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7 Symptoms of Strokes in Women

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A stroke can happen to any person at any age. According to statistics, women aged between 18 and 40 years are more prone to strokes than men of the same age.

Bhaskar Health shares some facts about strokes. Strokes kill more women than breast cancer, and that's why it's important to recognize them quickly.

Types of stroke

  • Ischemic stroke. Brain tissue damage is caused by a lack of blood supply because of vessels clogging or narrowing.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke. The reason for hemorrhagic stroke is brain vessels rupturing, which causes swelling and pressure.

Risk factors

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Various heart diseases
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol level
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Lack of physical activity

Symptoms that women usually have

One of the consequences of a stroke is facial nerve palsy. That's why one side droops, and the nasolabial folds almost disappear. Sometimes the arm and leg on the same side suffer too. Statistics say that 80% of women who have had a stroke had such symptoms.

International statistics show that women are more likely to die from a stroke than men. One of the reasons is the nonspecific symptoms that sometimes aren't treated as stroke symptoms.

What is more, the risk rises during pregnancy, when using birth control pills, when using hormone therapy during menopause, and in cases of other hormone diseases.

  • Visual impairment. A sudden visual impairment caused by a stroke can affect one or both eyes. Blind spots can also appear because of damage to the optic lobes.
  • Acute headache. A headache appears suddenly, and sometimes has the following symptoms: nausea and vomiting.
  • Sudden and acute pain in the chest. This symptom can also accompany a heart attack. But if a person also has the hiccups, it's more likely to be a stroke.
  • Impaired coordination. A sudden loss of coordination and orientation in space tell about damage to the brain zone that is responsible for movement.
  • Sudden fatigue. An active person can suddenly experience changes in mood, drowsiness, and an unwillingness to do anything. Moreover, women can feel depressed.
  • Loss of consciousness. If a person is going to faint, their face becomes red. Shortness of breath and palpitations can also occur.
  • Pain on one side of the face. One more "women's" stroke symptom is acute pain on one side of the face, the body, or in one of the limbs.

Stroke test

If you notice one of the symptoms, test the person or yourself (depends on who's experiencing the symptom). It'll help to recognize a stroke.

  • Smile. Smile or ask the person to smile. It'll be asymmetrical in the case of a stroke (one corner of the mouth will stay unmoving).
  • Hands. Lift or ask the person to lift both hands, and hold them for 5 seconds at an angle of 90°. In the case of a stroke, one hand will fall.
  • Speech. Pronounce or ask the person to pronounce a simple phrase or a name. Slow speech or the absence of an answer both are signs of a stroke.

If you notice one of those signs, call an ambulance immediately. Remember! Doctors have only 4.5 hours to rescue a person and return them to normal life.

We hope that you'll never need to refer back to these tips. But you should definitely remember them. Did we miss any important information about strokes? Share it with us in the comments.

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