8 Warnings From Your Body Before A Cerebral Stroke

While a cerebral stroke can come up suddenly, there are certain warning signs that can develop beforehand. In this article, we'll tell you about each one.
8 Warnings From Your Body Before A Cerebral Stroke

Last update: 10 September, 2020

A cerebral stroke is a cerebrovascular event that occurs due to a failure in blood circulation where the blood fails to reach the brain. As a result, the brain doesn’t receive the oxygen and essential nutrients that it needs, and cells can become damaged or die.

While the symptoms tend to appear suddenly, there are cases where patients notice that something’s going on and decide to seek medical attention. So, would you like to know the main warning signs of a cerebral stroke?

The warning signs of a cerebral stroke

This event, just like other illnesses of the cardiovascular system, is hard to detect in a timely manner. Also, many tend to confuse the symptoms with other more common conditions.

Therefore, knowing the warning signs of a cerebral stroke increases the chances of detecting it on time and prevent serious consequences. Today, we’ll tell you what to look for.

1. Signs of a cerebral stroke: High blood pressure

Patients with high blood pressure usually don’t feel strong symptoms that alert them to the danger they are in. The problem is that, unless monitored, this can advance and the risk of a cerebral stroke or hemorrhage is considerably heightened.

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure tends to damage or strain blood vessels in the brain, which causes them to break or lose blood. This means the brain is at greater risk for a cerebrovascular accident.

Therefore, it’s important to get routine medical checkups, especially when significant risk factors are present.

Also read: Discover 5 Ways to Increase Blood Flow to the Brain

High blood pressure.
A sudden increase of blood pressure can be a sign of a cerebral stroke. It’s important to be on alerte, especially if there are other risk factors.

2. Stiff neck

A stiff neck may be caused by stressful events, bad posture, or overexertion. However, you mustn’t rule out the possibility of it having been caused by a blocked or leaky blood vessel.

A publicación in Harvard Medical School suggests that, while uncommon, neck pain and stiffness can be a warning sign of a cerebral stroke in individuals under 50.

If you can’t move your chin to touch your chest and you feel a pain that extends to the head, consult your doctor immediately.

3. Bad headache

headache is a common symptom that may be related to many different factors and isn’t usually serious. Nevertheless, when it comes on strong with no apparent cause, it’s best to go to the hospital for a checkup.

Intense, throbbing headaches usually are a sign of increased arterial pressure and, in serious cases, mean an oncoming stroke.

A woman with a headache.
A headache may appear as the result of an increase in blood pressure. This, at the same time, can be a warning sign of a cerebral stroke.

4. One side of the body is paralyzed

Also known as hypoglycemia, this is a common symptom among those who are about to suffer a cerebral stroke. 

A publication from the Mayo Clinic points out that paralysis or numbness in the face, arm, or leg is one of the most frequent symptoms of a stroke. Often, it affects just one side of the body.

Most of the time it isn’t easy to diagnose, but under no circumstances should you ignore it.

5. Visual problems

A person who has good eyesight but who suddenly has cloudy or diminished vision should consult their doctor. Although this symptom may come from a variety of health problems, the possibility of a stroke shouldn’t be ruled out.

6. Sudden fatigue

A sudden loss of energy is always a reason for alarm. Fatigue is a common symptom of many serious health problems, especially when something is interrupting the normal flow of oxygen to the brain.

In a publication by the American Heart Association, Dr. Pooja Khatri, professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, points out that it’s important to pay special attention to sudden fatigue and overall weakness in the body.

That’s because these symptoms are easy to confuse with the symptoms of other conditions when, in reality, they’re the sign of an oncoming stroke.

A woman experiencing fatigue.

7. Difficulty walking and moving your arms

Difficulty with coordination of the limbs should be seen as a possible sign of a stroke. While not everyone experiences this, it sometimes occurs moments before the attack.

At the same time,  strong, abnormal pain in the extremities is more than enough reason to seek medical help.

Visit this article: All About Strokes

8. Vertigo and dizziness

It’s true that these are symptoms of many different health problems and aren’t usually anything serious, but they are a reason to see your doctor. These symptoms must get attention and treatment, most of all when there is some kind of cardiovascular problem that heightens the risk.

According to a systematic revision published in the journal Neurology, vertigo and dizziness are common manifestations of a stroke. In general, they are recurrent in women.

Some risk factors

Besides recognizing the symptoms, it’s also important to be aware of the risk factors. Of course, there are certain factors that are beyond our control (age, hereditary components, etc). However, according to a publication from the  American Association of Neurological Surgeons, there are other factors that we can control. Therefore, by modifying certain habits, we can help prevent a stroke. The risk factors are:

  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Illness of the carotid or another artery.
  • History of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).
  • Diabetes.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Obesity and sedentarism.

To conclude, even though it isn’t easy to detect a stroke in time, it’s best to know the possible symptoms that appear prior to having one. Paying attention to these signs and seeking immediate medical help is key to avoiding tragic consequences.

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