Dr. Mehmet Oz has written much about stroke in his blogs and also spoken a lot about it in his talk shows. Stroke is both deadly and disabling. Women experience stroke more than men and the sad part is most women don’t realize about the risk associated with stroke. Stroke is the third-leading cause of mortality in women.
Owing to the fact it has been widely regarded as a men’s disease, when anyone looks for symptoms of stroke, they usually watch for symptoms that are typical of men; regardless of the gender of the patient. In fact, many even don’t know that symptoms of stroke differ in men and women. Unfortunately, only 1 in 10 women is aware of less common, women-specific symptoms of stroke. Dr. Oz discusses some symptoms and signs of stroke to help you recognize early signs of stroke in you or your loved ones.
Who Is at Increased Risk of a Stroke?
There are various factors that can increase a man’s and woman’s risk of having a stroke. These include:
- Being a smoker
- Having diabetes
- Having high cholesterol or high blood pressure
- Physical inactivity or obesity
Especially, women are more vulnerable to stroke, if they additionally have the following risk factors:
- Suffering from migraine with aura
- Using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or consuming birth control pills.
- Being pregnant as it changes blood pressure and affects heart functioning.
However, all these risk factors should not discourage you from being pregnant or discontinuing birth control pills, but you should be aware that being a woman, you are at an increased risk of having a stroke. Knowing these can help you reduce your risk of stroke and can possibly help you recognize early signs of stroke.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke?
Some common symptoms of stroke are:
- Trouble speaking, confusion or trouble understanding
- Weakness or numbness in the arms, face, legs (especially, on one side of the body)
- Difficulty in seeing from one or both the eyes
- Dizziness, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache for unknown reasons
The above-mentioned signs are common in both men and women. There are also signs that are more common in women. These include:
- Losing consciousness or fainting
- General weakness which is not focused on one side of the body
- Trouble breathing
- Unresponsiveness or mental confusion
- Sudden change in usual behavior
- Being agitated
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sudden bouts of pain
This list might make you feel a bit uncomfortable or surprised, but you need not to worry. The main thing to keep in mind is to be alert or cry for help if you happen to experience more than two of the above-listed symptoms. In case you are having hiccups along with nausea, then you must realize the impending danger; otherwise, only hiccups are not at all dangerous.
How Can I Prevent a Stroke?
According to Dr. Oz, there are two approaches to prevent stroke. The first one is to significantly reduce your risk factors. Fortunately, you can control many of them. Ask your doctor how to quit smoking as well as how to control diabetes and high blood pressure. With sheer determination and persistence, you can significantly reduce these risk factors. It is also important to eat clean and exercise regularly to control diabetes and high blood pressure. These changes will have a positive impact on you and might add years to your life.
Next, it is important to recognize the stroke symptoms. If you believe somebody is having a stroke, act FAST.
Face: Ask the person to smile, observe if one side of the face droops.
Arms: Ask him/her to lift both the hands; check if one arm drifts downwards.
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence or phrase. Check if their speech is strange or slurred.
Time: Any of the above-mentioned signs could indicate a stroke. You must immediately call an ambulance or take him/her to the nearest hospital without wasting a single minute.
Remember, time is of real importance in such situations.