Prevention and Reducing The Risk Factors of Stroke

If a clot clogs a vessel in the brain, it often has serious consequences for the patient. But the risks for a stroke can be influenced. What role do blood pressure, diet and exercise play? Sport can positively influence risk factors for stroke, for example, prevent high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

It’s raining. Instead of the Alps in the Upper Bavarian Aschau all around today only cloud mountains can be seen. No weather for a walk. Therese Schmid (66) is still on the way. “It can not always be the sun,” she says. Twice a week, she and her husband travel the distance from their home to the school. Not to learn, but because they are taking part in a study.

“Pressure down, activity up!” is the name of the prevention project in which older citizens from the village accompany children on their way to school. “Above all, we are interested in whether something can be done to combat high blood pressure – the most important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as stroke,” says the prevention researcher. Birgit Böhm from the Technical University of Munich, who supervises the project.

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The lifestyle plays an important role

Stroke is one of the biggest threats to health in Germany. Every year, it affects around 270,000 people. The circulatory disorder of the brain usually occurs when a vessel in the head is narrowed or closed. Rarer is a brain haemorrhage behind it. For those affected, the consequences are often dramatic. No other event is responsible for so many cases of disability. The acute treatment of stroke has made progress in recent years. Even more important is the prevention.

“The studies clearly show that many risk factors can be well influenced by the individual lifestyle,” says Professor Bernhard Krämer, CEO of the German Society for Hypertension and Prevention. Which factors are, researchers examined the data from more than 13 000 stroke patients from 32 countries. Result of this so-called interstroke analysis: Nine out of ten attacks are directly or indirectly related to the lifestyle. Most would be avoidable.

Prevention clarifies the risk factors of a stroke

Number one in the risk ranking is hypertension. The affected person is not always aware of this. Expert Krämer explains to patients that hypertension can damage the blood vessels throughout the body – including those in the brain. However, if you go against him, the stroke risk drops. “Ideally, patients with exercise, weight reduction and a low-salt diet can bring about a significant improvement,” says Krämer. However, antihypertensive drugs are also often included.

When developing a stroke, various risk factors are closely linked. Lack of exercise, for example, also contributes to obesity. Both in turn promote diabetes and bad lipid levels – further risk factors for an attack. These connections are also in the Aschauer prevention project. Scientist Böhm works closely with a local pharmacy. “We advise people who have cardiovascular diseases here every day, so a healthy lifestyle and preventive care are very important to us,” says pharmacist Claudia Zangerl.

Together with Böhm, she organized two action days around the topic of cardiovascular health. Most of the study participants were found. “The willingness to talk about one’s own health is very high in the pharmacy, which is why prevention is in good hands there,” explains Böhm. Four times over the course of one and a half years, study participants are examined and their blood pressure is measured. Everyone gets an activity tracker that counts every step and monitors the heart rate. At least 10,000 steps a day, the subjects should go. Whether the values ​​can be lowered – as hoped – will be demonstrated in the coming year.

These measures reduce the risk of stroke
    • Lower your blood pressure, For experts the most important step. Good values can reduce the risk by up to 40 percent.
    • Stop smoking, Every fifth attack could be avoided if patients overcome their nicotine addiction.
    • Eat healthy and balanced, Lots of vegetables, fruits and fish, little salt – that protects the vessels. Another tip: drink little or no alcohol
    • Move enough, This benefits the cardiovascular system. In addition, the risk of hypertension, obesity and metabolic diseases decreases.
Risk factor atrial fibrillation: Listen to the heartbeat

But not all risk factors are as effective as hypertension. For example, atrial fibrillation also increases the risk. However, this widespread cardiac arrhythmia is often not discovered. “Cardiologists often do not see such patients until they have the first stroke,” says Dr. Philipp Sommer from the Heart Center Leipzig. When atrial fibrillation, the heart gets out of rhythm, it beats rhythmically and often clearly too fast. About 15 percent of all attacks are caused by it.

“Due to the irregular pumping activity, blood clots form in the heart, which in turn can block vessels in the brain,” explains expert Sommer. For a previous diagnosis, it would be important for people over 65 to “listen to their heart” more often. Because many sufferers feel the atrial fibrillation as a somewhat irregular, faster heartbeat. “You can then feel the pulse on your wrist and have any irregularities clarified,” explains Sommer. Sphygmomanometers also sometimes help to detect rhythm problems. “If the arrhythmia detection signal shines more often, you should take it seriously and go to the doctor,” says the cardiologist.

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Prevention: It is never too late for exercise and healthy nutrition

This causes an ECG or long-term ECG in case of suspicion. After diagnosis, patients receive medications that inhibit blood clotting. This so-called anticoagulation offers in many cases good protection against clots in the heart. Even if someone has to take medicines, it is not too late for prevention, says Sommer. The risk factor model is not static, but dynamic. “It is also with one or more risk factors in your own hands to influence the risk cheap – and remains his own luck blacksmith!”

Study participant Therese Schmid has internalized this. The activity tracker on the wrist is still a motivation. “You can see exactly how much or how little you move.” When she sees her on the display in the evening, that she just can not keep up with the steps, she goes to an extra round with her husband. “We have become almost a bit ambitious.”

These three values ​​count for the risk of stroke:
    • Blood pressure: Values ​​below 140/90 mmHg are usually considered ideal.
    • Blood fat: Without further risk factors, the total cholesterol should be below 200 mg / dl, the LDL below 160 mg / dl.
    • Blood sugar: Diabetics must discuss their individual goals with the doctor.
With this emergency rule also lay people recognize a stroke

If it comes to a stroke, the time runs for the person concerned. “Time is brain, in German time is brain – this is the most important rule for acute care,” says Professor Heinrich Audebert from the Center for Stroke Research at the Charité Berlin. As soon as the brain is no longer adequately supplied with oxygen, the nerve cells are mass-extinguished. Millions of them can be irretrievably lost, neural connections no longer work.

The faster the patient gets to the hospital, the better the damage can be limited. For years experts have worked to reduce the time between stroke and hospital admission. “Many sufferers first visit their family doctor instead of calling the emergency doctor right away,” says Professor Darius Nabavi of the German Stroke Society. As a result, valuable time is lost.

The so-called FAST test can help to interpret the most important symptoms correctly. However, there are other signs that the test does not capture. For example, suddenly appearing balance disorders, one-sided numbness, dizziness, unconsciousness or sudden onset of extreme headache. Vision problems can also occur, including temporary blindness.

In case of such symptoms also call the ambulance – even if the symptoms disappear again or subside. They can be harbingers of a stroke. Meanwhile, apparently more people recognize the symptoms – and call the emergency doctor directly. Figures from Baden-Württemberg show that as late as 2006, one-third of stroke patients reached the clinic via the family doctor. Ten years later, this share has halved.

What Causes Anxiety Disorder And 11 Overlooked Symptoms Often

Many people suffer from a type of anxiety disorder, but most people do not talk about it. If we do not talk about our mental health, it’s hard to understand. Some people may try to relax their fears by telling them to take a deep breath and hold on. Some fears never fade, and we have to learn to deal with their negative effects.

Fears are more than just disturbing thoughts. Although anxiety disorders are classified as a mental illness, this is not just a mental illness, as anxiety also harms the body. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can also manifest in the form of another physical illness. Therefore, it is so important to recognize the warning signs in order to get a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Anxiety disorders can be scary, and if you have a panic attack for the first time, you might think it is a heart attack.

Other diseases that have similar symptoms to anxiety include balance disorders and asthma. Instead of silently suffering from your fears, you should describe your symptoms to a doctor or therapist so that you can treat your problem before it gets worse.

When you have an anxiety disorder, your brain sees threats everywhere, even when there is no danger. Your body will switch to the combat-or-flight mode, which has ensured the survival of our species. However, if you do not avoid danger and feel threatened, this protection mechanism can quickly damage your body.

Some people may intuitively realize that their physical symptoms are caused by their fears, but others find it hard to determine why their bodies are always hurting and why they feel their hearts pounding against their chest even when they are not doing any physical exercise.

The most common physical symptoms of an anxiety disorder include sweating, shortness of breath, and irregular heartbeat, but some people simply ignore these symptoms or attribute them to another cause.

However, if you also have muscle stiffness, tension in the neck and back, headaches or dizziness, you are very likely to have an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety also affects your digestive system, which can cause upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, and frequent urination.

anxiety-symptoms

Here is a checklist of all 11 anxiety symptoms you need to watch out for:

    1. Pounding heart or irregular heartbeat
    2. Muscle stiffness and pain
    3. Neck and back pain
    4. Dizziness
    5. Headache
    6. stomach pain
    7. Diarrhea
    8. shortness of breath
    9. sweating
    10. Frequent urinary frequency
    11. Heartburn

If you suffer from anxiety, you should try not to panic, as this may worsen your symptoms. By constant fear of a panic attack, you could actually trigger one.

While this may be troubling, you may find comfort in knowing that your fears can be mitigated. Through physical, mental and even medical treatment, you can achieve a more positive lifestyle. All you have to do is take the first step by asking your doctor for help.

Depression, Burnout And Bipolar Disorder

Losses and stressful changes or challenges are part of life. They make us feel sad, lonely, depressed. Often, such a stressful situation can be sustained and processed. If not, then it comes to a depression. This differs from a current mood low: Who suffers from depression, is only limited resilient and everyday tasks can not be mastered.

Depression – and its special forms – can affect everyone, regardless of age, gender, occupation and personal circumstances. Those affected are not losers, not lazy or self-pitying, they suffer from a serious illness. If it is recognized, it is treatable in most cases. It is important to talk about depression.

How is depression manifested?

Depression usually begins slowly. This makes it so difficult to recognize. The main hallmarks are a persistent or recurring sad mood, the feeling of inner emptiness, thinking, concentration and sleep disorders. The resulting emotional, physical and mental fatigue can also make you irritable, angry and inwardly restless. Depression can lead to loss of appetite and significantly reduce or even reduce the craving for physical closeness and sexuality. Depressed people lose the joy and interest in life. Everyday tasks, work commitments, leisure activities, social contacts are increasingly neglected. The need for retreat becomes central, many affected people can hardly get out of the house, resp. to get out of bed and spend a lot of time sleeping. Also physical complaints can occur without professionals can determine a cause for it. Depression has many faces, different symptoms are different. Excessive alcohol, drug or drug use is partly a self-healing attempt to deal with depression or anxiety. 

Depression varies in severity

There are mild, moderate and severe depression. In mild depression, the expectations of the private and professional environment can usually be met, from the outside is often not apparent. In a moderate depression, it is already difficult. It increasingly comes to errors, unreliability, failures. Agreements and appointments are increasingly being canceled. In case of a severe depression, almost everything is neglected. Everyday tasks such as getting up, showering, going to the toilet, cooking, eating, cleaning, etc. are almost impossible. Social contacts are no longer maintained.

What is a burnout?

Burnout means burned out, overwhelmed, totally exhausted. These symptoms also correspond to those of diagnosed depression. Burnout, however, makes a difference in the cause. It is believed that fatigue is primarily due to persistent stress at work (even unpaid). It is therefore a work-related disorder that involves both additional workloads in gainful employment as well as in educational and family work and the care of demented parents. A burnout is also called exhaustion depression.

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A special form: the bipolar disorder

There are people who go through depressive phases, but in addition they experience something completely different: phases in which they are doing extremely well. One speaks then of a bipolar affective disorder (= manic-depressive illness). In the manic phases, those affected do things that they would never otherwise do: spending money, for example, exceeding their financial resources enormously, or quitting the job overnight. At the same time, sleep is extremely reduced. People in mania lose their sense of reality, feel constrained by normal social boundaries and disregard them. Often it comes during the manic phase to a hospital admission.

The change from mania to depression is often sudden. Some sufferers have only one manic episode. In the majority, however, it comes to repetitions, often spread over several years. 

What helps with a depressive illness?

Mental illnesses are treatable. For most, a combination of psychotherapy, medication and family counseling is the most effective. In seasonal depressions, light therapies may promote recovery. In a bipolar disorder is often not a psychotherapy in the strict sense, but a coaching, which is very practice-oriented. The focus is on disease awareness and disease acceptance. During a burnout, relaxation procedures and mindfulness-based therapies have become established.

Source: Observer Guide “Quite Different” by Thomas Ihde-Scholl

 

 

No diagnoses on the internet :

Symptoms often occur in healthy people.

The description of conditions on the Internet sometimes causes people to feel that they have the disease they are describing, because some symptoms apply to them. Many symptoms can also occur in healthy people or be related to other diseases. If you suspect that you are suffering from the condition described above, you should definitely contact a competent specialist. Only this can make a correct diagnosis.

How To Treat Fear And Anxiety Disorder (Phobia)

Fear is a natural reaction in which the body and psyche adjust to a potential danger. Strong feelings of anxiety can also be a burden in everyday life. In this case one speaks of an anxiety disorder.

What is fear?

Everybody knows the feeling of fear. In threatening situations it appears: the pulse accelerates, the blood pressure rises, the hands sweat. One breates faster and flatter, sometimes even starts to shiver, or one becomes sick with fear. In this situation, the psyche is in a state of extreme tension – ready to react with lightning speed to fight or flight.

Fear or anxiety disorder?

Fear is a body-own alarm system that has ensured survival for humans and animals over thousands of years. Even today, fear protects us from taking on too many risks and sometimes mobilizes unforeseen forces. However, people often feel irrational fears, which they tend to block: test anxiety, stage fright, and fear of spiders, for example, are widespread. Sometimes, however, anxiety increases to such an extent that it severely restricts the person affected in their everyday lives – a simple fear becomes an anxiety disorder requiring treatment. If fear is related to a particular object or situation, it is also called a phobia. A series of questionnaires and tests are used to help doctors determine if anxiety and panic attacks are pathological and in need of treatment.

Anxiety disorder: a common mental health problem

About fifteen percent of adults in Germany suffer from an anxiety disorder. This makes anxiety disorders one of the most prevalent mental health problems.

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What forms of fear are there?

    • Specific phobias: People with a specific phobia are more likely to be afraid of specific objects or situations, such as spiders (arachnophobia), confined spaces (claustrophobia), or doctor spraying (trypanophobia). This also includes social phobias in which the people concerned avoid different social situations because they are afraid of other people or their devaluation and rejection.
    • Generalized anxiety disorder: In a generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety is not focused on specific triggers, but there is a continuing fear and anxiety about threatening events in the future, such as accidents and illnesses. If the anxiety symptoms are of a shorter duration (three instead of six months) associated with two (rather than at least three) different physical symptoms, and the affected person’s concerns are still controllable, then it is called a subsyndromal anxiety disorder rather than a generalized anxiety disorder.
    • Panic Attacks: A special form of anxiety disorder is panic disorder. Here sufferers suffer from sudden panic attacks that do not have to have a specific trigger. The fear of panic attacks often limits everyday life even further.

What therapies for anxiety and panic attacks?

For all three types of anxiety, different treatment guidelines apply. For specific phobias, behavioral therapy is usually recommended. In generalized anxiety disorder, drugs from the group of SSRIs or SNRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) are prescribed. In a subsyndromal anxiety disorder, herbal medicines can provide relief. In case of panic attacks psychotherapy and support by sedative drugs are the drugs of choice.

Anxiety Disorder: When to the doctor?

Frequently, those affected seek medical help only very late, because they believe that they do not want to be taken seriously by the family doctor or shy away from having to undergo neuropathic treatment. In cases of internal restlessness, feelings of anxiety and the resulting sleep disturbances, it is advisable to try therapy with anxiety-relieving herbal medicines such as lavender oil. If the anxiety disorder restricts the affected person in his or her life, immediate medical help should be sought.