When we talk about stroke or cerebral ischemia, we always think of an elderly person. With age, the risks of these diseases increase dramatically. However, one must not make the mistake of believing that only older people are affected. Unfortunately, there are a great many cases of strokes among adults and among very young people.
A stroke is a “blow”, as the Latin term indicates, which closes or breaks a blood vessel. In this way it impairs blood circulation and the presence of oxygen in the brain. Perhaps not everyone knows, however, that we could have a stroke without realizing it because before a brain stroke there could be one or more mini-strokes.
Medicine calls these small shots TIA (transient ischemic attack). They almost always portend an ischemic stroke or a hemorrhagic stroke. That is why it is very risky not to notice, but unfortunately it is a possibility.
We could have a stroke without realizing it and run a serious health risk
When a blood vessel becomes blocked, usually from a blood clot, there is a disruption in the blood supply to the brain. This is called ischemic stroke and has serious consequences, as does hemorrhagic stroke. In this case, the difference is that the blood vessel ruptures and the escaping blood compresses key parts of the brain.
Before all of this, mini-strokes may occur. They are sudden and temporary changes in blood flow in the brain. When this happens, the brain is damaged for a few minutes and then resumes its normal activity. In the precise moment in which it happens you have motor problems, a part of the body is paralyzed, speech and vision disorders.
Due to its transitory and short-term nature, it may happen that you do not notice it. We think about lying in bed and resting. Or to be alone, sitting on the sofa while watching TV and being a bit sleepy. In those moments it is really difficult to perceive the symptoms. In some cases they could be very mild indeed.
The only way to find out if you’ve had brain ischemia
Symptoms of a TIA can vary, but typically they are:
- difficulty understanding what others are saying;
- failing to articulate words;
- loss of sensation;
- paralysis of a part of the body, could also affect the face;
- visual disturbances;
- difficulty walking, moving and maintaining balance.
The first test to do in these cases is a CT scan. However, if the nature of the ischemia is really small, it may not yet be visible. For this reason, an MRI with contrast liquid is absolutely necessary. It is the only way to definitely identify the problem and take action.
Usually the causes are to be found in obesity, in diabetes, a condition of hypertension. The abuse of alcohol and smoking increase the risk, as does the use of the contraceptive pill. However, a thorough checkup is required, including the heart.
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