Free Stroke and African American Women Essay Sample
Stroke is a disease of the circulatory system caused when an artery is blocked or ruptured. Blockage or rapture makes the part of brain affected not to get the blood it needs. In order for the cells in the brain to function properly, they need oxygen and glucose from bloodstream. Lack or in adequate supply of this leads to death of brain cell in this part of the brain. Disruptions that hinder oxygen supply lead to the death of brain cells (Worrall, et al. 2002). Disruptions of blood flow are caused by various problems like narrowing of arteries, hardening of arteries and clotting of blood from within the heart. There are two types of stroke (Howard, 1994). The first one is the Ischemic stroke resulting from blockage of blood from reaching the brain. The other is the Hemorrhagic stroke occurs if one of the blood vessels is bursts. If a blood vessel bursts, blood flows to into the brain. There is another case which results from inadequate blood in the brain, this causes a mini-stroke. This normally lasts only for a short duration. A few minute or up to 24 hours after which the patient gets back to normal.
Research shows that stroke is the third top cause of death in African American women. African American women have high rates of stroke risks factors (Pickle, et al. 1997). These include hypertension, family history of stroke, diabetes and obesity. Study conducted by the University of Virginia Health System on more than 1000 African American women stroke victims showed that over 70 % of cases of stroke are caused by blockage resulting from a blood clot. The rapture or blockage cases the part of brain affected not to get oxygen. The result of a part of brain being deprived of oxygen is permanent brain damage, disability or death (Gorelick, 1998). The study focused on the relevant risk factors that cause stroke. They conducted the research based on Federal guidelines that define overweight and obesity. The guidelines define leisure exercise as not exercising more than twice every week. The patients were physically checked before and during their enrolment in the study.
If the cells in the brain do not get sufficient oxygen, they cannot perform their usual tasks. This will enhance certain symptoms in the patient depending on the part of brain affected. Every stroke patient is normally asked one important question. "When did the first warning sign start?" The patient will then be informed on the various signs associated with the disease. These include sudden weakness of the face, leg or arm especially if this occurs on one side of the body only. Unexpected confusing which results in trouble in understanding or speaking, sudden inability to see. If there is a sudden headache, which one feels but has no known cause. These symbols act as a warning sign and everyone should be attentive if one of them occurs (Pickle, et al. 1997).
Some of the measures that people can take in order to prevent the disease include regular checking of blood pressure. Drinking alcohol in moderation, stopping of smoking of cigarettes, in case someone has diabetes he should take effective measures in controlling it. Checking with the doctors whether one has cholesterol and having regular exercises. Eating of diets that have low salt and seeking immediate medical help in case of any symptom associated with stroke (Howard, 1994). Stroke is also known as the cerebrovascular accident results from little or no blood reaching the brain. The limitation of blood is caused by several reasons. The various causes then determine the part of brain, which will be involved in the stroke. This may take two forms. The whole brain is affected and this is referred to as global stroke. It occurs if there is no blood reaching the brain. Common examples of global stroke occur after a major car accident, which results in significant blood loss. This is followed by low blood pressure hence the flow does not reach the brain hence the victim dies.
On the other hand, only a specific part of the brain may be involved and this is referred to as territorial stroke. Territorial is caused by thrombus. Thrombus occurs if a clot forms within a blood vessel like the arteries. This is caused by atherosclerotic disease that affects the blood vessels. The other cause of territorial stroke is embolus. Embolus and thrombus are similar because they both involve clotting of blood. However, an embolus forms from a fragment of blood that developed in a different part of the body. These travel to the brain and are lodged, if there is no immediate treatment the result is stroke (Worrall, et al. 2002). The other significant cause of stroke, which constitute up to 30% is the small vessel stroke. The small intracerebral vessels are responsible for deep-seated infarcts, which cause the primary hemorrhages. Technical obstacles hinder studies of stroke using traditional approaches.
Stroke survivors are affected physically; mentally and emotionally hence, they end up with various disabilities that limit them from doing any productive work. In order to reduce ones chances of getting stroke, the most important step that an individual can take is to visit a health center in order for the health professionals to conduct the necessary tests on him. The doctors will then provide an informed advice on ways to minimize the disease. The other measures revolve around one's behavior like smoking, drinking, use of drugs like cocaine and diet. In order to control the risk of the disease, one must maintain the right behavior. Desist from smoking cigarettes; minimize taking of alcohol and drug use and watching of one's diet. Eat less fatty food. Exercise frequently and engage in activities, which will not cause stress. Another significant issue that affects women is the use of hormone therapy during birth control. Studies show that this may also lead to stroke. Before a woman can begin using such birth control methods, she needs to have a proper consultation with a medical practitioner.