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Oct 19, 2017

Healthy Living: Avoiding a Stroke

Many consider a stroke to be a silent killer. The truth is that a stroke may not always lead to loss of life but it can disrupt or destroy the normal function of about any part of your body. Yet, strokes are not as silent as we think. Some recognizable signs and symptoms may give you enough time to seek treatment. That’s what you’ll discover in tonight’s Healthy Living.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

It happens in an instant. The blood supply – for some reason – fails to reach the brain and you have a “brain attack” or what we know as a stroke. This loss of blood flow to the brain can cause minor damage that you may not even know it happened or can cause death. For this reason, we must learn to recognize the signs of a stroke.


Joel Cervantes

Dr. Joel Cervantes, Neurosurgeon

“When they do consult they have a numbness in one hand or two hands and I feel abnormal. Met fingers are tingling. My face is tingling. I feel a little weak in an arm or a leg or in a certain part of my body feels different. Weakness, numbness, a little think abnormal with the sensation they are feeling. Sometimes, my speech would have slurred like I’m talking as though as I had a couple of alcoholic drinks and I haven’t had any drinks. Usually that is what most people tell us. Stroke means the oxygen supply to arrive at the brain is not sufficient so because the brain is starved of oxygen we start to have several symptoms that were upside down, we’re abnormal at that point.”


A stroke is a medical emergency. After the first few signs, time is limited. Think fast. Literally, F.A.S.T. If you have Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech Difficulty then it’s Time to call 9-1-1.


Dr. Joel Cervantes

“That is a very critical time to get to a hospital.  It is. It is. At least to a health practitioner. If you’re in village you have to go see the nurse at least or the village doctor preferably a hospital, preferably a hospital with an appropriate personal, qualified enough and of course your re going to start with checking the basics. Checking your vital signs. Checking the range of your blood sugar. Sometimes running a test and of course they’ll ask specific questions looking in that area and of course if they have to do specialized blood tests or imaging tests to see if something is wrong in the brain.”


Dr. Cervantes warns that all age groups should pay attention to these symptoms. Older persons are naturally more at risk. But, obesity, cholesterol problems, diabetes and hypertension are all risk factors for strokes as well and these conditions are on the rise and affecting a much younger population.


Dr. Joel Cervantes

“It’s variable. It all depends on where we are living but usually this happen in people over the age of fifty and in the sixties and it can happen to young people but usually it is fifty and above. A lot of it has to do with the lifestyle that we have if we have a lifestyle that we are sedentary. We don’t exercise. We know exercise is good for us. The type of foods we eat. We don’t like to eat to our greens. We don’t like our fruits. We don’t have a balanced diet. Issues with high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, triglycerides, and other conditions maybe heart disease. These are factors including stress can lead us to have a stroke.”


Also, if you have family members who have suffered a stroke, you are also more at risk. Regular checkups and a healthy lifestyle can reduce those risks.


Dr. Joel Cervantes

“Lifestyle is important. The more you lead a healthier life the better the possibility that you will not suffer a stroke.  The more you lead a life that is ore off balance, abusing your body eventually you could be a candidate for a stroke – genetics aside.”

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