~ Back to Articles Index Page ~
The brain is one of the most amazing organs in our body. Just thinking about the infinitesimal daily functions it controls on a minute-to-minute basis is mind-boggling.
The brain runs the body like your hard drive runs your computer. Electrical and chemical signals rush in from every part of the body, are analyzed, and the correct response is determined and sent back to the corresponding part of the body in the blink of an eye.
All this is accomplished, in part, via the blood supply to the brain which brings in oxygen and the chemical markers to be analyzed. When the blood supply to a part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients, a stroke occurs.
In this article, we'll take a look at the definition of a stroke, stroke symptoms, how strokes are diagnosed, stroke recovery, and stroke causes and prevention. We'll also take a look at what has been called a "mini stroke" or transient ischemic attack (TIA) and some of the possible aftereffects of a stroke.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain has been unexpectedly and suddenly interrupted or cut off, or when hemorrhaging occurs.
The formal medial term for a stroke is cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK (TIA)
Sometimes called a "warning stroke" or "mini stroke", a TIA produces stroke-like symptoms that generally only last a few minutes and create no lasting damage to the brain.
TIA's should be taken seriously as they occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery and part of the brain doesn't get the blood it needs. Consulting with your primary health care provider if you suspect you have suffered a TIA can greatly reduce your risk of having a major stroke because TIA's are an important indicator in predicting if a stroke will occur rather than when one will happen.
TIA symptoms are the same as those of a stroke but don't last as long.
Understanding and recognizing the warning signs of a stroke could save someone's life. The following symptoms can appear out of nowhere, with no warning signs. Their duration can be anywhere between a few minutes, lasting up to 24 hours.
HOW ARE STROKES DIAGNOSED?
The doctor will usually start by asking the patient what happened and when the symptoms began. Then the doctor will ask the patient some questions to see if she or he is thinking clearly. The doctor also will test the patient's reflexes to see if she or he may have had any physical damage. This helps the doctor find out which tests are needed.
The doctor may order one or more of the following tests:
Several decades of scientific research now show that stroke rehabilitation is critical for optimal stroke recovery. The benefits come from helping the brain to reorganize itself with physical therapy, which in turn helps the stroke survivor to recover functions lost after brain injury.
Stroke rehabilitation is the process by which a stroke survivor works with a team of health care providers with the aim of regaining as much of the function lost after a stroke as possible, if there was a loss of function at all.
Recovering from a stroke begins the moment treatment is prescribed and greatly depends on how serious the stroke was and which part of the brain was affected. The following are conditions that may be experienced during the recovery period:
Many factors can increase your risk of a stroke. A number of these factors can also increase your chances of having a heart attack. Stroke risk factors include:
Prevention begins with knowing your risk factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle. These are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke.
In general, a healthy lifestyle means that you:
In addition, eat healthy foods. A brain-healthy diet should include:
NUTTER'S CAN SUGGEST…
Daily Omega Fish Oil Supplement
Essential Omega-3 fatty acids support heart, brain, immune health, joints & mood.
What exactly is Ester-C®?
Ester-C® is a unique and patented form of Calcium Ascorbate, which is created when ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is buffered with calcium.
Ester-C® also functions biologically like other forms of Vitamin C, providing benefits for skin, joint and vision health, cardiovascular support, antioxidant protection and immune system wellness.
1. American Heart Association
2. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Carol Roy is a Natural Health Practitioner, registered with Natural Health Practitioners Canada, who received her diploma from the Alternative Medicine College of Canada in Montreal, Quebec. With 9 years experience in her area of expertise, naturopathic medicine, Carol has also trained to become a fully qualified Reiki Master, Quantum Touch ® Practitioner and Reflexologist.
are recommendations only and not a substitute for any medical advice or a
replacement for any prescriptions. Seek medical advice for any health concerns.
Consult your health care provider before using any recommendations herein.