Ischemic stroke refers to a form of stroke — a severe brain disorder. It occurs when there is an interruption of blood flow through the brain caused by extremely low oxygen levels in the blood. And yes, as scary as it sounds — it can occur without there being an identifiable cause or warning. For that reason, finding out what causes ischemic stroke is important for your health.
Causes Of Ischemic Stroke
The main cause of ischemic stroke is fatty deposits lining the vessel walls, known as atherosclerosis. Fatty deposits can cause two types of blocks:
Cerebral thrombosis is a blood clot that forms at the fatty plaque within a blood vessel.
A cerebral embolism is a blood clot that forms elsewhere in the circulatory system, most commonly in the heart and large arteries of the upper chest and neck. Part of the blood clot breaks free, enters the bloodstream, and travels through the blood vessels of the brain until it reaches vessels too small to pass through. An irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation is a major cause of embolism.
If you have an ischemic stroke, you will be given specialized care and treatment, including medication to lower your chances of having another stroke. Following that, you will receive assistance with your recovery, including medical treatment and rehabilitation therapy.
The consequences of your stroke are determined by where the stroke occurred in your brain and the extent of the damage.
Ischemic Stroke Symptoms
Stroke symptoms include:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg that occurs suddenly (especially on one side of the body)
- Unexpected confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
- Dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination, as well as sudden difficulty walking
- Unknown cause of a severe headache
It is critical to treat strokes as soon as possible. Blood thinners can be used to stop a stroke in its tracks by rapidly dissolving the blood clot. Rehabilitation following a stroke can assist people in overcoming disabilities caused by stroke damage.
Diagnosis Of Ischemic Stroke
You may be subjected to the following tests:
- A physical examination. Your doctor will perform some familiar tests, such as listening to your heart and checking your blood pressure. A neurological exam will also be performed to determine how a potential stroke is affecting your nervous system.
- Blood tests are performed. Several blood tests may be performed on you, including tests to determine how quickly your blood clots, whether your blood sugar is too high or low, and whether you have an infection.
- A CT scan creates a detailed image of your brain by using a series of X-rays. A CT scan can reveal brain bleeding, an ischemic stroke, a tumour, or other conditions. Doctors may inject a dye into your bloodstream to better visualise the blood vessels in your neck and brain (computerized tomography angiography).
- An MRI creates a detailed image of the brain by using powerful radio waves and a magnetic field. An MRI can detect brain tissue that has been damaged by an ischemic stroke as well as brain haemorrhages. To view the arteries and veins and highlight blood flow, your doctor may inject a dye into a blood vessel (magnetic resonance angiography or magnetic resonance venography).
- Carotid artery ultrasound. Sound waves create detailed images of the inside of the carotid arteries in the neck during this test. This test detects fatty deposit buildup (plaques) and blood flow in the carotid arteries.
- Angiogram of the brain. In this uncommon test, your doctor guides a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through the major arteries and into the carotid or vertebral artery through a small incision in the groyne. The blood vessels are then dyed to make them visible under X-ray imaging by your doctor. This procedure provides a close-up view of the arteries in the brain and neck.
- An echocardiogram creates detailed images of the heart using sound waves. An echocardiogram can pinpoint the location of clots in the heart that may have travelled to the brain and caused a stroke.
Ischemic Stroke Treatment
To treat an ischemic stroke, doctors must restore blood flow to the brain as soon as possible. This can be accomplished with:
IV therapy in an emergency. If given intravenously, therapy with drugs that can break up a clot must be administered within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms. The sooner these medications are administered, the better. Rapid treatment not only increases your chances of survival but may also reduce complications.
Ischemic strokes are sometimes treated directly inside the blocked blood vessel by doctors. Endovascular therapy has been shown to improve outcomes and reduce long-term disability following an ischemic stroke.
Doctors can remove the clot from the blocked blood vessel in the brain using a device attached to a catheter. This procedure is especially useful for people who have large clots that cannot be completely dissolved.
Diet Tips for Ischemic Stroke
Food to Eat
- Different types of vegetables (of varied colours), as well as legumes and beans.
- oats, quinoa, flax seeds and barley as well as grain (cereal) foods that are mostly wholegrain and high in fibre.
- Fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans
- Milk, yoghurt, cheese, and their low-fat alternatives
- Drink plenty of water as well.
Food to Avoid
- Saturated fat-rich foods include biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps, and other savoury snacks.
- Reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fats, such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut oil, and palm oil.
- Reduce your intake of salty foods (but ensure you are having the right amount of sodium) and beverages.
- Confectionery, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy drinks, and sports drinks all contain added sugars.
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