How do strokes affect the circulatory system?

Stroke is one of the causes of disability among our people. Stroke, on the other hand, is a condition where the blood vessels of your brain got blocked. The key to prevent this disease is by preventing blood clot formation within our blood vessels. Stroke has many negative consequences. This disease will affect various body systems. The adverse effects on the circulatory system or to be specific, the heart are cardiac muscles death, heart rhythm abnormalities, and poor blood circulation. Other organs affected by strokes are the lungs, kidneys, and stomach.

The following are the remaining complications of stroke:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pulmonary oedema
  • Bleeding from the digestive tract
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Falls and fracture of bones
  • Depression
  • Seizures

The blockage in the brain’s blood vessels may be due to the formation of plaque as in heart attack or the plaque originated from elsewhere like the legs. The other causes of stroke are the rupture of the brain’s blood vessels. The risk factors for stroke are:

  • Obesity or overweight
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Family history
  • High-fat diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Stressful life
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Smoking

Platelet is one of the components of our blood. Platelets help in stopping any active bleeding internally or externally. A low level of platelet will cause spontaneous bleeding. The bleeding may occur anywhere in your body, including the brain, lungs, muscles, gums, and so on. Spontaneous bleeding is a life-threatening condition as a person might lose blood in high amounts and very short duration. Platelets prevent this from happening.

A high level of platelets is not good and dangerous as it will cause spontaneous blood clot formation within blood vessels that may cause blockage to any areas in the body. If it blocks the blood vessels supplying the heart, it will cause a heart attack, if a blood clot blocks the blood vessels supplying the brain, it will cause a stroke or memory loss or some other neurological issues. In simpler words, high platelets produce blood clots and cause damage in your body.

Patients who are suffering from stroke require blood-thinning agents. The first thing that a doctor will do when someone presented with acute stroke is to secure and protect the airway and circulation. Next, a doctor will try their best to make a diagnosis and in this case, to confirm the diagnosis of a stroke attack. History taking, physical examination, and the investigation are carried out to conclude a diagnosis of stroke. The investigations are:

  • Blood studies
  • Urinalysis (if required)
  • Chest x-ray (if required)
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • CT scan of the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

When someone is confirmed of having a stroke attack, treatment is given accordingly. The treatment and management are:

  • Intravenous (I.V) fluid
  • Treatment for low or high blood sugar level
  • Prevent any oral intake if the swallowing function is impaired
  • Prop-up the patient
  • Paracetamol if the patient is having fever
  • Admission to the stroke unit for designated care
  • Specific medications

Specific medications for the treatment of stroke are:

  • Alteplase
  • Statin
  • Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Later, some drugs will be prescribed to prevent a future attack of stroke. The medications are:

  • Antihypertensive medications
  • Antiplatelet medications
  • Cholesterol or fat lowering agents
  • Hypoglycemic agents (if the patient is having diabetes)

Lifestyle modification is also important in preventing strokes. The things that need to be done are:

Many organs are affected by strokes and because of that, please remember that prevention is better than cure.