A stroke, which is also called a brain attack, occurs when an artery to the brain becomes ruptures or blocked. This leads to the situation that the flow of blood is cut off to one part of our brain, depriving the cells of glucose and oxygen from the blood supply. If the cut-off is brief, the cells of the brain might be stressed. However, it is still able to be recovered. There is just one more problem: if the brain cells are deprived for over three or four minutes, they could die, resulting in the lasting harm to the brain. In some stroke situations, the functions are lost, but other of the brain’s areas can learn to do the tasks which are previously addressed by the damaged area.
I. Introduction – Types Of Strokes:
There are 2 main types of stroke – haemorrhagic strokes and ischaemic strokes – which can influence the brain in separate ways and are caused by different factors.
1. Haemorrhagic Strokes:
Haemorrhagic stroke (also known as intracranial haemorrhages or cerebral haemorrhages) are less common than the second type of stroke – the ischaemic strokes. They happen when one blood vessel in the skull bursts and bleeds into and around the brain.
The major factor which cause haemorrhagic stroke is hypertension, which can weaken the brain’s arteries and make these arteries prone to rupture or split.
Things that increase the risk of high blood pressure include:
- Stress, which can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure levels
- The lack of exercise
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Being obese or overweight
Haemorrhagic strokes can also happen due to the rupture of a balloon-like expansion of the badly-formed blood vessels in the brain and the brain aneurysm (a blood vessel).
2. Ischaemic Strokes:
Ischaemic stroke is the most popular type of this disease. They happen when a blood clot blocks the oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
Typically, these blood clots form in the areas where the arteries have been blocked or narrowed over time by plaques (fatty deposits). This process is also called “atherosclerosis”.
As time goes by, the arteries can be narrowed naturally, but certain things could accelerate the process dangerously. These include:
- An excessive alcohol intake
- High cholesterol levels
- Hypertension (High blood pressure)
Another possible factor that causes ischaemic stroke is a type of irregular heartbeat, which is also known as “atrial fibrillation”. This can lead to blood clots in the heart that are broken up and escaped from the heart, becoming lodged in the supplying-the-brain blood vessels.
Atrial fibrillation can be caused by a lot of different factors, including coronary heart disease, excess alcohol consumption, heart valve disease, lung disease, and hyperthyroidism – an overactive thyroid gland.
II. Common Causes Of Stroke Disease – The Most Well-Known Causes:
As I mentioned above, stroke is divided into 2 types, and they are caused by a lot of triggers. Here are the most popular causes of stroke you should know to avoid for good.
1. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension):
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, determined as a reading of 140/90 or higher, is on top of the risk factors for stroke disease. When the blood pushes too forcefully against the arteries’ wall, it can weaken them, and then it leads to stroke as a certain result. Adults should strive to maintain their blood pressure level below 130/80 or 140/90 or below if they are at higher risk of developing stroke.
An ideal blood pressure level is 120/80 or even lower. This is actually one of the most common causes of stroke disease, and many people believe that effective treatment of high blood pressure is the determined factor which can help them quickly reduce the mortality rate due to stroke.’
With this major risk factor for stroke, fatty plaques that build up inside the artery walls will block or narrow the vessels, which can lead to stroke.
Atherosclerosis is a disease caused by the harder and narrower arteries compared to normal. The disease can occur in any area of the body and is the major cause of stroke.
Many strokes in the elderly are often caused by an artery that supplies blood to the brain when it was hardened and narrowed. When the artery in the legs is atherogenic, the very first symptoms usually are muscle pain as a “cramp”, because the blood supply is not adequate in the leg.
3. Heart Disease:
Stroke caused by cardiovascular disease is a condition when the brain is injured due to the sudden loss of blood flow to the brain caused by the occlusion (cerebral infarction) or rupture (cerebral hemorrhage), leading to the reduction, loss of brain function or the death of brain cells, causing paralysis, speech disorders, coma, memory disorders, and it can also lead to the death.
Heart disease, dilated cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart), containing heart failure, coronary heart disease, and other heart diseases lead people to higher stroke risk, compared to people who living with healthy heart.
The cardiovascular diseases in general and stroke in particular are dangerous diseases, coming with silent evolution, and a sudden onset of the disease. Once the onset of the disease occurs, it usually leaves many severe consequences, easily leading to death. According to many studies, heart disease is the leading cause of stroke and is the leading cause of death of human beings.
4. High Cholesterol Levels:
The excessive cholesterol levels raise people’s risks of atherosclerosis and heart disease, leading to stroke directly. High cholesterol can contribute to the artery’s plaque buildup in, which can block the blood flow to the brain and lead to stroke.
Cholesterol in the blood is higher than 240mg/dl will accumulate on the inside of the arteries. This accumulation of sediment along with other logged substances creates a hard and thick plaque, making the arteries narrower and less elastic, commonly known as plaque. Plaque gets bigger and causes the narrowing of heart arteries. When the plaque is rupture, the blood will be exposed to the core of fat inside the plaque. Then the cells and platelet coagulation system will be activated, leading to the thrombus formation. If the blood clots clog a brain perfusion artery, it will cause a brain region die, leading to the cerebral vascular accident, also known as stroke.
In addition, the low level of HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) is also one of the common causes of stroke disease in men, but for women, it is still needed to get more data to validate its effecting levels.
Smoking can lower the levels of oxygen in the blood, forcing our heart to work harder and enabling the blood clots more readily to form. The smoke from cigarette can also worsen atherosclerosis disease. According to the National Stroke Association, people who smoke can have twice higher risk of stroke than people who do not smoke.
According to a study published in the journal “Stroke” of the United States, young people who had a stroke are usually smokers or abusers of drugs or alcohol.
The study conducted with more than 1,000 Americans suffering from a stroke before the age of 55, showed that stroke is usually a disease of the elderly. However, the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, or adverse effects on the circulatory system can also increase the risk of stroke.
According to the study, in 2005, more than half of young people in America suffered a stroke are smokers and 1 out of every 5 people use one kind of a drug such as marijuana and cocaine. 13% of those have used drugs or alcohol within 24 hours before getting the stroke.
6. Atrial Fibrillation:
Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder which is the most common disorder. It can cause anxiety, palpitations, shortness of breath … This disease can also increase the risk of stroke by 5 times, easily leading to embolization.
Atrial fibrillation has been a major health problem in many countries in the world. In the US, people with atrial fibrillation are more than 2.5 millions of people; in Europe – approximately 4.5 millions of people. Atrial fibrillation accounts for one third of hospitalizations for cardiac arrhythmias. According to the prediction for the next 30-40 years, the number of people with atrial fibrillation in the US will be double compared to the current ration.
According to the National Stroke Association, atrial fibrillation is a disorder with the sign of an irregular heartbeat, making people five times higher risk of getting a stroke than normal. With Atrial Fibrillation, the heart is 2 upper chambers beat unpredictably and rapidly, allowing the blood to pool in the heart. The pooled blood can create the clots that go to our brain and lead to stroke.
Diabetes is known as the “silent killer” because it silently destroys many parts of the body such as heart, kidney, eyes, limbs…However, it can also lead to the unnoticed death if the complication is stroke or myocardial infarction.
People with diabetes will have higher risks of stroke because diabetes can lead to many other health problems and factors which cause stroke, including heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
In fact, this is one of the most common causes of stroke people should know and prevent right away.
8. Overweight Or Obesity:
Extra weight, along with being sedentary can increase the risks of diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) – 2 main causes of stroke that I mentioned above.
Physical inactivity or obesity can increase the risks of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, directly leading to stroke. Therefore, for good, people should go hiking, climbing the bar, and perform any movement they can to make their life more dynamic.
9. Blood Disorder:
Blood disorders, like severe anemia or sickle cell disease, can also lead to stroke, if they are untreated.
Blood lipid metabolism disorders are the disorders of fat metabolism and blood components such as increased cholesterol level, LDL-cholesterol, increased triglycerides, and decreased HDL-cholesterol.
10. Excessive Alcohol:
Some research has stated that drinking alcohol excessively can increase the risk of stroke. This is also one of the most common causes of stroke disease in human beings. Men should limit themselves to 2 alcoholic drinks per day and women – 1 per day.
Results of the study showed that an association between alcohol and stroke is determined depending on not only the quantity but also on the frequency of drinking alcohol. In addition, the stroke was a direct result of high blood pressure, coronary arteries, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, carotid stenosis, overweight, smoking cigarettes, and high blood cholesterol, and alcohol can also lead to all of these health problems.
In fact, drinking alcohol can lead to many different diseases. The relationship between alcohol consumption and ischemic stroke suggests that moderate drinkers have lower risk of stroke than people who abuse alcohol. Actually, excessive alcohol drinking can definitely increase the risk of stroke. People do not need to drink alcohol regularly to get increased risk of stroke – with just second times drinking alcohol per week, the risk of death from stroke will increase several times. The risk of cerebral hemorrhage is also increased proportionally to drinking alcohol: the more alcohol is consumed, the higher risk of stroke will be.
This is also one of the most dangerous causes of stroke disease that people must know to fix the problem. Certain medications, such as anticoagulants, can also increase the risk for stroke. Birth control patches and pills can also place some women at higher risk for this dangerous disease, especially if they are at the age of over 35 or are suffering from high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure, or for women who smoke cigarette. Illicit drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, or amphetamines, are also the triggers which lead to stroke directly.
Drug addiction is often a form of chronic relapsing disorder-related health and social problems. The ceramic drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, and heroin are related to the increased risk of stroke. Stroke caused by drug abuse often occurs in young populations.
This is one of the causes of stroke which cannot be able to prevent or deal with. Actually, after the age of 55, the risk of stroke will increase nearly twice every 10 years. Although stroke usually occurs in elderly, but there are still many cases of stroke are of people under 65.
13. Erratic Weather Changes:
The erratic weather changes are also the underlying risk of stroke for human beings, especially for the elderly. However, according to health experts, we can actively prevent disease by playing sports and doing exercise in moderation, do not exercise when it is too early, do not smoke and avoid second-hand smoke inhalation, eat healthy meals, eat less items which contains fat, cholesterol, and salt, wake up in the early morning, and do not get up out of bed immediately. When there are some signs, such as dizziness, nausea, headache, numbness of extremities, difficulty in speaking or understanding others; hemiplegia, paralysis limbs …, people must immediately and promptly treat them to avoid the unwanted complications. People should also go to see the doctor, check out their current health in a regular basis, and use proper amount of drug which is required by doctors.
14. Hereditary Factor:
The risk of a stroke will be higher than normal if a parent or grandparent or sister in the family has had a stroke. Some strokes may have the symptoms of genetic disorders such as CADASIL – a genetic disorder caused by mutated genes, leading to the damage to the blood vessels in the brain, clogging the blood flow. Most people with this genetic disorder have a family history of stroke. If a parent (father or mother) used to have CADASIL, then their children will have a 50% likelihood of this genetic disorder.
African Americans are at much higher risk of death from stroke than white Americans. This risk is partly because black Americans have higher risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity than white Americans – the main causes of stroke diseases that I mentioned above.
Each year, women have higher risk of a stroke than men and the ration of deaths from this disease are also much higher than men. The use of oral contraceptives, a history of pre-eclampsia or eclampsia, gestational diabetes, smoking, the application of endocrine therapy after menopause… are the main factors leading to the higher risk of stroke in women compared to men. Believe or not, this is also one of the most common causes of stroke disease people should not look down.
17. Carotid Stenosis:
This is also an important factor that causes stroke in human beings. Carotid artery is the artery in the neck that supplies blood to the brain. In atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries), the fatty deposits in the arteries narrows the carotid artery, and the carotid blood clots will cause congestion and impede the blood flow, leading to stroke.
18. Sickle Cell Disease:
This is a genetic disorder in which “sickle” red blood cells often have little ability to deliver oxygen to the tissues and organs inside the body. These cells also tend to stick to the vessel wall and obstructed arteries that bring blood to the brain, causing a stroke. This is also a dangerous cause of stroke people should never look down!
19. Improper Nutrition Consumption:
Diets that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol may increase the blood cholesterol levels. High-salt diet contributes to hypertension (high blood pressure). Excess dietary energy can contribute to obesity. In addition, a diet with more fruits and vegetables each day will help to reduce the risk of stroke. Therefore, to prevent and reduce the risk of stroke, people should add fresh and healthy fruits and veggies to their daily healthy diet. This will also a perfect way to manage weight and useful for people who are concerning about their extra body fat. People should avoid consuming foods that are rich in unhealthy cholesterol, fat, and salt, such as chips, instant snacks, instant noodles…
20. People With Prehistoric Heart Attack, Transient Cerebral Ischemic Disease, Or Stroke:
People who have had a heart attack, transient cerebral ischemic disease, or a stroke will have several times higher risks of stroke than those who have not met the above conditions. The transient cerebral ischemic attacks are considered “alarming stroke”, with the symptoms similar to stroke symptoms but do not cause lasting damage. The transient cerebral ischemic phases are the reliable forecasters for strokes. Those people who have experienced one transient cerebral ischemic attack or more will have the 10 times higher risk of stroke than those at the same age, same sex, but not have had this disease. Thus, identification and treatment for transient ischemic can help you reduce the risk of severe stroke. Transient cerebral ischemia is considered a medical emergency case and should be monitored immediately and carefully. If you had a heart attack, it means that you also have a higher risk of stroke.
This is the list of 20 most common causes of stroke disease and that will be very helpful for readers of VKool.com who are concerning if they are at high risk of stroke.
If you think that the causes of stroke I mentioned above are exactly and if you also know some other people who also need the information I revealed in this article, just feel free to share this list with them to live healthily together. Do not forget to show me your comments in the form below.