Stroke (cont.)

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What is the impact of strokes?

In the United States, stroke is the third largest cause of death (behind heart disease and all forms of cancer). The cost of strokes is not just the billions of dollars lost in work, hospitalization, and the care of survivors in nursing homes, but more importantly, the loss of independence that occurs in 30% of the survivors. For some individuals, what was a self-sustaining and an enjoyable lifestyle prior to the stroke, has been lost. Family members and friends may have their lives altered as they find themselves in the new role as caregivers.

What are stroke symptoms?

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When brain cells are deprived of oxygen, they cease to perform their usual tasks. The symptoms that follow a stroke depend on the area of the brain that has been affected and the amount of brain tissue damage.

Small strokes may not cause any symptoms, but can still damage brain tissue. These are referred to as silent strokes. According to The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), these are the five major signs of stroke:

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body. The loss of voluntary movement and/or sensation may be complete or partial. There may an associated tingling sensation in the affected area.
  2. Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding. Sometimes weakness in the muscles of the face can cause drooling.
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
  5. Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/10/2013

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Stroke - Symptoms Question: For stroke, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?
Stroke - Therapy Question: What therapy did you undergo after your stroke?
Stroke - Risk Factors Question: Do you have any risk factors for stroke? If so, what are they and what are your concerns?
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Stroke - Prevention Question: To reduce your risk, what dietary or lifestyle changes have you made to prevent a stroke?