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how to detect and what to do

Cerebral vascular accident (CVA) arrives by surprise and does not choose age, gender or time of year. Know the signs and actions to take.

At a time when the world is facing a pandemic like the coronavirus, there are some health issues that you must keep an eye on. stroke (stroke) is the main cause of death in Portugal and the main cause of permanent disability. According to the Sociedade Portuguesa do Acidente Vascular Cerebral, our country has the highest mortality rate in Western Europe.

Worldwide it is estimated that one in six people will have a stroke and every 6 seconds a stroke is responsible for the death of someone.

the good news is that it is a disease that can be prevented and that can be treated effectively in most cases, if certain requirements for identification, assistance and treatment are met.

What is a stroke?

It is a brain attack that occurs suddenly, with sudden disability symptoms. It happens when there is blockage of blood flow to a part of the brain (stroke ischemic) or when an artery ruptures (stroke hemorrhagic) and blood floods an area of ​​the brain.

In any of these situations, brain cells are no longer supplied with nutrients and oxygen, preventing them from fulfilling their function, causing brain damage. Depending on the brain area affected, some physical and mental functions may also be affected, such as movement, sensation, speech, thinking, memory and other physiological functions.

What are the signs that someone is having a stroke?

1. Numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body (this could be an arm, leg or face).

two. Slurred speech or slurred speech.

3. Sudden change in vision, cloudy, blurred or double vision.

4. Loss of balance or instability.

5. Severe headache and unusual.

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Use this simple test that can help you recognize a stroke: the 3 Fs:

Face: ask the person to smile. Can you smile? Do you have a crooked mouth or a droopy eye?

Weakness: ask the person to raise their arms. Can you lift both at the same time?

He speaks: ask the person to speak or say a sentence. Can you speak clearly and understand what you are told?

What to do?

If you recognize any of these signs, or if the person is unable to perform one or more of the 3 Fs, call 112 immediately and have the person transported to the hospital emergency room.

O time is decisive in the face of a stroke, the faster and more urgently emergency assistance is called, the more likely the patient will be to recover successfully.

Early and adequate treatment in the acute phase can reduce death and disability rates by 50%. But better than treating is preventing. This is the most effective strategy in combating the catastrophe that most threatens Portuguese families, whose scope is based on reducing the risk of stroke through simple lifestyle changes.

woman who suffered stroke

How to prevent?

1. Control your blood pressure regularly.

two. Eat healthy:

  • reduce the salt.
  • reduce fats like cheese, fried foods, butter and opt for olive oil and margarine. Choose fish and white meat over red meat.
  • increase fiber intake: whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, oats, quinoa, rye, flaxseed, buckwheat, sesame and sunflower seeds.
  • eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • drink white hawthorn and olive leaf tea, they are hypotensive and strengthen the circulatory system.

3. Quit smoking: Smoking doubles your risk of stroke because it causes the walls of your arteries to harden and makes your blood more likely to clot. This increases the risk of stroke.

4. Reduce alcohol consumption.

5. Exercise daily: Choose an activity you enjoy lasting at least 30 minutes.

6. Control diabetes and cholesterol: these must be within normal parameters, always monitored by your doctor.

7. Control weight: being overweight and obese increases vascular risk.

8. Stress and depression: Overwork, family problems, professional problems and bereavement can increase the risk of stroke. Seek help from a healthcare professional.

9. Hormone contraceptive treatment: Hormone therapies can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor and choose the best option.

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