Brain Stroke – can strike even if you are younger than 40 years.

April 6, 2018 Brain Diseases 10298 Views


Ranjana lived an exemplary life full of rainbow-hued sunshine, almost as colorful as her name. She was an accomplished Kathak dancer and full of joie de vivre, who led a very organized life with a busy schedule.

Married into an industrialist family, she did not have to worry about the nitty-gritty of cooking and a retinue of cooks hired by her in-laws was in charge of making full course meals as well as the food for the frequent parties they would host. Nor did she have to worry about holding a job and taught engineering students at a college close by. Her job as a lecturer left her enough time to pursue other interests – so she had started a new commercial venture, a spa based on international standards and guidelines. Ample staff helped with looking after their two dogs, a pair of golden retrievers and the household was run on well-oiled wheels.

But 2nd Jan turned out to be unpleasant for the entire Nagraj clan. Ranjana, being bubbly and friendly was extremely popular and approachable. She and her young husband were invited as Chief Guests to an event at one of their factories, where after the fun and games, lunch was served.

Just as they were leaving the premises, Ranjana began to feel queasy. It was barely 3 pm and the last thing Ranjana had eaten was a small quantity of carrot halwa, a traditional wintersweet dish made by boiling grated coconut in little milk sweetened with plentiful dollops of ghee.  Was it a corporate rivalry? Did members of the Union who were always threatening to go on a strike, try to poison their employers? As their Mercedes sped away, Ranjana felt as though she was going to faint. Her husband tried to make her sip some orange juice, always stocked in their car and ordered their chauffeur to drive straight to the hospital, a few kilometers away.

The Unknown Background

Ranjana wasn’t overweight but neither was she a gym fanatic. She would exercise on the treadmill for barely 20 mins in a fortnight or go swimming – which was even less frequent. She was fit and energetic and believed that life is to be enjoyed with endless parties, premieres – whether Hollywood movies or fashion shows abroad, art soirees and events high on the glamour quotient. As a result of this Epicurean lifestyle, she had developed Type 2 diabetes, (also known as the silent killer) with cells either in her muscles or her liver not using insulin the way they should.

She did not feel any sort of fatigue so Ranjana had not thought of any check-ups. The high amount of glucose in her blood had begun to clot and constrict her blood vessel walls internally. The clots were also responsible to totally cut off the blood supply from reaching the brain, leading to a stroke.

The relation between diabetes and stroke

Risk factors are common for both these deadly ailments, chiefly:

  • High glucose levels in the blood
  • Apple shape as body structure
  • High blood pressure
  • Fat accumulated around the waistline
  • High cholesterol

Know these facts

Ignorance is bliss but not if it turns out to be fatal. Little did Ranjana know how diabetes and age combined, would ring the death knell for her.

  • Diabetes: Diabetics have astronomical glucose levels in their blood and at the same time, their cells are energy deprived. These deposits continue to expand and begin their death march. Another condition to watch out for is pre-diabetes, associated with metabolism.
  • Age: Brain stroke is increasingly common even among adolescents and children. There is no such thing as “being too young for a stroke” as proved by the vivacious Ranjana, who passed away at just 43. In fact, a study in the US cites 5 strokes in 100,000 kids, before their nineteenth birthday, while this number rises to 15 for those in their mid-forties.

What is an Ischemic  Brain Stroke

For those less than 45 years of age, brain stroke among almost 25% of people is the unfortunate result of a blood vessel in the neck that has developed a tear. This is a downward spiral because clot forms and starts traveling to the brain. Other possible reasons that could yield a stroke:

  • Migraine
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills

While drug abuse is the most common cause, particularly intravenous drugs, there are also other cardiogenic causes:

  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Abnormalities of the heart valve
  • Patent foramen ovale – the term given when a person is born with a hole right in the middle of the heart

How to prevent Brain Stroke

Include fruits, vegetables, and plentiful whole grains, exclude saturated fat, in the daily diet.

Identify and immediately treat underlying ailments namely diabetes, obesity – the latter being significantly worrisome for the former as well as hypertension, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

For more information, consult your nearest Neurologist today. 

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