Learning about your stroke risk: Podcast

Vascular screenings give you a risk assessment for stroke and other concerns

stroke risk: vascular body xray

The Vascular Screen at Sanford Health uses advanced tools and diagnostics to uncover critical details about the health of your vascular system. This screen is for those age 40 and older. Type 1 diabetics should get screened at age 30 or older.

Heidi Fodness, a registered nurse for heart and vascular services at Sanford Health, explains heart and vascular screenings, which help determine the risk for heart disease and vascular disease.

“During the vascular screen, we are trying to basically give you a risk assessment for vascular disease or a stroke risk factor,” said Fodness. “This is a very easy test that really gives great results and great indicators on how are you, vascular wise.”

Vascular screenings include a carotid artery ultrasound, abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound and Ankle-brachial index.

Learn more through this podcast edition of “A Better You,” which airs Saturday on KSOO-AM.

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What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to your brain is stopped. It is an emergency situation. Call 911 if you think you might be having a stroke or stroke symptoms.

The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to work well. If blood supply is stopped even for a short time, this can cause problems. Brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen.

When brain cells die, brain function is lost. You may not be able to do things that are controlled by that part of the brain. For example, a stroke may affect your ability to:

  • Move
  • Speak
  • Eat, drink, and swallow
  • See clearly
  • Control your emotions
  • Think and remember
  • Control your bowel and bladder
  • Control other vital body functions
  • A stroke can happen to anyone at any time.

What causes a stroke?

A stroke is caused when blood flow to your brain is stopped or disrupted.

There are two kinds of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.

  • Ischemic stroke. This is the most common type of stroke. It happens when a major blood vessel in the brain is blocked. It may be blocked by a blood clot. Or it may be blocked by a buildup of fatty deposit and cholesterol. This buildup is called plaque.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke. This occurs when a blood vessel in your brain bursts, spilling blood into nearby tissues. With a hemorrhagic stroke, pressure builds up in the nearby brain tissue. This causes even more damage and irritation.

Posted In Brain & Spine, Health Information, Heart

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