FAST (Facial drooping, arm weakness, slurring speech) is the best way to identify stroke in both men and women. The faster you diagnose stroke greater are the chances of survival. Sadly, some symptoms of stroke are not so explicit in women and this can play a pivotal role in deciding the arrival of medical help which in turn determines her chances of survival.
FAST might be common to both the sexes but women experience subtler signs such as dizziness, nausea, fatigue, confusion, coordination problems, memory loss, behavioral changes and numbness in any part of the body that don’t require much thinking but the immediate attention of a physician to decide upon its cause.
Know Your Risk
Women are blessed with a longer lifespan naturally but this makes them vulnerable to stroke as the probability of the disease increases as the individual grows older. Though the overall percentage affected by stroke is pronounced among men more than 60% of the deaths occur in the women population. Despite such critical statistics not every woman realizes that she is twice likelier to suffer from problems due to stroke compared to the problems that she could suffer from breast cancer.
Experiences of a sudden headache, loss of speech, confusion, changes in the vision, dizziness or lack of balance are general signs of stroke in women apart from your face drooping and arm weakness. The sooner you identify these warning signs and start treatment for stroke the better it is for you to retain your brain functionalities.
Pregnancy initiates a serious of health complications in some women which might be due to their medical history, present body condition or so. The entire pregnancy period is like a stress test for a woman’s heart and blood vessels owing to superlative hormonal changes and weight imbalances. Nowadays stroke during pregnancy is more common than thought of and research indicates that almost 30 of 1,00,000 women experience stroke while being pregnant. Maximum risk periods are just before and after the child’s delivery. We are well-aware that many women suffer from gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia and even thyroid during their pregnancy period but not aware that stroke might play an equal role as well as a major complication during pregnancy. Pregnant women are almost thrice likelier to suffer from stroke compared to younger individuals.
A stroke during pregnancy is shocking, hurting, alarming and above all, sure to leave the pregnant mother, fetus and the family with long-lasting impacts. While we consider high BP or preeclampsia during pregnancy as a common occurrence, we are unaware that these effects can leave an even greater impact on the woman-in the form of stroke. With high blood pressure being christened as the leading risk factor for stroke one solely depends on living a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods and staying stress-free to minimize the risk.
Another leading cause for stroke during pregnancy is blood clot. Blood clots are common during pregnancy and this is evident from swollen legs commonly seen in pregnant women (swelling reduces flow of blood to the legs). Pregnancy increases the secretion of one kind of substance that increases the likeliness of blood clot to help pregnant women avoid extreme bleeding while giving birth. But this increases the possibility of a stroke as well.
Ensuring Health During Pregnancy
Some problems are inevitable but it is best to take every precaution possible to avoid risk factors during/after pregnancy that can cause any complications.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.