You can do a lot to avoid as well as recover from a stroke.

They are often referred to as brain attacks to emphasize seriousness, and involve interruption of the blood supply to the brain.

If the brain is deprived of blood supply, it does not get oxygen; and the brain cells can die very quickly.

This may cause permanent damage to a person, depending on the severity of deprivation, where the attack occurs, and how quickly treatment is delovered.

There are two broad categories: ischemic and hemorrhagic.

Ischemic is usually caused by a clot blockage or clogged arteries and is the most common type.

Hemorrhagic is bleeding inside the skull, usually occuring when a small blood vessel in the brain weakens, breaks and leaks.

There are risk factors which can make one more suseptible to a brain attack.

Some risk factors are more beyond our control, such as family history, genetic dispositions, and age.

We do have greater control over many risk factors, however, such as alcohol and drug use, inactivity, smoking, diet, and to a large degree, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Taking care of your body, mind and spirit are all critical in preventing stroke and recovering from one.

It is a whole lot better to take care of things before such a traumatic event occurs than to have to try to correct a lifetime of wrong decisions.

Know the risk factors, evaluate your lifestyle and start living healthily to prevent stroke and live longer. Yes, it CAN happen to you.

As we see it, though, there is plenty of good news; first, you can make healthy decisions now; second, if you are predisposed to having a brain attack, you may be afforded critical warnings.

Transient ischemic attacks, or TIA's, are temporary and sometimes so brief they often go unnoticed or undiagnosed; but they represent very important information.

This emphasizes the importanace of being able to recognize and identify symtoms of a TIA and getting rapid treatment. It can potentially save you, or a loved one, from permanent brain damage.

Be aware of these symptoms and treat them seriously:

**slurred speech or difficulty understanding speech or reading

**numbness, such as face, fingers, arms, or one side of the body

**vision changes, double vision or uncontrolled eye movements

**difficulty swallowing

**loss of balance or coordination; difficulty walking

**personality or mood changes

**Unexplained drowsiness, fatigue, lethargy

Treat these as an emergency and get immediate treatment. If symptoms are brief, you may be experiencing a TIA . . . and this is a serious warning.

You can do a lot to prevent a stroke; and you can also recover from one.

From Stroke to Health