5 warning signs of stroke

Updated March 23, 2017

A stroke occurs when blood flow is suddenly stopped being carried to the brain. It can happen within seconds, and immediate precautions are to be taken at any sign of a stroke. Strokes are the third cause of death in the United States. Many Americans are unaware of what the warning signs are during a stroke.


A stroke can be a very serious health concern. Without fast action, and the proper care, stroke can lead to long-term health effects, blocked blood flow, long-term disability and even death. If you feel that someone you are near is suffering from a stroke or in the early stages, think quickly and ask him to do the following three things: smile, raise both arms, or speak in a complete sentence. Should there be any confusion, numbness, or sudden headache, call for care immediately by contacting the emergency room, or 911.


In 2001, surveyors made up of 61,019 were asked about the symptoms of a stroke. The awareness levels had raised as 94.1% of people knew that one of the symptoms of a stroke were a numb face, legs, or hands. At least 87.9% knew that trouble walking, balance, or dizziness was also a way to tell that someone could possibly be suffering from a stroke. Strokes have been the third leading cause of death in the United States, but those numbers of awareness has been falling since the early 1900s.


There are two types of strokes. One type is hemorrhagic, which usually make up about 17 per cent of strokes. When a weakened blood vessel ruptures, a hemorrhagic stroke is apparent. It is also part of an aneurysm that can lead to bleeding of the brain. Another kind is called transient ischemic attack, or TIAs. These are usually minor or a warning stroke. Blood usually clots for a short time, and then eventually works itself out through normal body functions. While the symptoms may go away for awhile, it is still a strong warning sign of a stroke. A patient should still contact their doctor and steps should be taken to prevent an oncoming stroke.


The effects of a stroke can be life altering, or life threatening. A stroke can cause blood to stop flowing to the brain, which then can cause paralysis, confusion and even long-term disability. A person suffering from a stroke may seem to have slurred speech, or even be unable to walk straight, and may appear to lean over to one side. Also her vision may be blurry, or even perhaps she may begin to see double. Sometimes a headache may come on suddenly, and it could be worse than any other headache that she may have ever experienced. Numbness can also be experienced on the face, arm, leg, or all on one side.


For patients to prevent a stroke, they must follow a healthy regimen. If an individual regularly has high blood pressure, it should be checked often. Try checking it at least once a week, and keeping a notebook to record it in. Do not smoke, or stop smoking if you are currently a smoker. Other things to follow include avoiding tobacco, eat healthy foods to keep up with a healthy weight for your body frame, keep active by walking or doing physical activities--even if they are light; try to stay away from foods that are high in fat, and keep stress levels low, if possible. Keep a journal to write down anything stressful throughout the day or to record your thoughts if you feel that stress is a high part of your life.

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About the Author

Ariana Cherry-Shearer began writing for the Web in 2006. Cherry-Shearer's work has appeared at websites such as GardenGuides, GolfLink and Trails. She also writes a weekly blog and has published collections of poetry. Cherry-Shearer earned a certificate in computer applications from Lakeland Community College.