Stroke: Symptoms and Types

What is Stroke?

Stroke happens when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrient to the brain gets blocked by a clot or the vessel bursts or ruptures. When this happens, part of the brain does not get the blood (oxygen and nutrient) needed causing the brain cells to die. It is either called Brain Attack or Cerebrovascular accident.

Stroke is a life-threatening medical condition/emergency. Most strokes can be treated aside from a few that lead to disability or death. It can occur at any age, but there is an increase in getting a stroke as one gets older.

Symptoms of Stroke

The main symptoms of stroke can be any of this:

• The face drops to one side and the person is unable to smile.

• The mouth or eye are likely to drop.

• Inability to see clearly with one or the two eyes.

• Bowel or bladder control problem.

• Numbness in arm; inability to lift either one arm or both arms, or lifting the arms and keep it there.

• Great difficulty expressing or controlling their emotions.

• Slurred or garbled speech or inability to talk at all even when awake.

• Inability to understand what people are saying to them.

• Dizziness or loss of coordination.

• Severe or sudden headache.

Causes of Stroke or Risk Factor of Stroke

The general risk factor of stroke is:

• Old age

• Diabetes

• Being Male

• High Blood pressure

• No physical activity

• Sleep apnea

• Cardiovascular disease

• Unhealthy alcohol consumption

• Smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoking

• Using recreational stimulant drugs

• Overweight or obese

• Genetic trait

Types of Stroke


There are 3 main types of stroke

1. Ischemic Stroke: this occurs when an artery in the brain gets blocked or obstructed, thus preventing oxygen-rich blood from being delivered to the brain cells. There are different ways the artery can be blocked, they are

• The artery gets narrow over time due to cholesterol buildup that is called Plaque. When the plaque bursts, a clot is formed at that spot preventing blood from reaching the blood cells, depriving them of oxygen. The plaque’s surface is irregular and tiny bits of the debris can break and travel to the brain blocking blood vessels; depriving brain cells of oxygen-rich blood. It occurs in Thrombotic Stroke.

• The artery can block due to debris or clot travelling from the heart or another blood vessel. Embolus or embolism is a clot, an object which travels within the bloodstream or a piece of fatty material in the bloodstream obstructing the flow of blood in a blood vessel. It occurs in Embolic Stroke.

The blood clots which embolize starts from the heart. The major cause of this is Heart Arrhythmia also called Atrial Fibrillation, here the upper chambers of the heart, the atria do not beat in organized rhythm. The blood still flows to the heart lower chambers pumping it to the body, some of the blood that are along the inner walls form small blood clots. When these clots break, they embolize or travel to the brain blocking blood flow to that part of the brain causing stroke.

2. Hemorrhagic stroke: if a blood vessel leaks, it spills blood to the tissue making the brain cell stopped working. This bleeding or haemorrhage occurs because the blood pressure is high and poorly controlled weakening the wall of the artery over time. Blood can also leak from an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), Aneurysm, an artery wall ballooning, congenital weakness, a congenital abnormality where there is an incorrect connection between an artery and vein. This bleeding can form a hematoma directly damaging brain cells and also causing swelling that puts increased pressure on the surrounding tissue. There are two types of Hemorrhagic stroke:

• Subarachnoid Hemorrhagic stroke: it is not that common. It causes bleeding in the area between the brain and the tissue covering it.

• Intracerebral Hemorrhagic stroke: this is the common type. It occurs when the tissue surrounding the brain gets filled with blood after an artery burst.

3. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): ever felt like a part of your body just suddenly feel numb, like double vision, dizziness, loss of balance? If yes, you just experienced a Transient Ischemic Attack. It is also called a Ministroke. This occurs when the blood flow to the brain gets temporarily blocked. The area of the body that is controlled by the portion of the brain affected does not function for that period in time. Most TIA often lasts for a few minutes. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be taken with levity.

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Weightloss To The Rescue: Obesity

What is obesity and overweight?

The word ‘Overweight’ can be used in two different ways. Sometimes it is referred to someone who is heavy. Other times, it is used when a someone is in between normal weight and obesity. Overweight and obesity can be defined as the accumulation of excessive or abnormal fat that may likely affects one’s health.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height used commonly to differentiate between overweight and obesity in adults. It can be defined as the weight of a person in kilograms divided by the square of the person’s height in meters (kg/m2). For an overweighed person, the BMI is 25 or above. An obese person, the BMI is 30 or above.

Causes of obesity and overweight


The main cause of obesity and overweight is when the energy between the calories consumed and the calories expended is imbalanced. On a global level, there has been:

an increase in the intake of energy-dense foods thatgives high fat and sugars; and
an increase in the rate of physical inactivity because of the increase in sedentary nature of the different types of work, different modes of transportation and increase in urbanization.
lack of supportive policies in sectors such as health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, environment, food processing, distribution, marketing, and education.

Common health consequences for overweight and obese people includes:

An increase in BMI is a one of the major risk factors for some noncommunicable diseases like:

heart disease and/or stroke (cardiovascular diseases);
musculoskeletal disorders (majorly osteoarthritis – a disease that disables and degenerate the joints);
some cancers this includes breast, endometrial, ovarian prostrate, gallbladder, colon and kidney.

The higher the BMI, the higher the risk of having these noncommunicable diseases.

Children with obesity have higher chance of having breathing difficulties, fractures, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, disability, psychological effects, andmay even die prematurely.

Also, double-burden of malnutrition which occurs majorly in low-income and middle-income countries also causes overweight and obesity.

These countries deal with infectious disease and undernutrition, while the issue of noncommunicable disease like obesity and overweight is growing rapidly under their nose.
Most places where undernutrition exist, obesity also exist.

Children in most low- and middle-income countries face the issue of malnutrition especially during pre-natal, infancy, and young childhood. These children eat meals that have high fat, sugar, salt, energy-dense, and micronutrient-poor foods which are lower in cost and nutrient quality. Compound with this, they tend to engage in low physical activity thus increasing childhood obesity.

Ways of reducing Obesity and Overweight

Overweight and obesity, and other noncommunicable diseases, can be prevented. When an individual has a Supportive environment and community, the person’s choice will be better shaped and they will make better choice when it comes diet, and physical activity thereby preventing overweight and obesity.

At the individual level, people can:

• limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and
engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).

The food industry can be of help by sensitizing the important role healthy diets plays and doing the following;

reducing the amount fat, sugar and salt in processed foods;
ensuring healthy and nutritious choices are affordable and available to everyone. that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers;
stop the marketing of foods that are high in sugars, salt and fats, majorly the ones that are for children and teenagers, and
supporting people exercising regularly in workplaceand at home.

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