In case the blood supply to part of the brain is restricted or blocked is called an ischemic stroke. Therefore, it prevents brain tissues from getting enough nutrients and oxygen and its cells begin to die in minutes.

However, when a blood vessel bursts and provokes bleeding in the brain is another form of stroke called hemorrhagic stroke. In this condition, blood elevates pressure on the brain cells damaging them.

It is essential to get medical treatment immediately if you experience any of these types of strokes. Otherwise, it may lead to serious complications and brain damage. Fast and effective treatment can help to prevent disability from stroke.


The most effective treatment options are given right after diagnosing this health condition. Check below some symptoms of stroke:

  • Speaking and understanding problems – It means that an individual who experiences a stroke may be confused, slur words, or unable to understand speech.
  • Paralysis, numbness, or weakness in the face, leg, or arm – This is one symptom of stroke if a person cannot raise both arms over the head. Moreover, one side of the mouth may drop when you trying to smile.
  • Seeing issues in one or both eyes – Suddenly blurred or blackened vision may occur in one or both eyes.
  • Headaches – If a person experiences sudden and severe headaches, it also may be a symptom of stroke. Dizziness, change in consciousness, and vomiting also appear with headaches.
  • Walking problems – A loss of balance or coordination also may be experienced by an individual with a stroke.


A blocked artery in the brain and leaking or bursting of a blood vessel in the brain are two main causes of Ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Additionally, some patients may experience a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). However, TIA does not cause lasting symptoms.

Ischemic Stroke

One of the most common types of stroke is ischemic stroke, in which blood vessels in the brain become narrowed or blocked. Therefore, this effect causes ischemia – decreased blood flow. A blocked or narrowed blood vessel may be provoked by fatty deposits that build up blood vessels. Moreover, it also may be caused by certain debris that travel through the bloodstream, in most cases, from the heart.

In addition, some research showed that COVID-19 may elevate your risk of ischemic stroke. In any case, more researches are required.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

This is the second type of stroke and it appears usually when a brain’s blood vessel leaks or bursts. Thus, bleeding inside the brain occurs also known as hemorrhage. Furthermore, blood vessels may be negatively affected by different health conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure). Check below some factors that cause hemorrhagic stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Overtreatment with blood thinners also known as anticoagulants
  • Aneurysm
  • Head trauma which may occur due to a car accident
  • Ischemic stroke that leads to a brain hemorrhage
  • Cerebral amyloid angiopathy – A health condition when protein deposits in a blood vessel’s walls lead to weakness in the vessel wall.

Transient Ischemic Attack

This condition is when a temporary period of symptoms that are very similar to those of a stroke. In any case, TIA does not cause damage and is provoked by a decrease in blood supply to the brain. This period may last five minutes or even less. This condition is usually considered a ministroke.

However, if you think you have TIA is recommended to consult a doctor immediately. While TIA does not cause permanent damage it increases your risk of having a stroke later.

Risk Factors

There are many factors that may elevate your risk of stroke. Check below some examples:

Lifestyle Risk Factors

  • Heavy drinking
  • Physical inactivity
  • Overweight or obese
  • Misuse of illegal drugs (such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and others)

Medical Risk Factors

  • Diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • High cholesterol
  • Tobacco use
  • Cardiovascular problems (such as heart failure, heart defects, infections, arrhythmia, and others)
  • COVID-19 infection
  • Hypertension
  • Myocardial infarction or transient ischemic attack

Other Risk Factors

  • People age 55 or higher.
  • Males are at higher risk of stroke than women. However, females are more likely to die of strokes than males.
  • Birth control pills or hormone therapies with estrogen also can increase your risk of stroke.

Complications of Stroke

If you ignore this health condition and do not treat it, you may experience temporary or permanent disabilities. The complications that may occur depend on how long the brain lacks blood flow and what part is affected. For example:

  • Paralysis also known as Loss of Muscle Movement – You may lose control of some muscles including one side of the face or arm.
  • Difficulty Talking or Swallowing – Muscles in your mouth or throat also may be negatively affected. Therefore, it becomes hard to talk clearly, swallow or eat.
  • Thinking Problems and Memory Loss – Many people who have had strokes notice some memory loss. Others may experience thinking problems, reasoning, making judgments, and understanding concepts.
  • Emotional Symptoms – People with strokes may face emotion-controlling problems or develop depression.
  • Pain – Numbness, pain, or other feeling may appear in the parts of the body that are affected by stroke.
  • Behavioral and Self-Care Changes – People may become more withdrawn with strokes. In addition, they need help with grooming and daily chores.

How to Prevent Stroke?

You can prevent this health condition by following the following steps. Check below some prevention strategies:

Control High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

This is one of the most important measures you can take to decrease the risk of stroke. To treat hypertension are usually used lifestyle changes and medicines.

Decrease the Amount of Cholesterol and Saturated Fat in your Diet

It is advised to reduce the amount of cholesterol and fat. This will help to avoid fats that may build up in the arteries.

Quit Smoking

Regular use of tobacco products increases the risk of stroke. The same risk is experienced by people exposed to secondhand smoke.

Manage Diabetes

Losing weight, regular exercise and diet can help to manage your blood sugar. Healthcare providers usually prescribe some medicines to treat diabetes when lifestyle changes are not enough.

Healthy Weight

Being overweight is a factor that contributes to other stroke risk factors such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and others.

A Diet Rich in Fruits and Vegetables

Adding to your diet fruits and vegetables every day can help to decrease the risk of stroke. For example, a Mediterranean diet that includes olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains can be helpful.

Regular Exercise

You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. It will help to lose weight, decrease blood pressure, increase levels of good cholesterol in the blood, reduce stress, control diabetes, and improve overall health.

Limit or Avoid Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol misuse increases your risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke and hypertension. Drug interaction may also occur if you are using some medicines to treat high blood pressure and drinking alcohol.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

This sleep disorder usually provokes one to stop breathing several times during sleep. Treating this condition helps to keep open the airways while sleeping.

Do Not Use Illegal Drugs

Cocaine and Methamphetamine are two drugs that can increase your risk of TIA or stroke.

Check below some medications that may be used to prevent stroke:

  • Anti-Platelet Medications – This category of drugs is used to prevent blood clots. Healthcare providers usually prescribe Aspirin, Clopidogrel, and others.
  • Anticoagulants also known as Blood Thinner Medicines – This type of medicine is commonly used to reduce blood clots. Warfarin is one of the medicines that your doctor may direct you to use in blood clot treatment. However, several medicines are also available to treat blood clots. For example Apixaban, Rivaroxaban, Dabigatran, Edoxaban, and others. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the stages after a stroke?

In most cases, healthcare professionals use Brunnstrom’s seven stages of stroke recovery. For example, flaccidity, spasticity appears, spasticity increases, spasticity decreases, complex movement combinations, spasticity disappears, and normal function returns. For more details talk with your doctor.

What is Transient Ischemic Attack?

This is a brain attack for which the symptoms are very close to those of stroke. However, Transient Ischemic Attack also known as TIA does not provoke permanent damage. In any case, consult a doctor because based only on the symptoms it is not known whether you experience TIA or stroke.

Is stress one factor that may cause stroke?

Yes, stress provokes the heart to work harder, which increases blood pressure, sugar, and fat levels in the blood. Therefore, the risk of blood clots increases, and traveling to the heart or brain can cause a myocardial infarction or stroke.

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