- Facial movements – One sign of an impending stroke is the inability to perform facial movements, or when parts of the facial skin are sagging.
- Arm weakness – A notable characteristic of stroke is the numbness of one side of the body. If a person cannot move or raise both arms, he or she might be experiencing the onset of a stroke.
- Speech problems – Stroke can also bring difficulty in communicating and constructing speech. Thus, a person with a stroke cannot communicate clearly and finds it difficult to actually speak.
- Time to call Emergency Help – Once assessed and proven that the person is manifesting signs of stroke, you should call for emergency. (In the Philippines, you should call 911 or the number of the nearest hospital instead.)
Aside from these, the following are other warning signs of an impending stroke:
- Weakness and numbness on a side of the body, including the legs, hands or feet;
- Having difficulty in finding words or speaking in clear sentences;
- Experiencing blurred vision or loss of eyesight in one or both eyes;
- Experiencing memory loss or confusion, as well as dizziness or a sudden fall;
- Abrupt severe headache.
Treatment and Prevention
As stroke is a serious condition, it is important that the patient should be brought to the hospital for medical assistance and intervention. There, patients will be treated with the following:
This involves the use of “clot-busting drugs” to reduce the damage brought by the blood-clotting and the subsequent stroke.
There are instances where the blockage of blood stream and blood-clotting should be addressed through surgery. This includes the following:
- Carotid Artery Surgery – This procedure involves removal of fatty deposits in the artery, thus helps in restoring the blood supply in the brain
- Carotid stenting – This involves opening the narrowed artery using a small tube with an attached balloon that can be inflated during the procedure.
Other forms of therapy
As stroke affects the physical and cognitive functions of patients, they should be given physical, occupational and speech therapy to restore such functions. Psychological counseling may also be included.
Diabetes and stroke can be prevented through the following:
- Check your cholesterol levels. Control the amounts of cholesterol in the body by limiting the intake of fat and cholesterol-based foods and taking prescribed medications.
- Avoid smoking. Limit your alcohol intake.
- Check your blood pressure. Manage it through healthy diet and taking medications.
- Exercise regularly
- Follow prescribed instructions in changing your diet and using preventive medications.
What is the Diabetic Diet?