7 Warning Signs Of A Stroke That Everyone Should Know
Yeah, your heart might beat fast when you meet someone you really like or push yourself during a workout, but if you notice any weird, abnormal heart symptoms popping up, it could be warning signs of a stroke. Of course, this shouldn't be taken lightly, and scarily enough, most women won't know that they have a stroke right away, based on just symptoms. Getting regular screenings with a doctor is always a great idea, as well as keeping your body healthy and strong, in general.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on being in tune with their bodies and being extra vigilant of any unusual changes or symptoms. If anything feels funky, getting a physical will always help clear things up or get a proper diagnosis. However, beyond an expert opinion, you should trust your gut; if something feels off, it probably is. So, what is a stroke, exactly? "Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. Strokes come in two forms, ischemic strokes, when a blood clot prevents the flow of blood to the brain and hemorrhagic strokes, when arteries rupture,causing blood to spill into the surrounding brain tissue. Ischemic strokes are more common than hemorrhagic strokes," says Allen Towfigh, MD, sleep specialist and neurologist at the Weill Cornell Medical Center at NY Presbyterian Hospital to Bustle. Here are 7 warning signs you might get hit, so you can act fast and be prepared.
1. Loss In Motor Functions
"When someone has a stroke, the part of the brain which lacks blood flow ceases to function properly. If the territory of the stroke is responsible for a particular action, such as speaking or lifting ones arm or leg, those functions become impaired, leading to a corresponding loss of speech," says Towfigh. "Strokes can effect various brain regions and the region that is effected determines the deficit that occurs," he adds.
"Sudden weakness or imbalance or loss of coordination," can occur before getting a stroke, says Towfigh. This is not just feeling sleepy or tired after a long day; this will be a sudden, noticeable change. You might feel out of it, without the ability to comprehend speech, as well.
3. Having Risks Associated With It
If you have some of the risk associated with a higher incidence of stroke, then you're more likely to experience warning signs leading to onset, says Towfigh. Here are a few risk factors to watch out for: "Risk factors for developing a stroke include male gender, age, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension," says Towfigh.
4. Having High Blood Pressure
Watch your blood pressure. "High blood pressure is associated with increased long-term risk of heart attacks and strokes," says Mike Gnitecki, a Paramedic in Dallas, Texas to Bustle. "If you have high blood pressure, please discuss it with your doctor. Your doctor can likely put you on a medication such as Metoprolol (a beta blocker) that can reduce your blood pressure," Gnitecki adds.
5. Drooping Face
Here's a helpful tip: "Remember the acronym FAST. If you see Face drooping, Arm weakness, or Speech difficulty (such as slurred speech), it is Time to Call 911. Remember "FAST" -- Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty, Time to Call 911," says Gnitecki. It's common to find your face drooping, as well as slurred speech, when a stroke is about to happen.
6. Bad Headache
I mean, real bad. In a "Hemorrhagic or a bleeding stroke, an artery bursts, causing the blood to pour into the brain and increase pressure on this vital organ," says Adam Splaver, MD, a cardiologist in Florida to Bustle. "Patients who experience this type of stroke may experience a change in mental status or complain about having the worst headache of their life," Splaver says.
7. One Side Of The Body Goes Numb
According to Splaver, you might notice one side of the body get hit hard, causing you to go numb or lose the ability to feel or move it. If this happens (usually rapidly), it should be a direct red flag. Head to the hospital for immediate assistance.
If you notice any of these signs, make sure to head to the hospital for help. And, if you see these symptoms appear in someone else, call 911 asap.