Healthy lifestyles can help prevent the onset of stroke, often a preventable hereditary disease. In other words, you may be predisposed to it by heredity, but the way you live your life can determine whether you have a stroke or not.

Stroke or a cerebral vascular accident is an occurrence in the brain that can cause impairment in motor skills, speech, sensation, vision and also emotions and intelligence.

These symptoms occur when some part of the brain is cut off from its blood supply, depriving it of its needed oxygen and nutrients. The most common ways deprivation of blood occurs are; “(1) a clot forms in an artery; (2) the wall of an artery ruptures and causes a hemorrhage (bleeding); or (3) a piece of a clot, having formed elsewhere in the body, breaks loose, travels to the brain, and plugs a blood vessel.

Cerebral thrombosis, cerebral hemorrhage, and cerebral embolism, are the names given to each specific occurrence.

Several factors or combinations of factors can lead to stroke, such as, high blood pressure, nervous tension, heredity, exercise, and diet. High blood pressure can increase the chances of a stroke by speeding up the rate of arteriosclerosis deposits in arteries and high blood pressure may be more likely to cause a rupture at weaker points on the blood vessels than lower blood pressure.

Nervous tension relates to stroke because it increases blood pressure dramatically. Avoiding stressful situations, especially after a stroke, is highly recommended. Heredity can be linked with strokes because of the genetic susceptibility of some to higher levels of cholesterol in their blood, which leads to arteriosclerosis. Others may inherit tendencies to be over weight. Both of these causes are related to one another.

Exercise, or lack of exercise is another contributor to having a stroke. The main reason being, exercise slows down the rate of hardening arteries, by lowering blood pressure and slowing down the rate of the heart. A person’s diet can also be one the causes that leads to stroke. A diet high in fats, and cholesterol is unhealthy since it is known that cholesterol crystals are deposited in the arteries.

One or several of the body functions can be impaired after a stroke, depending on the severity. What functions are affected is determined by the location of the brain involved. Normally, when the right side of the brain is involved, the left side of the body is affected. When the left side of the brain is involved, the right side of the body is affected.

In a majority of stroke victims, paralysis or weakness usually occurs to one side of the body. Full recovery can range from days to years. Sometimes a full recovery is not possible if the stroke caused permanent brain damage.

Prevention of strokes can only occur in the areas that are controllable. One cannot choose his or her ancestors, but one can choose to live healthier life styles. Sensible diets low in fats, sodium and cholesterol, regular exercise, and avoiding stress when possible can be the first steps to prevention. Also, regular monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels may be beneficial.

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