Some strokes are very serious and can cause a coma, or may lead to someone dying. This guide looks at the care given to someone in a coma, and how end-of-life care can support someone who's unlikely to recover.
A stroke often causes problems with bladder and bowel control. These usually improve in the early weeks after the stroke, but around a third of stroke survivors may have longer term difficulties.
Continence problems after a stroke can be caused by damage to areas of the brain due to stroke, as well as side effects of medication, constipation, and not being able to ask for the toilet due to communication problems. Treatments can include bladder and bowel training, pelvic floor exercises, eating more fibre, and medication including laxatives. This guide also looks at practical solutions to many day-to-day problems to help you live well with incontinence.
Your brain is amazing! It has the ability to re-wire itself, allowing you to improve skills such as walking, talking and using your affected arm. This process is known as neuroplasticity. Plasticity means your brain's ability to change. It begins after a stroke, and it can continue for years.
A stroke can sometimes cause changes to your taste and smell. Things can taste different or taste bad (dysgeusia) or you may not taste flavours (hypogeusia or ageusia). Some people lose the sense of smell (anosmia) or become more sensitive to smells (hyperosmia). These problems often improve over time, and our guide gives some practical tips about oral hygiene and enjoying your food.