Are you at risk for a stroke?

Agassiz Community Health Centre offering risk assessments

Your brain is the most complex organ in your body. It consists of more than 100 billion specialized nerve cells called neurons and it acts as a command centre for everything you do, think, sense and say. These neurons depend on the blood vessels in your brain for oxygen and nutrients. Neurons cannot duplicate or repair themselves.

A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. It is caused by the interruption of flow of blood to the brain (ischemic stroke) or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The interruption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels causes brain cells (neurons) in the affected area to die.

The effects of a stroke depend on where the brain was injured, as well as how much damage occurred. A stroke can impact any number of areas including your ability to move, see, remember, speak, reason and read and write. In a small number of cases, stroke-like damage to the brain can occur when the heart stops (cardiac arrest). The longer the brain goes without oxygen and nutrients supplied by blood flow, the greater the risk of permanent brain damage. Brain injuries can also result in uncontrolled bleeding and permanent brain damage. This is usually referred to as an Acquired Brain Injury.

Every year, approximately 50,000 Canadians will have a stroke; that’s one stroke every 10 minutes. Stroke is also the third leading cause of death in Canada. But, by recognizing and responding immediately to any signs of stroke and calling 9-1-1, survival and recovery can be significantly improved.

So then, how can you recognize that you are having a stroke?

Here are five warning signs:

1) weakness – sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary,

2) trouble speaking – sudden difficulty speaking or understanding or sudden confusion, even if temporary,

3) vision problems – sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary,

4) headache – sudden severe and unusual headache, and

5) dizziness – sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs.

Of course, you cannot control your family history, age, gender or ethnicity. But fortunately, you can do something about other factors that could increase your risk of having a stroke, including obesity, diet, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

Knowing your stroke risk factors, following your doctor’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. Are you at risk? The first step to finding out is to meet with one of the professionals at the Agassiz Community Health Centre. They can do a personalized risk assessment and work with you to prepare a customized action plan for healthy living so you can do all you can to prevent a stroke.

Call 604-703-2030 for an appointment, today.

– Agassiz Community Health Centre

Just Posted

Proper engagement needed for quarry development: expert

Impact on residents, species should be communicated, evaluated

Wildlife centre operator concerned about leg-hold traps

Elizabeth Melnick of Abbotsford says contraptions are injuring innocent animals

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP members named to Alexa’s Team

Team honours officers working to keep drunk drivers off the roads, in honour of girl killed in 2008

Festival society releases full lineup for 40th Harrison Festival of the Arts

Legendary singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and rock band Chilliwack among performers at 2018 festival

Semi-rollover closes traffic on Highway 1

Vehicle incident east of No. 3 road has shut down highway in both directions

Residents mobilize to halt quarry development

News that an application was sent to the province proposing a construction… Continue reading

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Hockey for Humboldt charity game Friday

Event in Maple Ridge will benefit bus tragedy victims

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Sunset Beach Park to close for 10 weeks to repair damage from 4-20 event

Vancouver Parks Board said a fence will be placed around the damaged field for ‘major rehabilitation’

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

Police probe cause after skateboarder dies in collision with semi-truck

New Westminster police say its not certain whether the skateboarder was in crosswalk or near it

Most Read