ingestion of PPA poses a health risk in the form of a heightened
chance of hemorrhagic stroke. PPA is a vaso constrictor,
which causes a narrowing of the blood vessels so that less blood
is able to flow through at a time. Less blood flow through the body
heightens pressure in the blood vessels. For certain individuals,
this can cause the vessel to rupture and bleeding uncontrollably.
In the brain, this would cause a hemorrhagic stroke, which is essentially
a "bleeding in the brain."
WHAT IS A STROKE?
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A STROKE?
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR A STROKE?
HOW SERIOUS IS A STROKE?
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF FROM PPA?
IS A STROKE?
Referred to in the medical world as a cerebrovascular accident,
a stroke is a lack of blood flow to the brain that causes damage
to brain tissue. The cause of this is most often a blood clot in
an artery that has been narrowed by atherosclerosis. However, it
can also be cause if an artery leaks blood. The resulting damage
to the brain and the effects to the individual are determined by
the length of time the brain is without proper blood flow, the affected
area of the brain, and how prompt the medical treatment.
ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A STROKE?
hemorrhage can begin quite suddenly and can evolve for several hours.
the hemorrhage is a subarachnoid type, warning signs (abrupt headaches,
nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, and various neurologic
abnormalities) can occur from the leaky blood vessel a few days
to a month before the aneurysm fully develops and ruptures. When
the aneurysm actually ruptures, the stroke sufferer often experiences
a severe headache, stiffness of the neck, nausea and vomiting, confusion,
and altered mental states. As well, the vicitim’s eyes may become
fixed in a single direction or lose vision completely. There is
a possibility of a general stupor, body rigidity, and, in some cases,
a coma may occur.
ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR A STROKE?
Blood Pressure contributes to nearly 70% of all strokes. Two numbers
are used to denote blood pressure: the systolic pressure (the higher
and first number) is measured as the heart contracts to pump out
the blood; the diastolic pressure (the lower and second number)
is measured as the heart relaxes to allow blood to refill the heart
between beats. High diastolic pressure appears to pose a particular
is why the use of PPA, which causes higher than normal blood pressure,
poses such a health risk for the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke.
SERIOUS IS A STROKE?
year, more than 150,000 Americans die after suffering stroke. In
fact, more injuries are caused by stroke that any other medical
condition. Over 30% of all strokes claim the life of the victim
within the first 30 days. Fortunately, over 50% of stroke sufferers
do survive for five years or longer. Hemorrhagic strokes, similar
to that caused by PPA, have a lower chance of survival than
those who suffer ischemic strokes. For those that survive a hemorrhagic
stroke, there is a high risk of rebleeding or other complications
such as blood vessels going into spasm and depriving the brain of
oxygen. Roughly 33% of all stroke survivors experience neurological
problems and nearly all have some degree of injury in the brain.
CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF FROM PPA?
purchasing over-the-counter weight loss, appetite suppressant, nasal
decongestant, or cold and cough medication, always examine the list
of active ingredients on the back for phenylpropanolamine or PPA.
As well, always check with your health care provider or pharmacist
to see whether your prescription contains PPA.
products on the market do not contain phenylpropanolamine.
these doctor-prescribed products do contain PPA, discuss alternative,
safer choices with your appropriate healthcare provider.
Hemorrhagic Stroke Information