What is the most common reason for deaths with age? The most prevalent one is stroke. A stroke is when blood flow to your brain is interrupted. The brain cells do not gain enough oxygen and start dying instantly. Although a stroke always doesn’t lead to death, severity can be fatal. People want to know more and more about stroke prevention (1). Knowing the cause of strokes is essential to learn about its prevention.
In this article, these are what we will learn:
- Stroke: What are the types?
- Hemorrhagic Stroke
- Ischemic Stroke
- Causes of Strokes
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Illnesses
- Substance Abuse
- Specific Medications
- Uncontrollable Factors
- 10 tips to prevent strokes
Before we see what the causes of stroke are, let us know its types.
Stroke: What are the types?
Although strokes are all about the failure of blood reaching the brains, it can be of different types (2). You can suffer a stroke in two main ways:
This type of stroke is not very common. But hemorrhagic strokes are the fatal ones (3). A blood vessel in the brain accumulates blood and bursts. Or a specific blood vessel with weak walls leaks. This leakage of blood in the brain is called a hemorrhage. Excessive levels of hypertension can cause this type of stroke. Apart from that, taking medications having blood thinners can result in it.
Ischemic strokes are more prevalent compared to hemorrhagic ones (4). Here, a blood vessel leading to your brain gets clogged. Fatty deposits form a plug on the artery walls. This leads to a blood clot. The most relevant reason for this type of stroke is diabetes. Other than that, high blood cholesterol can also be a trigger.
With ample knowledge of the types, let’s glance through the causes.
Causes of Strokes
The stroke prevention tips come in handy only when you know about what causes strokes. Many diverse reasons can lead to strokes. Here are a few:
Diabetes is a condition where excess fat deposits in your blood vessels (5). These deposits hamper the proper blood flow through the arteries. Situations can become as severe as to cause blockages. These blockages and clots are what result in a stroke. Having a stroke, along with high blood sugar, comes with fatal consequences (6).
High Blood Pressure
One of the biggest causes of stroke is high blood pressure. This condition results in faster heartbeats and an excessive increase in blood flow. Thinner blood vessels can burst with this sudden increase in blood flow (7).
Heart illnesses, including defects, can result in periodic strokes (8). Most aged people suffer from strokes due to this reason. If your heart valves are defective, there will be no regulation of pumped blood. Other than that, irregular heartbeats can cause severe circulation issues. These issues eventually lead to fatal strokes (9).
Another condition that results in irregular heart movements is atrial fibrillation. Here, your upper chambers receive weird electric signals. The unorganized nature of the signals causes a variance in heart rates and pulse.
Tobacco is significant in increasing the risks of a stroke (10). The nicotine content in it raises blood pressure. The tobacco gathers deposits in your neck arteries. It also causes the blood to thicken. As a result, your blood becomes more prone to clots. Even passive smoking can be harmful.
Being overweight increases the risks of strokes to a certain extent (11). Obesity is also a byproduct of diabetes. The more fat you build or store, the worse your strokes will be.
Ironically, medications given to prevent strokes can lead to them instead. The blood thinning meds that your doctor prescribes can be the reason for your stroke. Other than that, hormone therapies like hot flashes can be a cause. If your birth-control pill contains low estrogen, your odds of a stroke are high (12).
Certain factors go beyond your control, like:
Strokes are more widespread among aged adults. The retirement period is crucial. Having said this, it is true that babies, even infants in the womb, can have strokes.
As per statistics, women are more prone to strokes than men. Hormonal therapies and pregnancy complications are the main reasons.
African-Asians lead the pact with higher chances of strokes. That doesn’t mean other groups don’t have strokes. They do just less in number.
Strokes can run in the family. As much as it a consequential condition, it can be genetic too.
If you are a recovered stroke or heart attack patient, you stand vulnerable. Relapsed strokes are fatal ones.
10 Tips to Prevent Strokes
Take note of these stroke prevention tips.
- Keep hypertension conditions under control (13).
- Abstain from smoking or any other substance abuse.
- Take measures to regulate your diabetes.
- Add more fruits and veggies to your daily diet.
- Take action on your obesity.
- Avoid illicit drug consumption.
- Maintain proper sleep cycles. Treat sleep apnea if you’re a patient.
- Regular exercise and yoga are good.
- Treat your medical conditions with care. If you are undergoing any of the conditions mentioned above, keep a check.
- If you cannot at all give up on alcohol. Make the consumption moderate.
This article aims to assist you with stroke prevention (14). The vivid description of the causes will help you analyze your signs. Apart from these tips, taking time out for self-care is essential.