Stroke frequently asked questions faq


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Stroke frequently asked questions faq

  1. 1. Stroke FAQWhat Is Stroke And How It Affects YOU…
  2. 2. Copyright NoticeCopyright © 2007All Rights ReservedNo part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or passed onin any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning,or otherwise, except as allowed under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United StatesCopyright Act, without the prior written permission of the Publisher and Author.This site and all the information here are provided to you for information and educationpurposes only. The author, creator and publisher of this guide are not doctors. Theinformation contained on this site should not be construed as medical advice.The information presented in this guide is not meant to replace the advice provided byyour physician.No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written salesmaterials. The information and strategies enclosed may not be suitable for yoursituation. You should always consult with a medical health professional when dealingwith any medical condition or program involving your health and wellness. Informationabout health cannot be generalized to the population at large. Keep in mind you shouldconsult with a qualified physician when suffering from any illness. Neither the Publishernor Author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damagesresulting from use of this guide.You agree by reading this to indemnify and hold harmless the author, publisher andowner of this guide and waive all rights with regard to any circumstances negative orotherwise that arise from use of this book, including emotional or physical distress. Theauthor, publishers and associated contacts are not medically qualified to treat or provideadvice about specific health conditions. You acknowledge that you take and use allinformation as is.All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy orany other implied or explicit purpose. No part of this publication may be reproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted underSections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior writtenpermission of the Publisher and Author. Brought To You By Visit Us For More Free Ebooks
  3. 3. Stroke Frequently Asked QuestionsHas stroke affected your life? If it has, you want answers. This frequently askedquestions guide will answer some of the more common questions caregivers,patients, survivors and family members have when facing stroke. Use theinformation in this free bonus to help you address stroke in your life and helpprevent future stroke from destroying your life, or that of a loved one.Q. What is a stroke?The American Stroke Association, working with the American Heart Association,define stroke as a type of heart disease that affects the brain and arteries in thebody. Typically a stroke is an acute condition that occurs when a clot blocks theflow of blood and oxygen to the brain, or when a blood vessel ruptures and thenprevents blood and oxygen from getting to the brain and supplying nutrients tothe brain.A stroke can result in many symptoms and much damage to the brain, dependingon its severity. When a clot interrupts the blood flow and oxygen flow to the brainwithin a vessel, doctors refer to this as an “ischemic stroke.”If a vessel in the brain or body ruptures, and blood leaks into the brain many referto this as a “hemorrhagic” stroke. Most survivors suffer an ischemic stroke. Lessthan 20 percent of victims suffer a hemorrhagic stroke.Q. What are transient strokes?Transient ischemic or “mini” strokes are minor or minimal strokes that often serveas a sign that a major stroke is pending. They result from minor or short-termobstructions of oxygen, nutrients and blood to the brain. A full stroke may follow amonth after such an attack or after a series of these mini attacks. These miniattacks may also precede a full stroke by just hours, which is one reason earlyintervention is so important and critical to one’s survival.Q. Are there any warning signs of a stroke?TIA’s or transient ischemic attacks often serve as a warning sign of a stroke. Themost common symptoms associated with these include:  Numbness and tingling or weakness in any of the limbs or on one side of the body.  Acute confusion that is intermittent. Brought To You By Visit Us For More Free Ebooks
  4. 4.  Difficulty speaking or understanding clearly what someone is saying, or appearing “dazed” or “confused.”  Difficulty seeing or sudden blindness that passes.  Feelings of dizziness or poor coordination.  A very severe headache, one many refer to as “the worst headache of their lives” that comes on suddenly.The sooner you recognize these signs and seek help, the less likely you are tosuffer severe side-effects of a stroke. Patients treated early often experience veryhigh recovery rates and enjoy a good quality of life following a stroke. Somepeople do not want to see their doctor for fear that nothing is wrong and they willwaste time. Never feel this way. It is always better to be safe than to feel sorry.If you suspect something is wrong, get it checked out immediately.Q. Can I prevent a stroke?Early detection is critical to prevention, as is a good and healthy lifestyle. Whilesome strokes simply happen, there are steps people can take to prevent them.This is especially true of patients who have suffered a stroke and want to preventa stroke from recurring. Most patients who have had a stroke will be at greaterrisk for having another stroke.Some treatments that can help prevent recurrent strokes include:  Antiplatelets – these are substances like aspirin that prevent the blood from clotting.  Anticoagulants – products including warfarin that help reduce the body’s ability to produce clots.  Angioplasty – In this procedure a surgeon will implant a steel screen or stent into a patient that may already suffer from heart disease to reduce the risk of artery clogging fat build up, which can slow the supply of blood to the brain.  Surgical procedures – for patients that have experienced a hemorrhagic stroke a surgeon may place a structure at the base of the neck to help prevent an aneurysm or leaking of blood into the brain.Q. How many people have strokes in any given year? Brought To You By Visit Us For More Free Ebooks
  5. 5. Statistics provided by the National Institutes of Health and other organizationsincluding the American Heart Association suggest that over 700,000 people areaffected by a stroke every year. Nearly 200,000 may die or suffer debilitatingconsequences. Stroke is the #3 killer in the United States, with only heartdisease and cancer ranking above it.Throughout the world the incidence of stroke is much higher. Many factorscontribute to one’s risk of stroke, including hereditary factors, lifestyle factors andindependent health factors.Q. My partner had a stroke. It has been very difficult for me to cope. I feellike I don’t have anyone I can talk to that can relate. I don’t want to placeany more burdens on my partner who has already gone through so much.SUPPORT is an important part of anyone’s journey, whether that support comesin the way of patient support for stroke survivors or support for caregivers andfamily members. It is often difficult to cope with the changes that stroke bringsabout in one’s life. Stroke does not just impact the way the stroke survivor lives,but also the way members of his or her family live. What can you do to feelbetter?The best step you can take is to find a supportive group of people to lean on intimes where you need support and assistance. You can find support throughlocal community groups or online. One great place to connect with other friendsand family members of stroke survivors is: Hereyou can look for the AHA Stroke Connection, or call them at 1-800-553-6321 fordirect assistance and subscribe to a support group and magazine committed toimproving the lives of survivors and their families.Another place to look for help is the National Family Caregivers Association, at where you will find people able to direct you to theresources you need to find answers to your questions.If you feel comfortable talking with your own doctor (and you should) you can askyour doctor for a recommendation to a local support group. Family counseling orindependent therapy may also help you cope during the tough times that follow astroke. A qualified therapist can help you and your partner cope with feelings ofloss and confusion.Q. How do I know if I am at risk for a stroke?Anyone can have a stroke, though individuals over age 50 are more at risk thantheir younger counterparts. In general, males are also more likely to be at risk forstroke than females as are individuals with underlying health conditions, includinghigh blood pressure, diabetes or a history of stroke or heart disease. You can domany things to reduce your risk of stroke even if you fall into these risk Brought To You By Visit Us For More Free Ebooks
  6. 6. categories, including eating well and exercising regularly. You should also avoidsmoking and make sure you become aware of the primary signs and symptomsof stroke, as early intervention is critical to a good recovery.Q. What should I look for if I suspect a stroke?Usually a patient has some warning signs of stroke before they have one.Warning signs may include visual changes or blurry vision, numbness andtingling in one or more of the appendages and hands, weakness of muscles,slight facial droop or a very severe headache. Post these signs somewhereclearly where anyone can see them so they too know the early warning signs of astroke.A transient attack may include any of these symptoms that last for severalminutes to half an hour. Immediate medical attention is necessary. Many peoplewill suffer a full-blown stroke after experiencing these symptoms. If you haveother symptoms, including pain in your chest or pain that radiates down one arm,you may be experiencing other cardiovascular signs signaling another problem(like a pending heart attack).Whenever you experience acute symptoms that seem out of ordinary, you shouldconsult with a qualified medical provider as soon as possible.Q. What will the doctor do if he or she suspects a stroke?Typically a doctor will monitor a patient and perform neurological tests to assesswhether any damage has occurred. If there is evidence a person experienced anattack then the doctor will look to find the cause and location of the problem (likea blood clot) so they can then treat it as soon as possible. Some examples oftests a physician might order include a CT scan that takes X-ray pictures ofvarious parts of the body and can record the exact location of an attack. MRI’sare also helpful for providing images of any clots or bleeding that may occur inthe brain.Q. Does suffering a stroke mean living with a permanent disability?Many patients endure disabilities following a stroke. Recent trends however andstatistics prove that many patients improve following rehabilitation. Others mayrespond well and heal relatively well with very little intervention. Much of healingand the extent to which one suffers disability depends on one’s personal healthand wellness before a stroke. In the worst circumstances, a stroke may result inpermanent disability including paralysis, balance problems, communicationproblems and weakness or muscle pain.Q. What new treatments are available for stroke survivors? Brought To You By Visit Us For More Free Ebooks
  7. 7. There are many new treatments in development for stroke survivors. The goal ofmost treatments is to improve the quality of life of the survivor and increase theirchances of independent living. Currently new drug therapies are being tested tohelp reduce the risk of stroke by removing or dissolving clots in safer ways. Othertreatments including use of Botox, commonly thought of as a “cosmetic”treatment, may help reduce muscular spasticity experienced by stroke survivors.Researchers are constantly seeking out new ways to prevent strokes fromresulting in permanent damage by extending the amount of time they havebetween symptoms and an attack to treat patients correctly.Q. Can children suffer from a stroke?Anyone can suffer a stroke. While strokes are more common in adults, they arenot uncommon in young adults or children. The causes of stroke in children areoften different from the causes in adults. Children for example are more likely tosuffer from stroke resulting from a congenital abnormality, or from infection withvarious childhood diseases including varicella. Some studies suggest manyfactors contribute to a child’s risk including mutations of certain genes. Bloodclotting disorders are another example of a risk factor that may result in a strokein a child.For more information about children and stroke visit the Children’s StrokeAssociation, located at http://www.chasa.orgThere is also an online support group available for families whose childrensuffered from stroke and similar disorders available here:http://www.pediatricstroke.orgNo matter who you are or how old you are, the best defense against stroke isinformation. You have begun your journey right here, right now, today by learningmore about stroke. Continue your journey by reading “Life After Stroke” andlearning as much as you can about stroke and stroke prevention from theNational Institutes of Health, The American Heart Association and the NationalStroke Association.As with any disease, knowledge is power. The more you learn about stroke, thebetter prepared you will be to combat and face it should it strike your family. Brought To You By Visit Us For More Free Ebooks
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