Stroke Awareness

Hi everyone

I am sorry about my absence from this blog for some days. I had issues with my phone and internet access. I am glad to be back.

Tomorrow 29th October is the World Stroke DAY. In view of that, we will be discussing STROKE this week.
You are Welcome

Stroke is a common BRAIN disease. It is often devastating because it is an acute disease that affects persons that were considered healthy or ‘normal’. The name probably arises from the dramatic features. Regrettably, many people die from Stroke. The Stroke survivors usually have some remaining problems with walking, talking, mental functions ETC.

The dramatic nature is the reason Stroke is considered a spiritual disease as is mirrored in most of our African languages. In Igbo language, it is called ‘Mba Agbara’ (a hug from the spirit), ‘Ekpo mia’ (a slap from the spirit) in Ibibio, ‘Ofa’ (an evil arrow) in the Yoruba language and ‘Shana inna’ (evil paralysis) in the Hausa language. There are other names from other African languages.

Medically however, Stroke is a medical disease that affects the BRAIN. The brain is probably the most important organ in the body because it controls all other parts of the body. Every function of the body (thinking, seeing, talking, moving, steadiness, hearing ETC) has control from the brain. It is therefore extremely important that the brain functions optimally.

I personally call the BRAIN a ‘greedy’ organ. This is because the brain makes up ONLY 2% of the whole body. However, it requires as much as 15-20% OF THE TOTAL BLOOD from the heart to function effectively. A reduction of the blood to the brain is simply disastrous.

Stroke results when the blood supply to the brain stops suddenly. This can occur in two ways: accounting for the two Major types of Stroke.

1. The first type of Stroke occurs when there is a sudden blockage of the blood vessels (like blood pipes) to a part of the brain. This leads to a sudden cessation or abrupt cut off of blood to that part of the brain. The part of the body that is controlled by that part of the brain suddenly stops functioning.
2. The second type occurs when a blood pipe to the brain bursts from high pressure/tension. The blood flows into the wrong space instead of reaching the correct part of the brain. The features are also very dramatic. Such person may have preceding headache.

Features of Stroke include:
Sudden weakness of one side of the body
Sudden deviation of the mouth to one side
Sudden dizziness
Sudden inability to see on one side
Sudden lack of feeling on one side of the body
Sudden loss of consciousness
Sudden inability to speak

There are few others. Anyone with these features should be rushed to the hospital immediately for emergency care.

Risk Factors of Stroke
There are factors that make one person more likely to have a Stroke than others. These are referred to as risk factors. Some of the risk factors are not within our control like older age, black race, male gender and family history.

However, there are certain important risk factors within our control. These include Hypertension, Heart diseases, Diabetes Mellitus, Excessive Alcohol intake, Cigarette Smoking, Obesity, excessive Cholesterol and others. The essence of this blog is for you to take charge of those issues within your power to control.

The theme for the World Stroke Day is 1 in 4 persons will have a Stroke: DO NOT BE THE ONE!!!
Tomorrow, we will talk about reducing YOUR risk of developing a STROKE!.

Thanks for reading

Published by berthaekeh

Medical Doctor/ Teacher/Author

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