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.


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