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What Causes a Stroke?

What Causes a Stroke?

By Francesca | 2nd September 2021

With age comes a greater risk of various health issues. Amongst these is a greater chance of experiencing a stroke. Of course, health issues rarely develop without cause, and strokes are no exception. Furthermore, strokes also tend to cause other health conditions such as dementia or partial paralysis. But what causes a stroke? We are going to look at some of the most common causes.

What is a Stroke?

Strokes are serious conditions triggered by a lack of blood supply to the brain. They affect the ability of the body to coordinate itself, leading to these well-known symptoms:

  • Face: The face may drop on one side, and the person may struggle to smile.
  • Arms: Weakness will mean the person cannot lift their arms, or they will be unable to hold them up.
  • Speech: Speech will become slurred or garbled, or they may not be able to speak at all. They may also struggle to comprehend what you are saying to them.

Other symptoms can sometimes occur. These include sudden dizziness and confusion, paralysis on one side of the body, or they may be rendered unconscious.

Causes of a Stroke

There are two main types of stroke, each of which has its own causes. The older you are, the higher your risk of experiencing a stroke. Moreover, if there is a history of strokes in your family, you are likely to be at greater risk. Certain ethnicities have also been shown to be more vulnerable to strokes.

Ischaemic Stroke

An ischaemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. They are caused by a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood and oxygen into the brain. This then leads to a stroke.

A heightened risk of ischaemic stroke is caused by anything that increases the likelihood of blood clots. Blood clots tend to form in arteries that have been narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits. They can also occur in arteries narrowed for any number of other reasons.

Common causes of blood clots and ischaemic strokes include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and excessive alcohol intake. Ischaemic strokes may also be caused by atrial fibrillation.

Haemorrhagic Stroke

A haemorrhagic stroke is less common but no less dangerous. They are caused by a bleed on the brain, generally occurring when a blood vessel bursts inside the skull.

Risk of haemorrhagic stroke is greatly increased by high blood pressure. As a result, anything likely to increase blood pressure heightens the risk on a haemorrhagic stroke. This includes being overweight, alcohol and smoking, a lack of exercise, and prolonged periods of stress.

Reducing Stroke Risk

Reducing the likelihood of stroke often comes down to lifestyle choices. Eating healthy and exercising keep your body fit and reduce the risk of high blood pressure and fatty deposits in your arteries. If you smoke, cut down on cigarettes or quit entirely. Whilst there is nothing wrong with the occasional alcoholic drink, avoid drinking too often. Consult with your GP to find out what other steps you can take to lower your risk of stroke.

Homecare from Abing

Some lifestyle changes may not be easy to accomplish without extra support. Alternatively, you may have experienced a stroke in the past and now need help at home. Sometimes you may feel you need to opt for a care home, but that does not have to be the case. Homecare can be an affordable option that allows you to retain your independence.

Here at Abing Homecare, we offer two main care packages, each of which provides personalised care to you or your loved ones.

Domiciliary care involves regular visits from a professional carer at pre-arranged times. They provide support with medication, meals, and in some cases can help you or your loved one get into bed. They are ideal when you need some extra support at certain times of day.

Live-in care is best if you require 24/7 support. The carer lives in the property, ready to help with meals, errands, and day-to-day tasks. They are also well-suited to supporting you with medical needs.

To find out more about our services, take a look at our FAQs and Help Hub. You can also get in touch with us using our simple form. Alternatively, give our friendly team a call on 0800 008 7000.