Memorize the Tell-Tale Signs of a Stroke

Our Friday Health Alert, Low Levels of Super-Vitamin Doubles Stroke Risk, highlighted a 27-year study in Finland linking low levels of vitamin D-3 to increased risk of stroke by up to 50%!

A good friend and long-time customer, Kai Tozer in Hawaii, forwarded to me a fabulous article on how to recognize the warning signs of a stroke.  Commit these to memory – you might just save someone’s life!

Did You Know?

Each year an estimated 600,000 Americans experience a stroke (an interruption of the blood supply to any part of the brain) resulting in damaged brain tissue – and 160,000 of the victims die. If the stroke does not immediately send you to the grave, you are often left with lifelong debilitating infirmities of speech, movement and even thought.

The warning signs of a stroke are:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Do not take these warning signs lightly.  If you do happen to suffer a stroke, seek emergency medical attention immediately.  The effects of a stroke can be minimized or even reversed, but only if you receive medical attention within 3 hours!

“A woman attending a BBQ picnic stumbled and took a little fall.  The hosts offered to call the paramedics, but she assured everyone that she was fine, she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and a new plate of food and while she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.

Jane’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital and Jane passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ.

Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would still be alive today.

The Three-Point (now Four-Point) Test

Remember the first three letters of Stroke:  STR (Smile, Talk, Raise your Arms)

If the individual has trouble performing any of the following tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and explain that you believe the victim is currently having a stroke. Time is of the essence – the victim must receive medical attention within 3 hours for a chance to reverse or limit the effects of a stroke.

  1. Ask them to smile – if the person cannot form a smile on both sides of the mouth, or one or both sides of the mouth and/or faces seem to “droop,” these are major signs of a stroke.
  2. Ask them to repeat a simple sentence – like, “My name is Jane Smith”. If the person has slurred speech, has trouble forming words, or appears to be speaking but no words or audible noises are heard (called aphasia) this is also another major sign of a stroke.
  3. Ask them to raise and lower both arms – if the person cannot raise their arms, complains of numbness or tingling, or tells you they are raising their arm when they are clearly not, this is another sign of a stroke; however, this can also indicate a heart attack – in which case, you should call 9-1-1 immediately, anyway.

If they do not seem to understand what you are saying or respond with nonsensical answers, this is also a sign of a stroke. Remember, time is of the essence; call for help immediately if any of these symptoms are apparent.

And the fourth test is Tongue.

  • Ask the  person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, going to one side or the other, this also an indication of a  stroke.

Researchers are urging the general public to learn to ask these three questions quickly, to someone they suspect of having a stroke.  Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of a stroke, and prevent permanent brain damage.

And don’t forget your Vitamin D-3 to dramatically lower your risk of strokes in the first place!

As always, here’s to your Contagious Health

Dr. G

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