Warning signs are clues your body sends that your brain is not receiving enough oxygen. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke or “brain attack,” don’t wait, call a doctor or 911 right away! -Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body -Sudden confusion, or trouble talking or understanding speech -Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes -Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination -Sudden severe headache with no known cause Other danger signs that may occur include double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These brief episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, are sometimes called “mini-strokes.” Although brief, they identify an underlying serious condition that isn’t going away without medical help. Unfortunately, since they clear up, many people ignore them. Don’t. Paying attention to them can save your life.
Something as simple as taking a brisk half-hour walk outdoors three times a week can significantly boost stroke survivors’ physical fitness and improve their ability to get around — all within just a few months, new research shows.
Better still, these gains could translate into a reduced risk of illness whileimproving overall quality of life, says Carron D. Gordon, lead author of a study published this month in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.
A “mini-stroke” or “transient ischemic attack” (TIA) occurs when there is a temporary drop in the blood supply to the brain, depriving it of essential oxygen. The patient experiences stroke-like symptoms, although they don’t last as long. A mini-stroke only lasts a few minutes and disappears within a day.
In other words, a TIA is like a stroke, produces similar symptoms, but only lasts a few minutes and causes no permanent damage.
It is estimated that up to 500,000 people in the USA experience a TIA each year.
Although symptoms fade away rapidly, most patients do not seek medical help. Between 10% and 15% of TIA patients have a full-blown stroke within three months – 40% of those strokes occur within 24 hours. Rapid evaluation and treatment of patients who experienced a mini-stroke, either in specially designed TIA clinics or the emergency room, can significantly reduce the risk of subsequent stroke.
Around half of stroke survivors suffer depression in the first year following their stroke.
Depression can happen at any time following a stroke. It can develop soon afterwards or sometimes it can happen several months later. It can range from mild to severe and can last from a few weeks to over a year. The most common symptoms of depression are: feeling sad, blue or down in the dumps, losing interest in everyday activities and not being able to enjoy the things you used to, finding it difficult to concentrate or make decisions, feeling anxious or worrying a lot, changes in your sleep pattern – being unable to sleep or sleeping too much, changes in your appetite – eating too much or too little, loss of energy, suicidal feelings, physical aches and pains, self harming, loss of sex drive or sexual difficulties,
avoiding people, and loss of self esteem or self confidence.
If you think you may be depressed, speak to your doctor. The sooner you receive help and support, the sooner you are likely to feel better.
Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. But if you are having a stroke, you are more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs like these:
-Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side -Confusion or trouble understanding other people -Trouble speaking -Trouble seeing with one or both eyes -Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated -Dizziness -Severe headache that comes on for no known reason