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Get to know your stroke risk with these 10 tests

Stroke can come unexpectedly. No one can really estimate when a stroke will strike. However, there are several ways to recognize the risk of stroke in a person, namely by testing.

Some medical tests for stroke are relatively simple, you can even do it yourself at home. By doing a test, you find out how likely you are to have a stroke.

Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted or completely reduced, so the brain tissue lacks oxygen and nutrients. This can damage or kill brain cells. Different parts of the brain control different bodily functions, so strokes can affect almost all parts of the body. Although it is difficult to predict the appearance of a stroke, you can find out the symptoms of a mild stroke or a symptom of a stroke.

The following ten tests might help identify your risk of stroke:

1. Auscultation of the heart

When auscultating the heart, the doctor will listen to your heart using a stethoscope. Your heart sounds can help your doctor identify whether you have a problem that involves one of the heart valves or an irregular heartbeat.

Heart valve problems and heart rhythm problems are known to cause blood clots that lead to strokes. Fortunately, heart valve disease and heart rhythm can be treated after being detected.

In some cases, if you have an abnormal heart sound, you may need another medical heart test, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or echocardiogram.

2. ECG

The ECG monitors your heart rhythm by using small metal discs that are superficially positioned on the chest skin. This test does not hurt and does not involve needles, and does not require you to take any medication.

When you do an ECG test, a wave pattern that adjusts to your heart rate will be seen on the computer. This wave pattern can be printed on paper, then given to the doctor for analysis. If your heart rate or heart rhythm is abnormal, this can put you at risk of stroke.

3. Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasonography (USG) of the heart that is used to observe the movement of the heart. This tool can record heart movements, and does not require injections.

Usually an echocardiogram takes longer than an ECG. If you decide to take an echocardiogram, your doctor may recommend that you consult further with a cardiologist.

4. Blood pressure

More than 3/4 cases of stroke begin with hypertension. A person is said to have hypertension if his blood pressure is more than 140/90 mmHg. Over time, this can cause vascular disease in the heart, carotid arteries, and blood vessels in the brain. All of these conditions can trigger a stroke.

The good news, hypertension can be managed with a healthy lifestyle. Live a good diet if you have high blood pressure. Also combine weight management, stress management, and consumption of medicines based on a doctor's prescription.

5. Fat and cholesterol levels

Cholesterol levels and blood fat can be measured by a simple blood test. As you know, high triglyceride and LDL levels can increase the risk of stroke, regardless of whether the cause is genetic or lifestyle. This is because excessive fat and cholesterol can contribute to the formation of blood clots, which in turn triggers strokes and heart attacks.

Guidelines for good blood fat and cholesterol levels are:

  • Below 150 mg / dL for triglycerides
  • Under 100 mg / dL for LDL
  • Above 50 mg / dl for HDL
  • Below 200 mg / dL for total cholesterol

6. Blood sugar

People who have diabetes are more likely to have a stroke. They are also more likely to experience a stroke at a younger age. There are several tests commonly used to measure blood sugar, namely:

  • Fasting blood sugar tests measure your blood glucose levels after 8-12 hours of fasting from food and drinks.
  • The hemoglobin A1c test will evaluate your glucose levels for 6-12 weeks before the blood test.
  • Both test results can be used to determine whether you have borderline diabetes, early diabetes, or untreated end-stage diabetes.

7. Walking speed

A scientific study from Albert Einstein College of Medicine observes the walking speed of 13,000 women. Researchers then found that those with slower walking speeds had a stroke risk of 67% greater than those with faster walking abilities.

Walking activity depends on a number of factors such as muscle strength, coordination, balance and function of the heart, and lungs. Therefore, a slow walking speed can be a sign of a risk of stroke.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine defines fast walking speed as 1.24 meters per second, the average walking speed is 1.06-1.24 meters per second, and the slowest walking speed is 1.06 meters per second.

8. Stand on one leg

Researchers in Japan concluded that standing on one leg for more than 20 seconds is another indicator that can determine a person's chances of having a stroke. The study found that adults who were unable to stand on one leg for more than 20 seconds tended to have a history of silent strokes.

Silent strokes are strokes that generally do not cause clear or inconspicuous neurological symptoms, such as balance and memory disorders. Usually these symptoms are not overlooked, and thus someone who experiences a silent stroke usually does not realize it.

9. Take care of yourself (independent self-care)

This simple-looking test can determine whether you are at risk of stroke or not. Look at your ability to do individual tasks, such as dressing, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, maintaining your own personal hygiene, and eating alone.

If your ability to complete tasks decreases, this can be a sign of stroke. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you feel yourself or someone you love is slowly losing the ability to care for himself.

10. Carotid auscultation

You have a pair of fairly large arteries in the neck called the carotid artery. Carotid arteries help supply blood to your brain. If this artery is affected by a disease, a blood clot will form that can travel to the brain. Well, these blood clots can cause strokes by disrupting blood flow to the brain arteries.

Your doctor can find out whether one or both of your carotid arteries have a disease, by listening to the blood flow in your neck using a stethoscope. If the sound is considered abnormal, it indicates carotid disease and you will need further testing, such as carotid ultrasound or carotid angiogram.

That's a series of tests that you can take to predict the risk of stroke. Of course, the best way is to consult further with the doctor so that the results are truly appropriate.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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