Stroke is one of the most common conditions causing death worldwide. It can be a devastating event both for patient and the family.
The best way to treat a stroke is to prevent stroke. There are well known causes of stroke such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, poor controlled diabetes and smoking.
Introduction to Stroke Causes and Risk Factors
Whether it’s you or a loved one, strokes can be a devastating and serious medical condition to experience. Depending on the type of stroke and how long it takes before medical attention is sought, long-term side effects can vary. Anyone is capable of having a stroke, but the chances increase if you have certain stroke risk factors, some which are preventable and some which are not.
You might be interested in learning more about stroke in our in-depth blog post “Stroke Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment”, which explains what you need to know about the different types of strokes, their risks, finding the right doctor, and even some tips on preventing strokes before you see a medical professional.
What is a stroke? When blood flow to your brain is disrupted, it begins to lose oxygen. After just several minutes with no oxygen, the brain cells begin to die causing certain bodily functions to be lost. The damage caused by strokes can be extremely debilitating and change the course of your life permanently. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes that can be made for stroke prevention and options for stroke treatment in Singapore that gives hope to living a fulfilling life.
Will Recognizing Stroke Save Your Life?
You just might be able to save a life from stroke. It’s critical to receive treatment as soon as you recognize signs of a stroke. Always call for an ambulance so that treatment can start immediately, rather than you or someone else driving you to the hospital. The medics will be able to evaluate your symptoms and ensure you receive the appropriate treatment quickly. Call an ambulance if you experience any of the following symptoms.
- Limb and face numbness or facial drooping, usually on one side of the body.
- Severe and sudden headaches with no cause.
- Dizziness, seizures, or fainting.
- Trouble speaking or making sense of words.
- Problems with vision in one or both eyes.
- Trouble with mobility.
Call 9-9-5 immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing stroke symptoms or if these are signs present.
Stroke Causes and Risk Factors
There are two general types of strokes: Ischaemic which occurs due to a blood clot; or hemorrhagic which occurs due to a blood vessel in the brain bursting. Globally, one in four adults over the age of 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime. There are controllable and uncontrollable risk factors that increase the chance of having a stroke. Learn more in detail about ischaemic, haemorraghic, and TIAs in our other blog post.
Controllable Risk Factors
Controllable risk factors are lifestyle choices that can be changed to reduce the risk of having a stroke. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and monitoring your blood pressure are three common lifestyle choices that can be made to significantly reduce your chance of having a stroke. Other controllable risk factors that may also require the help of a medical professional include:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Obesity and physical inactivity
- Alcohol abuse
Read more about ways to reduce your high cholesterol to prevent stroke and why there is an increased risk of stroke with high cholesterol in our other article, “Stroke Prevention Tips: How to Avoid High Cholesterol”.
Stroke and Diabetes
People with diabetes are 2 times likely to have a stroke as it is considered a high risk factor. Diabetics also tend to develop heart disease or have a stroke at an earlier age than people without diabetes.
It is also important to note while not only people with pre-diabetes are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but also for heart disease and stroke. Stroke most commonly happens in the majority of times for those aged 70s and 80s, but those with diabetes tend to develop a higher risk at a younger age. Those within their 40s to 50s who are diabetic come and present stroke to us at our specialized stroke clinic in Singapore. Read more how stroke and diabetes are related on our article article, “Diabetes and Stroke”.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
Aging is a part of life and while there are things we can do to prevent medical conditions from happening, there are others that cannot be changed. If you believe you are at risk of a stroke, a medical professional can start a treatment plan involving medication or regular monitoring. Other uncontrollable risk factors include:
- Being over the age of 55.
- Sex: females have a higher risk after menopause.
- Personal and family medical history.
- Environmental factors such as access to water and healthy foods.
- Prior stroke, TIA (transient ischemic stroke), or heart attacks
Sometimes the blood clot is in an area of the brain that doesn’t have vital activity or is small enough to where it goes undetected. Simply put, silent strokes are undetected strokes. Anyone who has experienced a silent stroke often shows no symptoms or warning signs, however, if overlooked, they pose the risk of having more strokes in the future. The symptoms may be so small that they are wrongfully attributed to age or not feeling well.
When the blood supply is cut off, brain cells don’t receive the necessary oxygen, causing them to die. The area of damaged brain tissue is called an infarct, which “dies” due to the lack of oxygen.
According to the American Stroke Association, about one-fourth of people over age 80 have at least one such area of tissue death called the “silent infarct,” in the brain. It is more common with:
- Increasing age
- People who smoke
- Have a history of vascular disease (conditions that affect your blood vessels).
- “Silent infarcts” have been linked to subtle problems in a person’s movement and mental processing as well as linked to future risk for stroke and dementia.
It’s important to get an understanding of stroke symptoms so that you know what to watch for. Many medical professionals suggest remembering the acronym FAST:
- (F) Face: smile and make movements to see if numbness or drooping is present
- (A) Arms: raise both arms to see if one is experiencing weakness.
- (S) Speech: notice if slurring or forgetting words occurs.
- (T) Time: if any of these symptoms are noticed, seek medical attention immediately.
The Relationship Between Brain Aneurysm and Stroke
Did you know that brain aneurysms is a significant factor to consider when it comes to stroke risk? This is because when a brain aneurysm ruptures, it can cause bleeding in the brain, leading to a hemorrhagic stroke. The severity of the stroke depends on the size and location of the aneurysm, as well as the amount of bleeding. The Ultimate Guide to Brain Aneurysm post can help you learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this potentially life-threatening condition.
These bulging blood vessel abnormalities pose a potential threat because hemorrhagic strokes are caused by the brain aneurysm rupture. Dr. Manish Taneja is here to help providing care for brain aneurysm and stroke treatments in Singapore.
Stroke Before the Age of 45
Did you know that today, there is a growing trend of younger and middle-aged adults suffering from stroke? Most experts consider young stroke to pertain to individuals under the age of 45. Generally, the consequences of a stroke for younger patients are more damaging. When the disease strikes at a young age, it is likely to severely impact disability and productivity throughout the individual’s lifetime. Read more about what causes stroke in young people in our article, “Stroke in Younger Adults: What You Need to Know”.
Stroke Screening, Management, and Prevention in Singapore with Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic
Seek the guidance of a stroke specialist in Singapore who is experienced in neurointerventional and stroke treatments. Dr. Manish Taneja can provide a comprehensive approach to managing your conditions. Call Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic to hear more about the latest advancements in medical science regarding stroke prevention and stroke treatment.
Stroke Management and Prevention
The best way to treat a stroke is to prevent stroke. There are well known causes of stroke such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, poor controlled diabetes and smoking. Other risk factors include obesity and unhealthy lifestyle combined with lack of physical activity.
Stroke treatment involves medical management along with control of risk factors to prevent future stroke. Interventional treatments are often required to treat and prevent stroke in patients. One of the most recent and well established interventional treatment for acute stroke since 2015 is to remove clot from the brain causing acute stroke in some of these suitable category of patients.
Stroke screening is best suited for individuals with risk factors for stroke. These include those with known family history and cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption is well recognized as risk factors for stroke.
Stroke screening process involves:
2. Blood tests
3. MRI /CT scan of the brain and its blood vessels.
This non-invasive assessment is followed by appropriate advice/ treatment as required on an individual basis. Stroke screening can also be combined with cardiac and vascular assessment as required since risk factors for these medical conditions overlap.
Read More About Neurointerventional Treatments on Our Blog
To dive deeper into the types of neurointerventional treatments, head over to our clinic’s blog.
Read our recommended neurointerventional treatments related blog posts to stay informed. What is a stroke? Watch our helpful video to learn stroke causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
- Stroke Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment: A Complete Guide
- Types of Stroke: Ischaemic, Haemorrhagic, and TIAS
- Your Guide to Prevent a Second Stroke
- Headaches: What It is, Types, Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
- Brain Aneurysm Q&A with Dr. Manish Taneja
- 10 Brain Aneurysm Questions Answered
- The Ultimate Guide to Brain Aneurysm
- Conversation with Dr. Manish Taneja on Brain Aneurysm Advances and Care
- The Dangers of Brain Aneurysm
- Brain Aneurysm: Best Minimally Invasive Treatments
- Brain AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation)
Stroke Prevention Tips: How to Avoid High Cholesterol
Controllable risk factors are lifestyle choices that can be changed to reduce the risk of having a stroke including managing your cholesterol.
We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management
Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.
Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available. Come in for an easy consultation and further evaluation with our stroke specialist in Singapore at the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic.