Symptoms Of Carotid Artery Blockage
Symptoms of carotid artery blockage can be subtle and even invisible; nevertheless any sign of stroke can be devastating to continued function in normal life. Paralysis of any part of the body even for a short time can ultimately be devastating as symptoms of a mini stroke progress. Other indicators of further serious problems include temporary loss of vision, severe headache, and loss of coordination. A whole other category of characteristics related to cardiac disease includes transient ischemic attacks, which may occur often for months before a full stroke occurs.
Avoiding these types of problems by leading a healthy lifestyle is a safe way to attempt to prevent future problems. Understanding risk factors will enable a person to fully evaluate any lifestyle choice and the benefits it may offer toward disease prevention. Symptoms of a mini stroke are the same as those that occur during a full attack. The difference between a full attack and a mini stroke is that a person will recover in a matter of minutes or hours whereas a full attack will debilitate the person to the point of hospitalization. Some lifestyle factors that can determine added risk include smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and stress. Some medications treating symptoms of carotid artery blockage also raise a persons risk of having symptoms of carotid blockage. Discuss thoroughly with a doctor before taking any new medications. Sometimes a doctor does not know things about a persons life that would increase chance for symptoms of a mini stroke. Personal research as well as choosing a good doctor will reduce risk. Some factors cannot be changed, but should be acknowledged and taken into consideration before engaging in anything considered being high risk. These include age, sex, ethnic background, and family history. Even with unchangeable factors, anyone who implements a regular exercise program into their life will dramatically decrease the chances of developing symptoms of a mini stroke. Likewise, the implementation of an exercise program will decrease bad cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. If a person has any of these conditions, regular checkups from a cardiologist will further help detect yearly symptoms of carotid artery blockage.
Educating oneself about the increased risk certain activities create is important to reduced risk as well as being able to enjoy as many normal activities as possible. Although lowering blood pressure is linked to increased health, a dramatic decrease in blood pressure can also cause disease. In addition, smokers greatly increase the chances of a person having a stroke due to the lessening of blood flow and the clogging of arteries. Improving diet will undoubtedly decrease the chance of stroke. Decreasing the amount of salt, refined sugar, and fat will improve overall health as well as decrease symptoms of carotid blockage. Fat, sugar, and salt naturally found in foods are generally healthy to consume, however any added ingredients as well as preservatives will harm anyone's health, but particularly those that have increased risk of encountering symptoms of a mini stroke. In addition moderate consumption of alcohol and the elimination of caffeine. It has been proven one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men can actually aid a person in reducing the risk of symptoms of mini stroke. Discussing the effects of alcohol on a specific person with specific conditions may help determine the benefits, if any, of moderate alcohol consumption. Treating and controlling diabetes also decreases the onset of symptoms of carotid blockage. The better health the overall body is in will determine the risk of stroke. In addition, controlling stress is crucial in keeping levels of blood pressure and cholesterol down. Some medications such as oral contraceptives have shown to increase a persons chance of developing symptoms of carotid blockage. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psalm 43:5)
Unchanging factors in the increased risk of stroke include age, gender, ethnicity, and family history. Anyone over the age of 65 is at a 66% higher risk of having a stroke and even higher in the instance of men. For unknown reasons, statistic show the instance of these events also occur more often in African-Americans, however socio-economic status is a major factor no matter what ethnic background a person has. This is due to the quality of food consumed, living environment and stress levels that occur naturally in this setting. However, genetics cannot change risk factors no matter the quality of life lived. Some medications help control these genetic factors as a preventative measure, but side effects should be evaluated carefully. If a person develops symptoms of a carotid artery blockage despite careful measures taken to avoid it, immediate treatment is crucial to decreasing the chances of something worse happening. In most instances this includes careful diagnostic testing which may include Computerized Tomography (CT scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), Carotid Duplex Scanning, Transcranial Doppler (TCD), Xenon CT Scanning, Radionuclide SPECT Scanning, PET Scanning, Cerebral Angiography, and Transesophageal Echocardiography. This list is overwhelming, but all bases may need to be covered in order to make proper diagnosis. Each test checks for something slightly different or does it in a different way in hopes of finding something that would indicate risk for symptoms of carotid artery blockage. Likewise, some tests can be performed after the instance of stroke to identify the cause and help develop a plan for future wellness.
Carotid Doppler Ultrasound MachinesCarotid Doppler ultrasound machines provide next generation technology that allows a physician to determine blood flow to the heart and brain by examining the arteries. Sound waves traveling away from the heart produce a lower sound; sound waves traveling towards the heart produce a higher sound. A scan of the carotid artery will detect blockages or narrowing of the blood vessels and can provide detailed pictures of the arteries in the neck that carry blood to the heart and the brain. Equipment used to detect various medical problems is becoming more high tech and can show more detail than ever before such as 3d ultrasound machines using multi-dimensional technology to see many images at once. Some of these are used in obstetrics and gynecology providing details of the growing fetus and can be used for many other medical diagnoses. Using high-tech equipment often provides a safer way for a physician to make a diagnosis pertaining to illness and disease.
Medical equipment is rapidly becoming more high tech including high resolution flat panel screens and ergonomic features helping a physician to see more detail during examinations. Carotid Doppler ultrasound machines are growing in popularity by physicians and patients simply because they provide a less invasive way to look at the arteries. The carotid artery is the main artery that supplies blood flow to the brain so being able to make a diagnosis before a stroke happens can help to prevent an occurrence. Plaque can eventually block the blood flow which can be detected with this form of technology. Some of the symptoms leading up to a stroke include blurred vision, slurred speech, numbness, confusion, and moments of extreme weakness. Symptoms such as these should be brought to a doctor's attention as soon as possible. Blockages that are caught in time can be treated with an angioplasty procedure and the insertion of a stent.
A stent placed inside of a vessel will help to hold it open so that blood flow increases. A stent is normally made from metal or plastic material and is placed inside of an artery after a procedure called a balloon angioplasty. Carotid Doppler ultrasound machines can help detect blockages within arteries so that a physician can make a determination on what to do next. Severe blockages up to 100% are not normally considered safe for stents because the risk of stroke can be greater when surgery is performed. Other risks of surgery include the danger of blood clots, brain damage, and heart attack. Ultrasound technology provides many advantages to patients as uses of it continue to expand. The expansion of technology is a blessing from God as He blesses people with medical knowledge to provide healing and increase quality of life for those who are in need. "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name." (Psalm 100:4)
Obstetrics and gynecology departments use technology to detect or diagnose problems with a growing fetus. Equipment such as 3d ultrasound machines can provide multi-dimensional pictures of the heart and other vital organs. This type of technology is much safer for the mother and child compared to x-rays and other scans since there are no chemicals or dyes involved and no risk of radiation exposure. Some of the positive ways that a physician can use equipment to examine a growing fetus include checking the growth rate, checking for any possible birth defects, finding the location of the placenta, if there is the right amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus, and if the heart rate is normal.
Detailed multi-dimensional scans can detect abnormalities in the spine, chest, limbs, and the head of the fetus. Carotid Doppler ultrasound machines can be used on a fetus to detect the flow of blood within the vessels. This type of scan can also be used on the umbilical cord and the uterus to detect any possible problems. A vaginal examination can also be done during the pregnancy to find causes of bleeding or pain. One possible complication with pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy, where the developing fetus is trying to grow in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
One important thing for a patient to remember before an ultrasound includes drinking several glasses of water beforehand. A full bladder will help the physician locate pelvic organs better. Using 3d ultrasound machines are much safer than radiation and dyes used in other types of scanning procedures. A liquid gel is applied to the woman's abdomen ahead of time to make it easier to slide the transducer across the skin and helps the detection of the sound waves that are reflected back showing the growing fetus. Along with scanning the fetus a physician may check the hormone levels of the mother and advise the patient about the normal changes of a woman's body during pregnancy.
Technology has made it possible for the medical community to offer patients less invasive procedures during examinations such as using 3d ultrasound machines. These machines can check for other problems in women such as why there is pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, and if treatment is needed for infertility. Multi-dimensional scans provide different images all at once making the images more lifelike and clearer. Some of the other problems that can be detected with next generation technology include the detection of tumors or masses, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, cancer, and infection. In men, scans can help to detect prostrate and vascular system abnormalities as well as abnormalities in other organs.