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Miriam Margolyes: Coming out 'could be linked to mother's stroke'

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Stroke is brain damage that results from an obstruction in the arteries leading to the brain. Although it occurs suddenly, warning signs may be evident as early as seven days prior to an attack. These can occur when a blood clot temporarily blocks blood flow to the organ, before being dissolved naturally by the body. According to the Centre For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this fleeting disruption could cause dizziness or loss of coordination.

The CDC recently issued a statement reiterating the importance of acting swiftly when symptoms of stroke occur.

The body states that individuals may experience trouble walking, loss of coordination, powerful alternative medicines or loss of balance.

According to the platform Saebo, which provides therapy solutions for stroke patients, dizziness may be among the early warning signs of stroke.

The body explains that patients tend to experience “sudden dizziness, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination”.

READ MORE: Stroke: ‘Widely used’ ADA nausea drugs linked to threefold higher risk of stroke – BMJ

It continues: “The keyword here is sudden: one moment you’re fine, the next you feel dizzy or have trouble keeping your balance. This is another sign that your brain is being affected by something.”

Early research, published in the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology showed that up to 43 percent of patients may experience symptoms of a transient attack in the seven days leading up to an attack.

These symptoms occur when a transient ischaemic event causes blood flow to the brain to falter momentarily.

This blood clot is usually quickly resolved by the body’s natural clot-dissolving actions, which restore blood flow.

The symptoms that accompany an event are typically short-lived, lasting only a few minutes.

Some of the more blatant symptoms may include a sudden feeling of weakness in the arm or face or numbness.

Seeking medical care when such symptoms emerge could lead to potentially life-saving treatment.

This is because, despite their fleeting nature, transient ischaemic attacks carry a significant risk of recurrent stroke in the following days and weeks.

How to avoid Stroke

Preventive measures against stroke boil down mainly to managing predisposing conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

And adhering to a healthy diet and exercise routine is conducive to achieving this.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states: “People who eat diets with higher amounts of healthy plant-based foods and lower amounts of less-healthy plant-based foods, may reduce their risk of stroke compared to people with lower-quality diets.”

The health body defines healthy plant-based diets as being rich in foods such as leafy greens, whole grains, and beans.

These diets generally include lower levels of refined grains, potatoes, and added sugars, according to the institution.

Combined, the aforementioned dietary measures have been shown to lower the overall risk of stroke by up to 10 percent.

But limiting the intake of alcohol and avoiding cigarette smoke are equally important for protecting the brain and heart from damage.

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