Stroke is a neurological disorder that is manifested as a sudden improper blood circulation in the brain, which leads to the poor or insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to specific parts of the brain. This leads to damage and death of nerve cells in the affected areas which is manifested by a disorder of the functions in those areas that are managed by the brain.

It is important to emphasize that in the world stroke is the leading cause of disability and the second cause of death that makes it a big health problem.

How big problem is the stroke?

About how widespread and frequent health issue it is the stroke, it is best illustrated by the fact that from a stroke every year in the world dies of 6 million people and more than half of that number are women.

Stroke, in addition to coronary heart disease, is one of the biggest causes of mortality.

It is important to point out that even 46% of strokes occur in the age between 45 and 59 years of age, indicating that a stroke is no longer just a problem that affects only older people but increasingly younger and therefore represents a major health – economic problem.

Given the above, it is important to emphasize the importance of prevention and the promotion of knowledge about stroke and therefore the World Organization for stroke, WSO (World Stroke Organization) declared October 29, World Day of stroke.

How and why stroke happens?

The cause of this disease is usually atherosclerosis. But what is atherosclerosis?

Six important facts about atherosclerosis:

  • Atherosclerosis is a process that occurs accumulation of fat, cholesterol, calcium and degradation in the arterial walls. They then form a solid structure called plaque. Then the arteries become narrower and inflexible, thus the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the body is reduced or ceases.
  • The process of atherosclerosis may start very early, in the second decade of life. However, then the process does not threaten the blood vessel patency, and this stage is difficult to detect atherosclerosis.
  • Plaque formation takes decades. The disease generally reveals only when the patency of blood vessels less than 25% of their cross-section, and when our health is already compromised.
  • Parts of the resulting plaques in the vessels and can be torn through the blood to travel to other parts of the body (most commonly in the brain or the heart), which may completely occlude the artery in which they are located, and consequently, cause a heart attack or stroke.
  • Atherosclerosis is also called “insidious disease” because it reveals relatively late and has proven that often smaller, unstable plaques break, which are more difficult to detect.
  • Atherosclerosis is the cause of various cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, which ultimately reduce the quality of life and lifespan.

The most common symptoms of stroke

The symptoms of stroke depend on the area that supplies the affected blood vessel, and the most common are:

  • Disorders of speech: a complete inability or difficulty pronouncing words, a complete misunderstanding of speech
  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden blurring or loss of vision, particularly in one eye
  • Loss of balance, dizziness, uncertainty and drift the fly, sudden drops associated with other symptoms
  • A sudden and severe headache followed by vomiting without a clear cause
  • A number of strokes are usually preceded by warning signs, in the form of transient symptoms, corresponding to symptoms of stroke, but substantially shorter duration and resolved over 24 hours. People who have had such transient symptoms have a significantly higher risk of developing a serious stroke with more pronounced and severe consequences.

Prevent the stroke on time

Given all that information remains to conclude that the only solution is prevention and timely action to prevent disruption of your health.

It is important to act on the entire cardiovascular system because only a comprehensive action is the right action to atherosclerosis and all its consequences that were created decades.

Many diseases, conditions, circumstances, habits, and behaviors are associated with an increased incidence of stroke, so-called risk factors for stroke. At some risk factors, such as age, sex, and genetic inheritance, cannot be influenced, but there are many risk factors that can be affect and reduce their impact on the increase in risk for stroke.

Risk factors that may be affected:

– high blood pressure – people with high blood pressure are three times more likely to suffer a stroke, but good control of blood pressure reduces the risk for 36 to 42 percent

– diabetes mellitus – twice increases the risk of getting a stroke

– Smoking – is associated with a 50 percent higher risk in both sexes and in all age groups. Quit smoking, within two to five years, returns to normal risk for this population

– increased blood fat level – not shown a direct impact, but correction of this disorders significantly reduces the risk

– heart disease – are important risk factors for stroke, and acute myocardial infarction often associated with its emergence

– Obesity – predisposes the occurrence of stroke, often associated with hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol

– physical inactivity – any form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day will reduce the risk of stroke

Risk factors that cannot be influenced:

– Gender – Men get sick more often than women, but mortality is higher in women, which is explained by their longer life

– Age – the risk of stroke increases with age, and the risk doubles in each subsequent decade of life after age 55

– Race and ethnicity – is twice more common among members of the darker races than for whites

– Genetic inheritance – as likely to experience a heart attack have a person whose family has already had one.

Truth and misconceptions about stroke:

– Myth – A stroke affects only older

– TRUTH – It affects people of all ages, even children

– Myth – It cannot be cured

– TRUTH – requires urgent treatment

– Myth – A stroke cannot be prevented

– TRUTH – can prevent a high percentage

– Myth – Recovery is possible only in the first few months

– TRUTH – Recovery is possible during the whole life

In order to reduce the risk of stroke is necessary to stop with unhealthy eating: foods rich in saturated fats and concentrated sugars, strongly saline foods, foods rich in cholesterol, etc., And should switch to a healthy diet: diet dominated by unsaturated fats, especially olive oil, plenty of fruits and vegetables in food, a diet rich in indigestible plant fiber, a lot of fish in the diet, especially oily fish. The healthiest diet is the so-called Mediterranean diet, i.e. traditional food on the shores of the Mediterranean. For prevention of stroke should definitely quit smoking because smoking can increase the risk of stroke up to six times, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked. Fortunately, for 5 years after quitting the risk is equated with the risk of non-smokers. Alcoholic beverages should be consumed in moderation, it is recommended to drink a glass of red wine a day. Overweight and physical inactivity are proven risk factors for stroke. A simple way to reduce excess weight is switching to a healthy diet and increased physical activity