What is a stroke?
Stroke is a devastating condition that’s the leading cause of disability in North America.
A stroke occurs when there is a blocked blood vessel in the brain. When this happens, when blood and oxygen stop flowing, the brain begins to die. Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure inside those tiny blood vessels. As the systolic blood pressure rises above 120 (the top number), the pressure is great enough to actually create small tears in the lining of the blood vessel, typically near sharp bends in the vessel. These tears serve as entry points for fat cells that tend to narrow a blood vessel. To add insult to injury, just like a blood clot forms on your skin when you cut yourself, a blood clot forms at the site of a tearing in the lining of a blood vessel.
When this happens in a constricting area, the blood vessel narrows even more and can block off completely! If the blood vessel goes to the brain it forces a stroke. If the blood vessel goes to the heart, it creates a heart attack. In either case, it can be devastating. The more fatty foods you eat and the higher your blood pressure, the more at risk you are for a stroke or heart attack. Diabetes, which we will discuss momentarily, serves as an accelerator for this process by speeding up the narrowing of the arteries. The symptoms from a stroke can vary. Most people do not even recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke. So, the consequences can be serious and often fatal.
How Common are Strokes?
- Every 4o seconds someone has a stroke
- Every 4 min someone dies from a stroke
- A stroke is the 4th leading cause of death after heart disease, cancer, and respiratory ailments
- Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.
- About 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year
- 1 in 4 strokes are in people who have had a previous stroke
- 80% of all strokes can be prevented
- 130,000 Americans die from stroke each year
- 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year
- 34% of people hospitalized for stroke were under the age of 65
- 87% of strokes are ischemic, which happens when the blood vessels to the brain are blocked, either by plaque rupture or an embolism
Warning signs of a Stroke
Stroke is a medical emergency. The American Stroke Association says you should know these warning signs because when it comes to a stroke, every second counts.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is an emergency! Call 911 immediately. Every second you waste debating whether you should or should not go to the hospital means the literal possibility of your brain cells dying. Go to the ER immediately! Time loss = brain loss.
There are two types of stroke.
Is similar to a heart attack, except it occurs in the blood vessels of the brain. Clots can form in the brain’s blood vessels, in blood vessels leading to the brain, or even in blood vessels elsewhere in the body and then travel to the brain. These clots block blood flow to the brain’s cells. Ischemic stroke can also occur when too much plaque (fatty deposits and cholesterol) clogs the brain’s blood vessels. About 80% of all strokes are ischemic.
Hemorrhagic (heh-more-raj-ik) strokes
Occur when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures. The result is blood seeping into the brain tissue, causing damage to brain cells. The most common causes of hemorrhagic stroke are high blood pressureand brain aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weakness or thinness in the blood vessel wall.
Top 10 Risk Factors for Stroke
Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Focus on preventative measures such as a low fat, low cholesterol diet. Regular exercise promotes a healthy vascular system along with weight management. Stop smoking and limit alcohol comsumption. Educate yourself and others on how to recognize signs of a stroke and take action fast.
ModiHealth Stroke Services
The ModiHealth Stroke Services focus on both prevention and support of stroke survivors and their family. Through ModiHealth, you will have access various educational tools designed to teach you the must know information on stroke prevention. You will learn how a life time of unhealthy habits can lead to untimely and devastating consequences.
We encourage you to utilize our on-demand videos on healthy eating, exercise, and cooking. For a more customized experience, you can speak to live nutritionist and/or personal trainers to help you tailor your stroke recovery experience. Each person and each stroke is different and at ModiHealth, our goal is to connect you to better health.
We offer a number of programs that will help you learn how to prevent and manage stroke.
- Stroke Prevention Program (link)
- Healthy Eating Program (link)
- Stress Management Program (link)
- Weight Loss Program (link)
Virtual Consult Sessions
We offer virtual one-on-one telehealth sessions with professionals that will support you or your family member living with stroke.
- Health Coaches
- Fitness Instructors
- Personal Trainers