Stroke Symptoms Unique to Women

When it comes to strokes, every second counts. The longer it takes for a stroke patient to receive emergency care , the more brain tissue they will lose, which can lead to permanent disability and loss of life. Women frequently underestimate their risk for strokes and often aren’t aware of the symptoms, so they delay seeking care and put their lives on the line. As a woman, understanding stroke symptoms could save your life or the life of a woman you love. Here is a look at stroke symptoms, including the symptoms that are unique to women.

Standard Stroke Symptoms
Women and men alike tend to experience a similar set of stroke symptoms that can be easily remembered using the acronym FAST. F stands for facial drooping and refers to the sagging of one side of the face, especially noticeable in a lopsided smile. A is for arm, and it refers to the tendency of one arm to drift downward when both arms are raised. S refers to the slurred speech that typically occurs with a stroke, while T means time—time to call 911 for emergency care when the other symptoms are present. Both men and women have these stroke symptoms, and both require treatment as soon as possible. The clot-dissolving drug that is most effective at treating most strokes must be delivered within three hours of the onset of these symptoms.

Women-Specific Stroke Symptoms
Women may also experience stroke symptoms that men don’t. Women are more likely to have headaches during a stroke and in the lead-up to a stroke. Others may have hiccups and indigestion, which may lead them to chalk up their symptoms to a gastrointestinal issue. Women may even have chest pain related to a stroke that causes them to suspect a heart attack instead of a stroke.

The emergency care and neurology teams at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center stand ready to provide the urgent diagnosis and care stroke patients need. You can find out more about emergency care in West Hills by calling (818) 676-4321.