
selenium may also protect against stroke. Fresh fruit and vegetables. Avoid alcohol,
caffeine and smoking at all costs.
Eat a low fat, salt and
cholesterol diet, exercise regularly; keep to your ideal weight; monitoring blood pressure
and cholesterol levels; and do not smoke.
When to seek further