A stroke is often one of the most important symptoms of blood clot in brain. It occurs when a part of the brain does not receive enough blood supply. This can be due to the supply being reduced or interrupted, usually because of blood clot in brain. It prevents the brain tissue from receiving enough nutrients and oxygen.
As is the nature of brain cells, they begin to die within minutes in the lack of adequate amounts of oxygen. Blood clots are essentially gel-like collections of blood that can form in the arteries or veins. This happens when blood changes from its liquid state to a semi-solid state within the body.
Blood Clot in Brain – Symptoms
The time when the symptoms of a blood clot lead to a stroke is of prime importance because the sooner the treatment is received, the better are the chances of recovery. Since a stroke is one of the major signs of blood clot in brain, the symptoms to look out for include :
1. Numbness or paralysis
A person experiencing a stroke due to blood clot in brain can develop numbness, paralysis or weakness in the muscles of the face or limbs. In most cases this occurs on one side of the body. One side of the mouth also tends to droop as there is no control over the facial muscles.
2. Inability to Speak or Comprehend
A person having a stroke may also experience slurring of speech, inability to understand what’s being said, mental confusion and lack of comprehension of the immediate environment.
A sudden, severe headache that is accompanied by a blackened or blurred vision in one or both eyes is another symptom, though it can occur due to other reasons also.
4. Inability to Walk Straight
Loss of muscle control in one or both limbs due to a blood clot in the brain can also cause an inability to walk straight or walk at all.
Blood Clot in Brain – Causes
While there are two main causes of stroke, a stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain is known as an ischemic stroke (due to a blocked artery). An Ischemic stroke is the most commonly recorded type of stroke. It occurs when the blood flow to a part of the brain is severely reduced (ischemia).
The main cause of this is the narrowing or blockage of blood vessels caused due to the build up of a clot made of fatty deposits. These build up within the blood vessels in the form of debris and travel through the bloodstream, finally getting lodged into the very narrow blood vessels of the brain.
Blood Clot in Brain – Treatment & Risk factors
There are many risk factors that can make a person susceptible to developing blood clots in the brain. The most common of these are lifestyle based. These include :
Some medical factors that can contribute to a blood clot are :
Cardiovascular diseases like heart defects, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm, heart infection also increase the chances of this problem.
There are several types of treatment options available for brain blood clot. The use of these depends on the severity and location of the blood clot.
The most common treatment option is to use blood thinners in the form of anticoagulant drugs. These drugs break down clots and also help prevent the formation of new clots.
An MRI scan is the preferred diagnostic tool to determine the success of the treatment as well as the size of the blood clot.
Surgery is usually required in cases of extreme emergency or severity. It involves the use of a catheter which is inserted into the blood vessel to break down and remove the clot.
Prevention of Blood Clot in the Brain
Knowing the risk factors for a blood clot is the first step towards being informed. In most cases, all one needs to do to prevent the formation of a blood clot is to follow a doctor’s recommendations (if there is a genetic predisposition towards blood clots) and stringently following a healthy lifestyle.
- Controlling hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most important things that a person can do to reduce their risk of blood clots.
- Making healthy lifestyle changes as required and using adequate medicines to treat high blood pressure are essential.
- Lowering saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet by eating less saturated fat and trans fats can go a long way in reducing the buildup of these substances in the arteries.
- Not smoking and quitting the use of tobacco products can help reduce the risk as smoking – both active and passive contributes significantly to the formation of blood clots.
- Managing insulin imbalances and diabetes with the help of a good diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help.
- Similarly, being overweight can contribute to other risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
- A healthy diet that contains enough amounts of vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of blood clot formation. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits, fish, and healthy oils like olive or mustard oil can also help reduce the risk.
- Maintaining a healthy weight and blood circulation comes with regular exercise, and aerobic exercises can help reduce the risk to a good extent.
It also improves overall cardiovascular health. Exercise also helps lower cholesterol, manage conditions like diabetes, maintain weight, and reduce stress. 30 minutes of moderate physical activity for at least 5 days of the week is the usual recommendation, though this can vary from case to case depending on the medical history.
It also helps you lose weight, control diabetes and reduce stress. Good examples of aerobic exercise include swimming, cycling, jogging or walking.