Cerebral infarction, also called ischemic stroke, refers to an area of necrotic tissue in the brain caused by disrupted blood supply and restricted oxygen supply. Without a sufficient blood supply, brain cells will die from a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients.
Cerebral infarction is the most common type of cerebrovascular disease (CVD), accounting for 70 to 80 percent of all CVD, with a 10 percent mortality rate, a greater than 50 percent disability rate, and a greater than 40 percent recurrence rate.
The incidence rate of cerebral infarction among younger people in the U.S. is growing. According to the research, the average annual incidence rate of all strokes under the age of 55 years was 113.8 per 100,000, while that for cerebral infarction was 73.1 per 100,000. More than 10 percent of patients with cerebral infarction were 55 years or younger.
To prevent cerebral infarction, people need to be aware of and understand the warning signs.
Dr. Li Xiuzhen, a cardiovascular expert, suggested that people over 40 be alert to the following symptoms. The earlier the intervention, the better the treatments. Li shares the following signs and tips:
2 Warning Signs of Cerebral Infarction
- Plaque buildup of the arteries—known as atherosclerosis. Symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus, chest tightness, and breathing difficulty may occur in the early stages of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis screening should be done as soon as these symptoms present.
- Tongue stiffness: Symptoms include stammering and dysfluent speech due to insufficient blood supply to the brain. Other symptoms include easy choking when eating, difficulty in swallowing, and drooling.
Five Tips for Preventing Cerebral Infarction:
1. Avoid jumping right out of bed in the morning. As blood circulation slows during sleep, some warm-up time to activate the blood throughout the body may help.
2. Have a glass of warm water after getting up. Water in the body is expelled through respiration, perspiration, and urination after resting at night. A glass of warm water will relieve a dry mouth and nose, and thirst, after getting up in the morning and can dilute the blood to promote blood circulation.
- Since the stomach is empty, water can enter the intestine rapidly to moisturize the intestines and relax the bowels.
- Water can enlarge the blood vessels to lessen the formation of blood clots and lower the risk of myocardial infarction and cerebral infarction.
- Have 200 ml of plain drinking water—no other drinks including coffee or tea at that time.
- Unlike sports sweating, the body loses mainly water rather than salt at night, so there is no need to drink light saline.
- From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the morning is the time when yang qi (vital energy) rises in the body. Warm the water to approximately 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold water may damage the yang qi in the stomach and weaken the spleen and stomach. Hot water destroys the mucosa of the esophagus.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes that qi is a refined substance that is very energetic and highly active in the body. It is the fundamental substance that constitutes the body and maintains life activities. Different physiological functions in the body’s life activities are performed when the qi keeps moving. The “rise” of qi refers to the movement of qi from the bottom to the top.
3. A bowel movement first thing in the morning is optimum. Be sure to relax and don’t push too hard in the effort to eliminate as it can increase blood pressure and lead to cerebral infarction. Drink a glass of warm water before heading to the bathroom.
4. Do not eat irritating foods in the morning. Irritating foods such as alcohol, chili, and pepper stimulate taste buds, as well as the contraction of blood vessels, increase blood pressure, and trigger the onset of cerebral infarction.
5. Avoid high salt and deep-fried foods after the age of 40. High sodium levels can lead to the storage of sodium ions in the body, and deep-fried foods produce trans-unsaturated fatty acids. Regular intake of these types of foods can trigger the onset of atherosclerosis, increasing the risk of cerebral infarction.