Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Who is at risk of having a stroke? Well, I will have to say everybody. It is not age-appropriate. Children and babies have strokes, pregnant women have strokes, young people have strokes, elderly people have strokes, middle-aged people have strokes. Anyone can have a stroke. It's not defined by age, it's not defined by lifestyle, it's not defined by any of these. It's not even defined really, it could be anything.

There are the main problems: cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, irregular heartbeat. All of those things are a contributory factor, but it doesn’t mean if you haven't got any of those, that that is not going to happen. So nobody is immune from stroke. There are roughly about 400 children a year who have strokes. I do get people from 70 upwards having strokes, but usually, the ones that I'm seeing are from 65 down to about 20, and in between that. And it could be down to the same lifestyle. It's definitely not an elderly person's problem, it's everybody, absolutely everybody.

As far as symptoms with the stroke are concerned, it can present itself in many, many different ways. People have strokes while they are asleep, so therefore nobody would know because you are asleep. It would only be the next morning when somebody would try to get out of bed and wouldn't be able to or they fall. Now, as everybody is aware there is a campaign, ‘FAST’, that is on the television and you see notices all over the place.

  • Face: if the face drops
  • Arm if there is a weakness in the arm
  • Speech if they cannot speak to you properly.
  • Time - if any of those three, it's time to call 999.

When you do that, you should always say that you feel that it quite possibly could be a stroke, because it needs to be dealt with straight away. Someone needs to be there fast. It doesn't always present that way - it could present itself in other ways. So if you are in any doubt at all and you think it could possibly be a stroke, you still phone 999 and state that you feel that this is a stroke, because it has to be dealt with very, very quickly. So my advice would always be, if you think it's a stroke, 999 immediately.

There is what is called a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), which is known as a mini-stroke. Now, that can present itself the same as a stroke, but it recovers within up to 24 hours. Somebody might have general weakness in the arm, they might have a little problem with their speech, that should still be notified and possibly call 999 because that is a warning usually. And what happens is, is if they go into hospital, or even if they go to their GP and they suspect it's a TIA, a mini-stroke, then they would be referred to a TIA clinic, which would look at the reasons behind that, which could be numerous as to why that would have happened.  

Some people actually have TIAs and they don't even know, purely and simply because they might just feel a little bit unwell. Or they might have a pain in their arm or just generally feel unwell, have a headache, or they may have a little bit of blurred vision. It can present itself in lots and lots of ways, and it can be misinterpreted for being something else. But if you get anything like that, you really do need to err on the side of caution. And it is much, much better to go to a GP or even phone 999 and say that something is not right.

A lot of people do generally go to the GP and the GP will identify. And what happens is they get referred to the TIA clinics, which look to see if there are any underlying symptoms, high blood pressure, diabetes atrial fibrillation, now that is an irregular heartbeat. That can present problems and contribute to bits being thrown or blockages of blood being thrown about. And it could only be a small one, which obviously can interrupt the brain which causes the symptoms. Anything like that really, you really need to go to the GP. And don't see it as being a nuisance because, believe you me, if there are any underlying problems and they can find them, it could save you from a lot of heartache and the possibility of having a major stroke.

TIA symptoms will present like a stroke, but the difference between a stroke and a TIA is that with a TIA, your symptoms will subside. And that can be anything from two hours to 24 hours. If they don’t subside, then really you should be getting in touch with a hospital. But my suggestion is that if anything like that does happen, to get in touch with a GP or the hospital purely because, if that is happening and it is a TIA, there is an underlying problem and the only way you're going to find out, is by going and having some tests done and that is exactly what they would do. They would take blood tests, they would take your blood pressure, they will make sure that you're not diabetic and all of those sort of things and it could save you from going on to have a major stroke.