Heart attack and stroke two of the leading causes of death and disability around the world. Clearly, not enough people know about the risks and factors surrounding these two medical emergencies. For example, many thought that as long as they do not smoke, consume too much alcohol, and regularly have the exercise they would be immune from this killer disease. However, a number of individuals fail to watch their diet, which is sometimes composed of fatty foods and fast food orders. These facts should not be taken for granted. Read on to find ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from this dreaded disease.
A heart attack develops when an artery becomes blocked, therefore preventing blood that carries oxygen and essential nutrients from reaching the heart. With insufficient oxygen supply, an area of the heart, or is permanently damaged. Some heart attacks are abrupt and severe, but most cases develop slowly, usually with slight pain or discomfort. Individuals that are affected may not be sure of the symptoms, and they seek medical attention when it’s already too late.
The following are possible warning signs that can mean a heart attack is taking place:
Discomfort at the center of the chest may last more than a few minutes. This may feel like squeezing pain that goes away and then comes back;
Discomfort or pain in the areas of the upper body like the jaw, neck, one or both arms, stomach, or back;
Shortness of breath that may take place with or without chest pains; and
Cold sweat, cough, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, and fainting.
Stroke or “brain attack” occurs because of the absence of blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke) and, in some cases, there is bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). According to medical experts, blood vessels in the brain are damaged because of fat deposits or blood clots that may block a part of the brain. With insufficient blood that carries oxygen and nutrients, brain cells die and cause permanent damage.
The warning signs of stroke include:
Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg. This numbness usually occurs in one side of the body;
Severe headache with unknown cause;
Swallowing difficulties or drooling;
Uncontrollable eye movements, eyelid drooping;
Loss of balance or coordination; and
Personality changes, like depression.
Individuals who experience these signs, should act fast and go to the hospital immediately. Getting urgent treatment may save the victim’s life and reduce the chances of developing a disability. Medical specialists advise patients to receive therapy three hours after the stroke. Stroke should be treated with intensive care and life support that only hospitals can support.
A healthy lifestyle is crucial in the prevention of heart attack and stroke. Some factors that may contribute to the risks of stroke include age, family history of stroke, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes. In addition to these risks, alcohol and drug abuse, head injury, and bleeding disorder may increase the risks of stroke.
The possibility of recovering most or all body functions of those who survived from stroke is only 10 percent. Most even experience long-term disabilities. Therefore, the best immunity when it comes to stroke is having a healthy and active lifestyle.