Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Each year, there are almost 800,000 people in our country who suffer a stroke.
What Causes a Stroke?
What causes a stroke? A stroke happens due to disrupted or limited blood and oxygen supply to the brain. It can also be caused by blood clot or hemorrhage in the brain.
But can dehydration cause a stroke? Let’s find out.
Can Dehydration Cause a Stroke?
According to numerous studies, most older adults who experience strokes are also suffering from dehydration.
As a matter of fact, according to a study in the Frontiers in Neurology journal, around 60% of stroke patients are dehydrated. The study also found that this dehydration could be a contributing factor or cause of a stroke.
When we don’t consume enough fluids, the blood in our bodies can thicken. This will cause them to move slower. And because of that, blood can potentially get stuck or backed up in a blocked or narrowed blood vessel. This can result in a stroke.
For those who have other health conditions such as health diseases and clogged arteries, then dehydration can be even more dangerous.
Other Risks From Dehydration
Aside from stroke, dehydration can also be a contributing factor to heatstroke. Heat stroke is a completely different medical condition.
This is a heat-related illness, and is not a cardiac event. However, it can still be fatal and it can also affect your neurological health.
The heat stroke is caused from prolonged heat exposure and exercising warm temperatures. It can also be caused by dehydration. If your body doesn’t have enough water to replenish fluids, there’s a higher chance of heat stroke.
Symptoms of heat stroke includes:
- Abnormally high body temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Flushed skin
If you suspect that you, or someone around you is having a heat stroke, the first step you need to take is to call for emergency help. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
How To Help Someone Suffering From a Heatstroke
While waiting for emergency help, below are some steps that experts recommend you take to help alleviate the symptoms.
First, you need to get out of the heat. Or move the person suffering from a heatstroke out of the heat. Second, any excess layers of clothing should also be removed. Ideally, you’ll want to cool down, so here are some tips to help the body cool down:
- Spray with water, ideally from a garden hose
- Use a sponge with cool water
- Go inside a tub of cool water or cool shower
- Fan the person while misting them with cool water
- Use ice packs or wet towels, especially in hotter regions of the body such as the groin, the armpits, the neck, and the forehead.
- Cover the person with cold, damp towels or sheets.
Another important step is to drink cool water to get hydrated. Water is important. Do NOT drink any sugary or caffeinated drinks. Alcoholic drinks are also a big no-no.
If a person loses consciousness while suffering from a heat stroke, begin CPR immediately.
So drink up, and keep your fluids up. Stay hydrated, especially during warm weather, while exercising, and throughout the whole day.