Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stroke [Infographic]

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stroke [Infographic]

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stroke [Infographic]

Do you know the warning signs of stroke?

Each year, more than 800,000 people in the United States experience a stroke. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of stroke early. If administered within the first three hours of symptom onset, FDA-approved clot buster drugs have shown to reduce long-term disability in many stroke patients.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke:

  • Facial Drooping — Ask the individual to smile. Is one side of his or her face drooping downward?
  • Arms — Next, ask him or her to raise both arms and note whether one drifts downward.
  • Slurred or Strange Speech — Finally, ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is it correct? Is his or her speech difficult to understand?
  • Time — If someone has these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Don’t put off medical attention, even if the symptoms disappear.

Approximately 80 percent of strokes are preventable, and making lifestyle  changes can help lower a person’s chances of having a stroke, including exercising regularly, quitting smoking, eating healthier, managing cholesterol and blood pressure, and managing atrial fibrillation.

View the infographic below to learn more about the signs and symptoms of stroke.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

If you would like more information on stroke, risk factors or treatment, schedule an appointment with a health care provider or learn more at KentuckyOne Health Stroke Care.

Know Your Nerves

Know Your Nerves

Know Your Nerves

Approximately 20 million Americans have some type of peripheral neuropathy, a condition that can often be prevented and managed.

Tingling, numbness, muscle weakness — when these symptoms occur in the foot, they’re often signs of one of more than 100 nerve disorders called neuropathy.

Damage to the peripheral nervous system typically begins in the nerves farthest from the brain and spinal cord. One of the most common causes of neuropathy is uncontrolled diabetes. Other factors that increase the risk for neuropathy include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Nutritional deficiency in B1, B12 or iron
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

Take Care

It’s possible to have neuropathy from diabetes without symptoms or with subtle signs that only a health care professional might notice. Numbness caused by neuropathy may make it difficult to notice cuts or swelling on the feet without routinely checking for them.

For this reason, doctors often tell patients with diabetes to do daily foot exams or, if they can’t, have a primary care provider or podiatrist do them. Unmanaged peripheral neuropathy can spread to the legs, arms and hands.

Nicole Everman, MD“Adopting healthier lifestyle habits, such as maintaining optimal weight, exercising daily and eating a balanced diet, can reduce effects of neuropathy,” said Nicole Everman, MD, neurologist with KentuckyOne Health Neurology Associates. “Physical and occupational therapy are also important when treating peripheral neuropathy because they help improve balance and motor strength.”

Other treatment options include oral medications for nerve pain and topical treatments such as capsaicin cream and lidocaine patches. An early diagnosis of neuropathy can help prevent further nerve damage, so people with symptoms should seek medical care.

Keep Your feet in Check

Most of us have heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to diabetic neuropathy.

“Studies have shown that those with diabetes can reduce the risk of experiencing nerve damage by keeping blood sugar levels close to normal,” said Dr. Everman. “Peripheral neuropathy can also be a result of vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin B1 deficiencies, so eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

Other prevention methods include:

  • Wearing well-fitted shoes
  • Inspecting your feet daily for any redness, swelling or wounds
  • Visiting your primary care physician or a podiatrist regularly

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Not only do primary care doctors specialize in diagnosing and managing a wide range of health issues, they also teach you about prevention and wellness.  If you don’t have a primary care provider, find one near you today. To speak with someone about peripheral neuropathy, call KentuckyOne Health Neurology Associates at 859.263.8807.

A New Solution for MS

A New Solution for MS

A medication called Ocrevus offers new hope to patients living with multiple sclerosis (MS). KentuckyOne Health neurologist Cary Twyman, MD, is a key player in research for the new therapy.

Until the early 1990s, patients living with MS didn’t have many options to manage the neurological disease that slowly chips away at life. Impacting the central nervous system, specifically the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord, MS depletes the protective myelin sheath surrounding these vital structures. This makes it difficult for the brain to send messages to the rest of the body.

As a result, patients with MS can experience unpredictable and often devastating symptoms, including chronic pain, difficulty moving, fatigue, numbness, tingling and loss of vision.

The past 24 years have seen an increase of therapies to slow the progression of MS. However, there is still no cure for the disease. And until March 2017, there were virtually no options to manage the condition’s primary progressive stages, which are marked by a steady worsening of the disease and function of the body.

The Anatomy of an Answer

A new drug recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the first of its kind for patients living with advanced MS. Ocrelizumab, which is sold on the market as Ocrevus, reduces the number of a certain type of cell that may damage nervous system tissues in patients with MS.

“Ocrevus is one of many precision medications coming down the pike and is currently the best option to slow progression of advanced MS,” said Dr. Twyman, who is medical director of KentuckyOne Health Multiple Sclerosis Care in Lexington. “As we continue to expand choices that effectively and safely treat MS in its various stages, the world will be a better place for patients in the future.”

Dr. Twyman was closely involved in the clinical research of Ocrevus, which was tested in three trials, including one specifically for patients with advanced MS. As clinical trials for a precision medication, these focused on improving medication delivery for the best outcome for individual patients.

Specialized Care

Patients and families living with multiple sclerosis can find the comprehensive care that they need at KentuckyOne Health Multiple Sclerosis Care. This center is specifically designed to enhance quality of life by offering a robust spectrum of services, including medication management, occupational, physical and speech therapies, social work services, and research trial information and enrollment support. Call 844.739.2997 for more information.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Summer edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.