There’s a new warning out that every woman needs to see. And guys, if there’s a special lady in your life (or a few of them), you’ll want to pay attention, too.
Because it contains insights that could literally save lives. And at the same time, it has helped solve one of the biggest mysteries surrounding stroke up until now.
You see, men are more likely to have a stroke. But women are more likely to die of one. And it’s not just because the ladies tend to be older when they strike.
It turns out that stroke can be harder to spot in women. And that makes it more likely they won’t get the essential care they need as quickly as men would in the same situation.
But now have a far better understanding of what to watch for. So we can identify stroke faster and save lives.
How a stroke can “hide” in plain sight
Every minute after a stroke, two million brain cells die until blood flow is restored. That makes quick action crucial to surviving the stroke and avoiding permanent damage and disability after.
But you can’t get that help if no one knows you’re even having a stroke. And that’s what happens in many cases with women.
A new study finds that the symptoms are often very different for women from what we tend to think of as “classic” stroke signs.
You likely know those signs by heart. They’re often abbreviated as FAST: Face drooping, Arms weak, Speech problems, Time to call 911.
Women having a stroke can and do experience those signs too. But the new study shows they’re also much more likely than men to have a stroke without those symptoms.
Women are less likely than men to have speech problems, difficulty walking, and trouble staying steady on their feet. But they’re also more likely than men to have issues that may not be recognized as stroke symptoms right away.
Those can include:
- changes in mental status
The team behind the new study believes these differences are why women are more likely to be misdiagnosed after having a stroke and more likely to have delays in stroke care.
Plus, they’re also probably why women are THREE TIMES more likely than men to be institutionalized after a stroke due to disability.
What to do when something’s wrong
Here’s the most annoying part of this situation. It’s not just a stroke that’s likely to be missed in a woman. Studies show that ladies are also more likely to be misdiagnosed after a heart attack.
In fact, in far too many cases, women who’ve had a heart attack aren’t given necessary tests, they’re told nothing is wrong, and they’re sent home from the emergency room.
And again, it’s because, like with stroke, women often have different symptoms than men when having a heart attack. For example, they may have sudden weakness and neck pain instead of chest pain.
(See my earlier report, “What every woman NEEDS to know about heart attacks,” for more details.)
The bottom line is this. You know your own body best. So you also know when something is wrong. And when it is… especially if the issue comes on very suddenly… don’t ignore it and don’t wait for it to pass.
Seek help as soon as possible. And once you’re in the hospital, don’t let them brush you off. And certainly, don’t let them send you home after a cursory once-over.
Demand that you get the complete tests to determine what’s wrong. And insist on getting the care needed to save your life if you have a stroke or heart attack.
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