STORMS IN THE BRAIN – PART 2: THE EXACTING ENCEPHALITIS BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

ENCEPHALITIS PIC

Today on STORMS IN THE BRAIN, we will be exploring the EXACTING ENCEPHALITIS.

What is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is another brain disease caused by the inflammation of the brain. It is predominately a viral disease. Like Meningitis, Encephalitis symptoms may mimic a bad case of the flu.

What are these symptoms?

In mild cases, you can expect:

  • Aches in your muscles and joints
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Fever

In the more severe cases, be on the lookout for:

  • Problems with your speech and hearing
  • Movement issues
  • Stiffness in a particular part of your face or body
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

 

In babies, the symptoms may vary:

  • Difficulty feeding
  • Irritability
  • Throwing up
  • Stiffness in their bodies
  • A soft spot on their heads that protrude

If you notice these symptoms, especially in babies, seek medical help immediately.

What causes Encephalitis?

While in most cases, Encephalitis is viral, no one can accurately pinpoint the actual cause of this disease. What is known is that there are two different types of Encephalitis.

  • Primary Encephalitis: This is caused by a direct attack on the brain itself by a viral agent. The viral agent could spread or stay still. In fact, the viral agent could lay silently in the brain in a dormant state.
  • Secondary Encephalitis: This occurs when you get an infection in another part of the body and your immune system begins to attack the healthy cells instead of only the infected cells.

What are the viral agents that cause Encephalitis?

  • Childhood infections: The viruses that cause diseases like the mumps and measles can escalate and cause secondary Encephalitis.
  • Ticks and Mosquitos: Viruses such as the Powassan, which is carried by ticks, and West Nile Virus, which is caused by mosquitos, can spiral into Encephalitis.
  • Herpes: Cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox, shingles and fever blisters, all carry viruses that could turn into Encephalitis.
  • Rabies: Commonly associated with being bitten by a rabid animal, this virus can cause an accelerated from of Encephalitis.
  • Enteroviruses: These viruses promote flu-like symptoms.

What are the risk factors associated with Encephalitis?

No one is exempt from getting Encephalitis. We are all included as candidates if we meet any of these criteria.

  • Seasons Change: Summertime is a perfect time for a mosquito and tick invasion.
  • Where You Live: In speaking about mosquitos and ticks, they love certain areas in the United States.
  • Systems Are Down: Your immune system, if found in a weakened state, can be a breeding ground for Encephalitis.
  • How Old Are You?: Certain cases of Encephalitis are more prevalent and more severe depending on the age of the infected person.

What are the severe complications can you expect from Encephalitis?

Depending on the severity of the Encephalitis, the list below can be long-term, or even PERMANENT.

  • Problems with your memory
  • Changes in your personality
  • Issues with your hearing, speech, and sight
  • Difficulties with muscle movement
  • Constant feeling of being tired
  • Paralysis

How can you determine the severity of the complications you have due to Encephalitis?

The following criteria is a great “measuring stick” when trying to figure out the severity of the complications you can get from Encephalitis.

  • Your age
  • The time between it took you to seek treatment after contracting Encephalitis.
  • How severe the Encephalitis was at the moment you got it.
  • The cause of your particular case of Encephalitis

What are the ways that you can prevent yourself from getting Encephalitis?

You can help yourself everyday against being Encephalitis’s next victim. Like my previous article THE MANGLING MENINGITIS, you can:

  • Mind your hygiene: Wash your hands often
  • Your eats are yours: Never share anything that goes into your mouth.
  • Shoot it down: Make sure you and your children have all their vaccinations.

But what about mosquitos and ticks?

In order to protect yourself and your children from the threat of viruses that cause Encephalitis that mosquitos and ticks carry, follow the following procedure.

  • Dress to repel: If you wear clothing that covers your arms and legs, mosquitos and ticks cannot get to you.
  • A spray a day…: Using repellent that contains permethrin will not only repel mosquitos and ticks, but kill them as well.
  • Keep away: Great advice. If you do not want to get bit, stay away from places they are known to be.
  • Useless water: Get rid of all water that is simply sitting in an area. Mosquitos love still water.
  • Look for the signs: If you look outside and notice sick or dying birds and animals, report it immediately to your local health department.

This wraps up another episode of STORMS IN THE BRAIN. Be on the lookout for our next segment where we look into EERIE EPILEPSY.

Please comment below and as always:

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY… AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU!!!

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STORMS IN THE BRAIN – PART 1: THE MANGLING MENINGITIS BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

meningitis pic

Welcome to my newest series STORMS IN THE BRAIN.

In this series, I will discuss the different diseases that the brain can have, the risk factors, what can be done for them, and, if possible, what can be done to prevent them.

Our first “Storm” in the brain is the MANGLING MENINGITIS.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis occurs when the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord become inflamed.

When this inflammation starts to swell, it can lead to headaches, fever, and even a stiffness in your neck.

What are the symptoms?

In the early stages of Meningitis, the symptoms may imitate those of the flu. These symptoms can take anywhere from a couple of hours or a couple of days to appear.

Symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Unexplained severe headache accompanied by throwing up
  • Stiffness of the neck
  • Lack of appetite
  • High fever that appears suddenly
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty sleeping

Symptoms vary somewhat for babies:

  • Poor feeding
  • Irritability
  • Colic
  • Sluggishness
  • Bodily stiffness
  • A small protrusion on the top of the baby’s head

 

What causes Meningitis?

There are three main causes of Meningitis: viral, bacterial, and fungal.

Viral Meningitis:

When this form of Meningitis hits, it is usually mild and temporary.

In the United States, these bacteria invade under the cover of enteroviruses that one gets from the late summer to early fall time.

In addition to these enteroviruses, herpes, West Nile Virus, mumps, and other viruses can also cause Meningitis.

Bacterial Meningitis:

When bacteria travel inside the bloodstream and drop themselves off at the brain and spinal cord, Bacterial Meningitis occurs.

However, that is not the only cause of Bacterial Meningitis.

The bacteria responsible for causing Bacterial Meningitis can make a direct attack against the central nervous system under the cover of an ear or sinus infection or even a skull fracture. Such an invasion of the central nervous system by these bacteria has even been known to happen after some surgeries (though quite rarely).

What are the bacterial invaders that cause Bacterial Meningitis?

Listeria Monocytogenes: This type of bacteria hides in unpasteurized food such as cheese and lunchmeats. Pregnant women, babies, and the elderly become the prime candidate for this type due to their weakened immune system. Pregnant women beware. This bacterial invader may be fatal to the unborn child especially if it attacks in the later terms of pregnancy. A vaccine is available to prevent this invader from causing problems.

Neisseria Meningitidis: A very popular bacteria among teenagers and young adults, these bacteria can quickly start an epidemic in military bases, boarding schools, and even college dorms. One of the main results of this bacterium is an upper respiratory infection. Like the previous bacteria, a vaccine is available to prevent this issue.

Maemophilus influenzae: Children, look out. Not too long ago, this bacterium was one of the leading causes of Bacterial Meningitis in children. However, now with the advance of medicine, a vaccine has evened the score.

Streptococcus pneumoniae: Now we arrive at the most common form of Bacterial Meningitis. This bacterium causes ear and sinus infections along with pneumonia. Luckily, a vaccine can help you prevent all that.

Now, unto the last common form of Meningitis:

 

Fungal Meningitis:

When one thinks about Meningitis, one does not normally think of a fungal cause. That is because of the rarity that this type of Meningitis occurs.

Though rarely seen, Fungal Meningitis attacks people who possess an immune deficiency and is fatal if the person infected does not use an antifungal medication.

Are there other causes of Meningitis?

Other than the ones listed above, Meningitis can also come from chemical reactions, allergies to medications, and certain forms of cancer.

Who makes a good candidate for contracting Meningitis?

  • Pregnant Women: These women are at a high risk of the listeria bacteria that may lead to Meningitis and can cause premature delivery, miscarriage, and even cause a baby to be stillborn
  • Vaccination Avoidance: Those who do not take all the recommended vaccinations, either child or adult, run the risk of contracting Meningitis.
  • Large settings: As mentioned above, military bases, boarding schools, and even college dorms are a great risk for Meningitis.
  • Immune deficiency: Also mentioned above, those with a weakened immune system are more susceptible to Meningitis.
  • Age: Viral Meningitis is common for babies while Bacterial Meningitis is common for those over 20

What complications can one expect from Meningitis?

As with any serious disease, the longer anyone has it, the more severe the disease becomes. Below is a list of some of the complications that arise with the onslaught of Meningitis.

  • Seizures
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of memory
  • Shock
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

 

 

Can Meningitis be prevented?

Even though medicine has advanced considerably over the years, Meningitis, as with other diseases, cannot be 100% prevented (e.g. problems with surgery, injury, or medications). However, there are steps we can take to make sure we are not vulnerable to this disease.

  • Adequate personal hygiene: Wash hands (and body) often, do not share drinks, food, utensils, toothbrushes or anything dealing with the mouth and lips.
  • Cover yourself: This is especially true when someone coughs or sneezes.
  • Raw Deal: Cook all foods and make sure the cheese you eat and the milk you drink or cook with is pasteurized.
  • Vaccinate: make sure your children get ALL the necessary vaccinations.

Well, that about wraps it up here. I hope you enjoy this and look forward next time for another Storm in the Brain where we will cover the EXACTING ENCEPHALITIS.

Please comment below.

And as always:

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY…AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU!!!

CLOTTING AROUND BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

CLOTTING AROUND

 

Blood clots.

A serious health risk.

Today we will be going over this threat and what we can do about them.

How does the blood clotting process go?

  • Little chunks of matter from in the blood when your blood vessels become These chunks are called platelets.

 

  • These platelets rush to the aid of the damaged vessel, bandage it up, and in turn, prevent too much blood leaving the vessel.

 

  • Once these platelets save the injured vessel, they emit proteins that attract other platelets. With the extra platelets, the cluster forms a kind of catcher’s mitt.

 

  • Other proteins in your body notice this platelet conspiracy and make sure that the cluster doesn’t get out of hand.

 

  • Once the damaged vessel has healed, the proteins dissolve and the cluster is no more.

 

What causes the clots to form?

  • Believe it or not, blood is actually quite intelligent. As the blood flows through the arteries, they sense damage wherever the damage may lie.

 

  • Plaque in your arteries can come open and cause the blood to clot as well. In fact, most of the heart attacks that come about are caused when plaque in the arteries burst.

 

  • Another way these blood clots can form is from the lazy When blood does not flow properly, it can lazily build up in a type of pool. This pool encourages all the platelets swimming in it to come together. This brings a host of medical issues. If the gathering happens near the heart, a heart attack can happen. If it happens in an artery near the brain, a Thrombotic Stroke may occur.

 

 

What are the symptoms to look out for if I suspect I have a blood clot?

 

  • unexplained swelling
  • discoloration on your skin
  • pain and tenderness
  • a sudden warming sensation

 

Can we stop this clotting?

 

There are medications we can take that stop the clotting process.

Below is a list of medicines of “platelet party poopers””

  • Low-dose Aspirin
  • Plavix
  • Brilinta
  • Effient
  • Ticlid

These medicines stop the platelets from calling other platelets to hang out with them.

To stop the blood from clotting, you can take blood thinners. Below is a list of some blood thinners you can take.

  • Equius
  • Pradaxa
  • Xarelto

 

There is also another drug that can help and it has a very long, technical, medical name. It’s called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA.

This drug calls upon and instructs a protein to break down the clot.

Are there any medical issues that can cause the blood to clot?

Glad you asked.

When you do not have the proper amount of proteins in your body that stop clots from forming, it leaves you defenseless against them.

Now that we know about these clots, what can we do to prevent them being a hazard to our health?

Stop the Clot:

  • Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar: Keep on top of them. Keep them under control. Keep checking them.
  • Smoking, Drinking, Drug Use: Stop them all.
  • Exercise: A lazy body runs with lazy blood and lazy blood breeds clots like still water breeds mosquitos

 

As with any medical issue, forewarned is forearmed.

If you suspect you may have a blood clot, or if you experience any of these symptoms, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY.

As always: Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

 

 

 

 

BON VOYAGE STROKE: BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

BON VOYAGE

 

We have finally reached our last article on strokes.

Today, I will help you understand the Transient Ischemic Attack (henceforth to be known as TIA).

This temporary condition causes no permanent damage.

There is no damage to brain tissue and no permanent disabling conditions.

The symptoms normally pass after a 24-hour period.

With the temporary conditions, some people breathe a sigh of relief.

However, do not be deceived.

One-third of TIA sufferers will suffer an even stronger stroke soon thereafter.

What are the symptoms of TIA?

The symptoms listed below can also indicate other medical issues (such as a stronger stroke), however, you should still look for the following:

  • Sight begins to be corrupted
  • Language becomes incoherent
  • Balance is difficult to keep
  • Confusion sets in
  • Faintness and dizziness surprises you
  • The ability to smell and taste things change
  • On one side of the body and/or face feels numb
  • An unexplained tingling sensation washed over you

If you experience all or any of these symptoms, SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY.

Considering the symptoms of TIA are temporary, how long do they last?

While we are all built differently, some people may experience symptoms for a minute, or even the entire day.

Some may even have symptoms disappear long before they even make it to the doctor.

Should your symptoms disappear before making it to your doctor, inform him or her of everything you experienced.

As with any stroke, you can readily identify the symptoms by using FAST. FAST is a set of criteria designed by the National Stroke Association.

What is FAST?

F= When the person smiles, notice whether or not the person’s face appears drooped

A= perform an ARM test. See if one of the arms appears to drift downward.

S= As you converse with the individual, notice if their SPEECH is incoherent

T= If yes to all the above, its TIME to call 911 and seek immediate medical assistance

Who would make a good candidate for TIA?

The risk factors, just as the symptoms of TIA are synonymous with other strokes and medical issues.

  • Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use:
  • High Blood Pressure, Sugar, and Cholesterol:
  • Obesity:

The symptoms of TIA are so intertwined with other strokes, that it is impossible for you to know which one you are having. This determination needs to be handled by a medical professional.

How can the doctors determine TIA?

A CT scan or an MRI is needed for the doctor to find out whether you are having a TIA or stroke. The CT or MRI takes a picture of your brain and from that image, the doctor will be able to see if the symptoms are temporary or not.

Treatment of TIA

The treatment of TIA focuses on medications designed for the improvement of blood flow to the brain.

Secondly, it involves the identification of abnormalities in the brain. This part of the treatment is necessary to lessen the risk of another TIA or stroke. The identification is normally done by surgical procedures.

The medications include the following:

  • Antiplatelet Drugs: such as aspirin and Plavix are used to make sure that the platelets in your blood don’t stick to each other causing a stoppage in the blood flow
  • Anticoagulant Drugs: Such as Warfarin and Xarelto are used to target the proteins that cause the blood clots from forming rather than attacking the platelets.

The surgical procedures include the following:

  • Carotid Intervention: This procedure involves a catheter that the doctor places inside the femoral artery that resides in your groin area. In addition, a stent is placed there to improve blood flow to the brain. If a clog is found in the artery, the doctor will then use a sort of balloon to widen the artery and unclog it.
  • Surgery: If you have narrow, carotid arteries in your neck, your doctor may perform a surgery known as Endarterectomy, which cleans up all the fat and deposits that are causing the problem.

Can we prevent TIA?

As with any kind of stroke, the prevention of TIAs remains the same:

  • Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use: Stop it.
  • High Blood Pressure, Sugar, and Cholesterol: Keep it low and have it checked often.
  • Obesity: Keep your weight under control.
  • Salt: Avoid it
  • Stress: Reduce it
  • Fried and Sugary Foods: Reduce if not stop eating them altogether
  • Fruits and Vegetables are your friends so eat more of them

TIAs, although temporary, deserves to be taken seriously. As with any medical issue, look out for the symptoms, keep or create regular check-ups, and don’t go blindly into an early grave.

I hope you enjoyed the series on strokes. Stay tuned for my next series. BRAIN DISEASES.

As always: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU!

 

BRAIN PAIN PART 2: EMBOLIC STROKE BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

BRAIN PAIN 2

 

Today, we will be going over the other part of Ischemic Strokes: EMBOLIC STROKES.

Clots that form in the body cause Embolic Strokes. The scariest part about Embolic Strokes is that the clots can form ANYWHERE in the body and make its way up the bloodstream to the brain.

Once found in the artery of the brain, the clot robs the brain of the necessary blood and oxygen it needs, thus causing a stroke.

How are these Embolic Strokes formed?

While the clots can form anywhere, they usually can be found in the heart or in the arteries that reside in the upper chest and neck.

Once these clots find a way, they travel north in the bloodstream only to rest in the artery in the brain and cause the brain to suffer from lack of blood and oxygen.

What should we look for as far as symptoms of Embolic Stroke?

Keeping in mind that we are all built differently, here are some of the most common symptoms of Embolic Stroke.

  • Lack of understanding words and difficulty speaking them.
  • Balance issues as well as walking trouble
  • Face, arms, and legs start and continue to feel numb
  • Momentary feeling that you cannot move at all
  • Issues with coordination
  • The person’s muscles become stiff
  • One side of the person’s body begins to feel weaker than the other
  • Person will complain about not being able to move an entire side of his or her body
  • Sudden state of confusion
  • Lethargic
  • Blurred or corrupted sight
  • Speech becomes slurred
  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Headaches that worsen
  • Nausea
  • The ability to swallow becomes more laborious

If you or someone you know has these symptoms, SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY!

How can we know that someone is have an Embolic Stroke and not something else?

Warning: the above symptoms may be caused, or lead to other medical issues.

Thanks to the National Stroke Association, they have come up with a way to help you find out whether you or someone you know is having a stroke.

They even developed an acronym to help you remember how to make that determination.

It’s called FAST.

F= When the person smiles, notice whether or not the person’s face appears drooped

A= perform an ARM test. See if one of the arms appear to drift downward.

S= As you converse with the individual, notice if their SPEECH is incoherent

T= If yes to all the above, its TIME to call 911 and seek immediate medical assistance

How can the doctor’s know that the individual is suffering from an Embolic Stroke?

In order to determine whether or not there is an Embolic Stroke, and to determine its severity, the doctor may use the following:

  • CT SCAN: this is used to check on the blood vessels located in the neck and brain regions.
  • MRI: an MRI is necessary in order to check for damages to any brain tissue that came from the Embolic Stroke.
  • CAROTID ULTRASOUND: The doctors use this to see how the blood flows and to find any fat trying to hide from sight in the carotid arteries.
  • Cerebral angiogram: if the doctors need to have a closer look inside your carotid arteries or even your vertebral arteries, they would use this
  • ECHOCARDIOGRAM: this device allows the doctor to use sound waves to find any blood clots that may have sneaked past other detections.
  • BLOOD TESTS: these tests determine how quickly and easily your blood clots, whether or not you have a chemical imbalance in the blood, how high your sugar level is, and if you have any kind of infection

To quote GI Joe (showing my age a little): Knowing is half the battle.

What issues can we expect after surviving an Embolic Stroke?

As I stated earlier, we are all built differently, so the complications that arise from Embolic Stroke may not affect all the survivors all the time.

  • The brain swells
  • Infections in the urinary tract
  • Bedsores especially having stayed in the hospital bed for an extended period of time
  • Pains in the shoulders
  • Muscles in your limbs become shortened due to lack of use
  • That’s right. Clots can form in your legs from having been still for so long
  • Issues with speaking and understanding others
  • Issues with the operation of one side of the body as well as “ghost pains.” Or strange sensations located on one side of the body

In keeping with the quote from GI Joe, if you know your risk, you can be better equipped to fight against being a candidate for Embolic Strokes.

What are the risk factors for Embolic Strokes?

  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol: keep an eye on these two and have them checked often
  • Smoking, drinking, and drug use: Stop them. They can kill you in more ways than one
  • Obesity: Lose the weight and feel great. This could mean the difference between a healthy life and one riddled with health
  • Lack of exercise: remember that a lazy body will have blood that’s lazy too.
  • Age: the older we get, the easier it is for issues to arise
  • Heart diseases: the more you go through, the more you become vulnerable to having other issues
  • Diabetes: keep that sugar regulated

This finishes our look at Ischemic Strokes.

For more information on blood clots, please check out my article entitled: CLOTTING AROUND

As always: Take care of your body, and it will take care of you.

BRAIN PAIN PART 1: THROMBOTIC STROKE BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

BRAIN PAIN 1

 

Today, we will be going over one of the two major acute Ischemic Strokes, the Thrombotic Stroke.

Thrombotic Strokes are caused by a blood clot forming in one of the brain’s arteries. There are two different types of Thrombotic Strokes:

  1. Large Vessel Thrombosis: In this particular case, the blood clot forms in one of the brain’s larger arteries.

And

  1. Small Vessel Disease: In contrast with the Large Vessel Thrombosis, the Small Vessel Disease is where the blood clot forms in one of the brain’s smaller arteries.

What are the factors that make someone a good candidate for Thrombotic Stroke?

  • High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Family History
  • Smoking

Now that we know who will be a good candidtate for Thrombotic Stroke, are there any signs to watch for?

Keep reading and find out.

Watch for the signs.

  • Weakness or even paralysis in a part of the body or an entire side of the body depending on where the clot forms.
  • Problems with vision and even total loss of vision
  • Balance and walking difficulties
  • Speech difficulties that may include a loss of verbal speech
  • The ablility to use your hands and arms become corrupted.
  • Severe headaches
  • Isssues with consciousness

Keep in mind that these signs maybe signs of something else. Once you experience these symptoms, seek medical help immiediately.

How is Thrombotic Stroke diagnosed?

Your doctor will want a picture of your brain via a CT scan or an MRI scan. This will help the doctor determine whether a clot exists or not.

Other ways that a doctor can find out whether you have a Thrombotic Stroke or not is using a chest X-ray, an echocardiogram, or a Doppler ultrasound.

The chest X-ray will reveal if you indeed have a Thromobic Stroke or something else.

The echocardiogram will reveal irregular heart rythyms. This will help him or her determing whether your stroke is Thrombotic or Embolic (Embolic Strokes explained in a future article.)

The Doppler ultrasound evaluates blood flow through blood vessels by the use of sound to create a picture of your large neck arteries called cartoid arteries. These arteries are responsible for sending blood and oxygen to the brain. https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=us-carotid

If the doctor opts for a CT scan and he or she discovers that there is bleeding on the brain, then what you have is a Hemorrhagic Stroke which is treated diffently than a Thrombotic Stroke.

For more information on Hemorrhagic Stroke, check out my article entitled BLOOD ON THE BRAIN.

An important note here: If you had a Throombotic Stroke, you are at a high risk of having another one.

Now that we know about Thrombotic Strokes, we will now discuss the steps we need to take in order to prevent us from falling victim to them.

Help Yourself Prevent Thrombotic Stroke:

While nothing in life is a “sure thing”, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting a Thrombotic Stroke if you follow these preventative measures.

  • High Blood Pressure Check: as with any kind of stroke or other medical issue, having your blood pressure checked could mean the difference between living healthy and dying young.
  • Cholesterol: As with High Blood Pressrue, keep your cholesterol in check and have it checked often.
  • Diabetes: if you are Diabetic, you already have one strike against you. So keep your sugar in check.
  • Excersise: Keep your blood pumping and stay active. A lazy person has lazy organs and lazy blood.
  • Diet: eat right, or Die from It.
  • Smoking: This will render you powerless against Thrombotic Strokes along with other medical issues.

Finally, we will look over the treatment options for Thrombotic Strokes

What are my Treatment Options?

Thrombotic Strokes are nothng to mess around with. If you even suspect that you are having one, or any other kind of medical issue, please: SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY.

Stay tuned for my next article where we will go over the other Ischemic Stroke: the Embolic Stroke.

Until then…

Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

THE STARVING BRAIN BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

STARVING BRAIN

 

Today’s article will deal with a stroke that happens when a particular part of the brain is deprived of the oxygen it needs in order to function.

This stroke is called Ischemic Stroke.

There are two different acute (or smaller) versions of Ischemic Strokes (Thrombotic and Embolic) which are caused by other factors. But for the purposes of this article, we will only be looking at the harder hitting Ischemic Stroke.

That being said, let’s get started.

What are the signs and symptoms of Ischemic Stoke?

  • Drooping in the face
  • Sudden downgrade of consciousness
  • Field of vision corrupted
  • loss of vision
  • double vision
  • your eyes making uncontrollable movements
  • Speech difficulties
  • lack of muscular control
  • weakness or complete paralysis on one side of the body

 

Considering that these symptoms could come by themselves, or be a part of something else, a neurological exam, which will more than likely include a CT scan, may be necessary. This exam will determine whether the person is actually suffering from Ischemic Stroke.

What should the neurological exam reveal about the presence of an Ischemic Stroke?

When a neurological exam is necessary, it must cover several criteria. Including:

  • Confirmation of the criteria for stroke which would include neurological deficits
  • Determining the difference between a stroke and other diseases that carry the same criteria.
  • Creating a standard for which the condition of the patient will either improve or decline from.
  • Aiding in the diagnosis and determination of the stroke’s severity and finding out what can be done about it.

Where does a neurological exam check in order to evaluate the Ischemic Stroke?

Now that we know that we need a neurological exam, where do they look for signs of Ischemic Stroke?

  • Motor functions
  • Deep tendon reflexes
  • Speech
  • Alertness and consciousness of the patient
  • Senses
  • Balance and manner of walking
  • Nerves in the brain

I cannot stress this enough:

IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OR ALL THESE SYMPTOMS, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY!!!

What about the therapies for those who survived an Ischemic Stroke?

  • dissolving clots (commonly called Fibrinolytic Therapy)
  • medicines like Plavix which prevent platelets from sticking together
  • a stent that expands arterial walls to promote blood flow (if dissolving the clot won’t work, this is used. this therapy is called Mechanical Thrombecomy)

What prevention strategies can we use against Ishemic Strokes?

For people with no previous history with this disease, prevention may include::

  • Statins (designed to lower your cholesterol)
  • an exercise plan
  • ceasing of smoking, alcohol consumption and drug use
  • antiplatelet medication to stop those platelets from messing with you

 

For people who do have a history of stroke and for those who have even survived one. prevention is similar to those who do not have a history of strokes with one additional part of therapy

  • medication designed to deal with hypertension called Antihypertensive

 

What can we do to help our chances not to have Ischemic Strokes?

  • Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Blood Sugar: keep them under control and have it checked often
  • Exercise: Remember the old adage: a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
  • Diet: healthy eating.

 

In our next article, we will discuss one of the minor cases of Ischemic Stroke the Thrombotic Stroke.

 

Until then:

 

Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

BLOOD ON THE BRAIN BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

 

BLOOD ON THE BRAIN PIC

In this article we will be discussing the bleeding Hemorrhagic Stroke.

 

What causes a stroke to bleed?

 

Inside your brain you have blood vessels. if these blood vessels should happen to rupture, they would release their blood into the brain causing immense pressure. This is commonly considered an aneurysm.

 

What would cause these blood vessels to rupture?

 

High blood pressure can cause the blood vessels to enlarge and rupture. Another way these blood vessels can enlarge and rupture due to high blood pressure is when the walls of the blood vessels become weak.

 

In extremely rarer cases, the arteries and veins that allow these blood vessels fail to be connected by capillaries. This could be evident even at birth though these cases are not hereditary.

 

What are the symptoms of Hemorrhagic Stroke?

 

Symptoms will vary from person to person cause we are all made differently. You may not experience all or any of these symptomes:

 

  • nausea
  • immediate and extreme headache
  • seizures
  • dizziness and balance issues
  • problems with your mouth such as problems speaking or swallowing
  • disorientation
  • numbness in certain parts of the body (face, leg, arm) or even numbness on an entire side of the body

 

What can be done about Hemorrhagic Strokes?

 

It is vital that you receive immediate medical assistance. In order to be free from this type of stroke, the bleeding that is causing pressure on your brain must be controlled and obviously reduced.

 

It is possible that you can get on medication that can slow down if not reduce the blood pressure and\or the bleeding. This medication is called blood thinners.

 

If you ever have a Hemorrhagic Stroke while on these blood thinners, then you would be at a high risk of bleeding too much.

 

Once this occurs, you will need emergency help and be placed on more medication that counteracts the effects of the blood thinners.

 

Is there anything we can do to prevent these Hemorrhagic Strokes?

 

While there is no definitive way of preventing a Hemorrhagic Stroke in its entirety, there are factors that we can avoid in order to reduce the likelihood that we will fall victim of it.

 

  • High Blood Pressure: The main culprit of these strokes. Keep your blood pressure in check and have it checked often.
  • Alcohol and Drug Use: These are considered to be contributing factors of Hemorrhagic Strokes. Stop drinking and using.
  • Blood Thinners: A surprising fact: although blood thinners reduce your risk of Ishemic Stroks, they could increase your chance of having a Hemorrhagic Stroke.

 

If you have any of these factors, or experiece any of the symptoms listed in this article, I strongly urge you to seek medical help immediately.

 

Don’t play with your life. The best defencse is knowledge.

 

Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

STRUCK OUT WITH STROKE BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

STRUCK OUT

Recently, my mother called me to tell me she survived a mini-stroke. Her speech seemed muddled and incoherent. Almost immediately, thoughts began rushing through my head.

Is she dying?

What else is wrong that my mother was not telling me?

Is there anything either her or her and my stepfather could do to help her bounce back from this mini-stroke?

During the course of the next several articles, we will find out the different forms of strokes, their causes, treatments both in and out of the hospital, as well as what we can do to prevent a stroke from even happening.

I. What is a Stroke?

Blood flows to the brain carrying the necessary oxygen it needs to survive and thrive. However, when that blood flow stops, the oxygen cannot reach that part of the brain. In that case, the blood cells in that part of the brain begin to suffocate and eventually die. What’s even worse is that the functions that part of the brain controls die with it. This leads to a variety of problems such as memory loss, loss of motor function, numbness to an entire side of the body, and it can even lead to death.

II. What are the different types of strokes?

A. ISCHEMIC STROKESThis is the most common of the strokes.

B. HEMORRHAGIC STROKES: Bleeding in the brain.

C. TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACKS (or TIA): The lighter side of strokes.

III. What causes these types of strokes?

A. Ischemic Strokes are caused by a fat-like substance known as plaque collecting in your arteries which can not only slow the flow of blood to the brain, but it can also stop it altogether. There are 2 different types of Ischemic Strokes.

1. Thrombotic Strokes: These are caused by the plaque clots that form in the artery in charge of supplying blood to your brain.

2. Embolic Strokes: These type of strokes can form somewhere else in your body and travel to your brain and stop the flow of blood going there.

B. Hemorrhagic Strokes are caused when there is bleeding inside your brain that causes damage to all cells that are nearby. Also, this particular stroke can be caused by an abnormality in blood vessels that open up and bleed.

C. Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) are caused by a minor block of blood flow in your brain. This stroke typically last only a short time.

IV. What are the symptoms of these strokes?

A. Ischemic Strokes: With these types of strokes, you may experience confusion and loss of memory, problems with speaking and vision, and weakness especially in the arms and legs not to mention dizziness, loss of coordination and balance.

B. Hemorrhagic Strokes: These types of strokes can be accompanied by confusion along with an intense headache, nausea, passing out, along with issues with his vision.

C. Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA): These “drive-by strokes” come with dizziness, trouble with your vision and speech, headaches, confusion, and can even render one side of your body completely numb.

Knowing what we now know, who are the like candidates for a stroke? Read on.

V. Stroke Candidates

While each stroke type may carry its own criteria for candidates, there are several common threads that tie them together.

1. Age: As we get older, our bodies begin breaking down and becoming more susceptible to injury and sickness

2. High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can cause a stroke by damaging the brain cells responsible for delivering oxygen to the brain and causing them to rupture. Also, high blood pressure can cause your blood to clot. Delivering the same result of the brain not getting the oxygen it needs.

3. Smoking: Another brain cell killer. By smoking, you ingest chemicals that go from your lungs into the bloodstream. These chemicals disrupt, damage, and even kill the cells in the blood that delivers oxygen to the brain causing a great risk of strokes. As if that was not enough, smoking also causes you to lose HDL, commonly called the good cholesterol making you defenseless against the threat of a stroke.

More bad news for smokers who do not wish to have a stroke. By the ingestion of the chemicals found in cigarettes, you run the risk of damaging your arterial walls and the chemicals also affect the production of platelets in the blood making it more likely for the blood to clot. Which we know after reading this article, the clotting of the blood prevents the brain from getting the oxygen it needs thus causing strokes.

Now that you know how we unintentionally make ourselves vulnerable to strokes, what can we do, outside of the hospital, that can help us treat, and perhaps lower your risk of becoming stroke’s latest victim? Here are a few suggestions.

VI. Preventative Measures

1. Check your blood pressure: Strokes aside, knowing what your blood pressure is and having it checked often, could mean the difference between life and death.

2. Smoking kills: Quit em if you got em. Don’t start if you haven’t.

3. Lose weight, feel great: One of the biggest problems in America today. Obesity causes high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Beware. You will be a great candidate for stroke if you don’t keep your weight under control.

Be active: Keep that blood pumping. Not to mention the weight loss benefits of exercise.

5. Sweet blood: Know your blood sugar levels and your cholesterol.

6. Diet: lower your intake of salt and potassium. Your body will thank you for it.

7. Warning, warning: Keep an eye out for the warning signs. If trouble arises, seek medical attention.

Well, there you have it.

Never take symptoms lightly. If you even suspect you are having any of the symptoms, you should get to a doctor immediately. It could mean the difference between life and death.

Don’t let a stroke strike you out. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

A CUSHING THOUGHT BY: CHRISTIAN MIKE SIMMONS

A CUSHING THOUGHT

This image highlights where your adrenal glands are located

A staff member in the place where I work announced that she was going to her doctor today. She mentioned that she had an adrenal adenoma.

Almost immediately, thoughts began rushing through my mind.

“Sounds serious.”

“Is it fatal?”

“Will she be ok?”

When I heard this news, I began my search for the answers. I simply had to know everything about adrenal adenoma.

Adrenal Adenoma is a non-cancerous tumor located in the cerebral cortex of the adrenal gland.

The non-cancerous tumor is caused by an abundance of hormones that take up space in the adrenal glands, instead of moving the body.

CT SCAN

This is a CT scan of adrenal adenoma

Cushing Syndrome, along with several other serious conditions can result from the collection of these unmoved hormones.

Doctors cannot find a cause of these adenomas.

Symptoms of Adrenal Adenoma.

  1. The symptoms vary depending on the function of the hormones being accumulated.

 

  1. Aldosterone – An over-abundance of this hormone can cause high blood pressure and low potassium levels. The high levels of this hormone, have also been linked to Conn’s Disease.

 

  1. Conn’s Disease is caused by the extreme collection of aldosterone. The clever thing about this particular adenoma is that it hides in high blood pressure, which can be caused by a number of other things like poor diet rather than Conn’s Disease.

 

  1. Cortisol – The hormones that collect themselves in your adrenal gland that carry this function, cause a rise in your weight. This can be found in your belly and make your head appear to be more round. This hormone collection also can cause mood swings and make you a good candidate for Diabetes. Also, by this hormone collection, it could lead to Cushing Syndrome.

 

  1. Cushing Syndrome is when the cortisol in your body becomes excessively abundant in your adrenal glands. This can corrupt the functionality of a number of your body’s systems. While it is possible for Cushing Syndrome to be cured, your body may need time to recover from the lack of proper function.

 

  1. Sex Hormones – The over-grouping of these hormones have different effects on the different sexes.

 

  1. Females – Too much testosterone can cause you not to have any menstrual cycles as well as hair loss.

 

  1. Males – Too much estrogen can cause a decreased sex drive and even problems getting an erection.

 

However, there are a couple of genetic conditions that exist for those who are more likely to have them.

Who’s a Good Candidate?:

 

  1. Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia – This is a rare condition caused by non-cancerous tumors located in the endocrine system. The hormones released from the endocrine system control many different and important functions of the body.

 

  1. Symptoms of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia – More often than not, these non-cancerous tumors may not even carry warning signs. In fact, you may be unaware that you even have them. If you have these types of non-cancerous tumors, you are more likely to get non-cancerous tumors in your adrenal glands as well.

 

  1. Familial Adenomatous Polyposis – This rare condition is caused by the presence of an over-abundance of polyps that grow in your large intestine, as well as your upper respiratory tract. This too will make you a good candidate for Adrenal Adenomas.

Treatment for Adrenal Adenomas:

  1. Surgery – If the adenoma is not functioning, your doctor will not likely suggest any procedure.

 

  1. However, if the adenoma is alive and well, your doctor may suggest that total removal of the gland and the adenoma may be in order. This removal is done through small holes made in your body.

 

  1. If the adenoma proves cancerous, your doctor will have to perform open surgery.

 

  1. Medicine – In some cases, a hormone stopping medication may be the answer to prevent the function of the hormones or their accumulation.

The important thing to note here is that the tumors are NON-CANCEROUS. These tumors may not be malignant, but they can sure make your life a living hell.

That being said, I strongly urge anyone that has any of these conditions to follow the doctor’s suggestions and stay healthy.