The National Stroke Association estimates that over 55,000 more women die from stroke compared to men.
This makes stroke the third leading cause of death for women in the United States.
While it is believed that men primarily have more nasty habits, like drinking and smoking than women it makes this even more alarming.
So What Exactly Is Stroke?
Stroke occurs when there is a clot to the vein that supplies the brain with blood and oxygen. When the brain is starved of this oxygen and the nutrients in the blood its cells start to die.
Stroke is categorised based on its cause;
- Ischemic Stroke:
This is where there is a clot.
- Hemorrhagic Stroke:
Is where a blood vessel ruptures.
- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
This is a mini-stroke that is caused by a temporary clot.
The TIA or Mini Stroke
Though mini strokes clear by themselves within a short time, it should not be ignored and you should seek medical attention immediately once you notice it.
It important to identify the symptoms of stroke so you will act accordingly by seeking medical help.
Causes And Symptoms Of Stroke In Women
Men because of there lifestyle are more prone to stroke than women but on average women live longer than men and stroke mortality is higher with age, so this is just one factor but there are others such as;
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular condition
- Excessive drug use and that includes cigarette smoking
- Lack of regular exercise
- Overweight issues
Other factors include;
- Mental health issues
- Birth control pills intake
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
As you can see, some of these risks don’t apply to men, but unfortunately up the risk of stroke in women
The symptoms of stroke in women;
- Vision issues
Other symptoms peculiar with women include;
- Erratic behaviour
- Breathing difficulty
You can also adopt the FAST approach to identifying stroke.
This is an acronym developed by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association and it simply means;
F – Face Drooping
A – Arm Weakness
S – Speech Difficulty
T – Time to call 911 emergency.
Prevention Of Stroke In Women
Women can prevent stroke if they are fully aware of the symptoms and also improve their health care habits such as;
- Test for diabetes
- Check your cholesterol level
- Don’t get overweight
- Check your blood pressure regularly especially when pregnant
- Engage in regular daily exercise
- Avoid being depressed or having sudden mood change
- Sleep for a minimum of 8 hours a day
- Avoid stress factors
- Be conscious of your headaches, get help if they become more serious migraines
- Use olive oil to cook your meals, it’s quite healthy for your heart
The Aftermath Of Stroke In Women
While it is essential that one is fully aware of the causes and signs of an imminent stroke, but where stroke occurs anyway, there are certain changes that are common depending on the severity of the stroke, some of these include;
- Physical challenges such as partial or full paralysis
- Behavioural changes
- Cognitive difficulties
- Memory loss challenges
- Speech impairment
Where stroke affects the right portion of the brain, then:
- Memory loss
- Misjudgement or Impaired judgment is common
While if stroke affects the left portion of the brain, you will likely notice;
- Language and speech impairment
- Memory loss issues
- Behavioural problems
Where the portion of the brain that regulates balance (i.e. the cerebellum) is affected by stroke then the person is likely to experience;
- Abnormal reflexes
- Balance issues
This usually will involve rehabilitation therapy as well as speech therapy. In some extreme cases victims could need daily assistance for basic tasks such as; bathing, dressings and even feeding.
A change in lifestyle is always advised for persons who have noticed some symptoms of stroke, eating healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly and cutting down on alcohol and illicit drugs will go a long way in preventing stroke.
Featured image Source: theheartysoul.com