A stroke is a medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to one side of your brain is interrupted. The result is brain damage and loss of function on that side of the brain. It occurs when an artery or vein within your brain bursts, causing blood to leak into the surrounding tissue.
When this happens, the damaged tissue can’t get enough oxygen or nutrients from your blood, which sustains its life-sustaining functions (like keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing) until it dies naturally.
Common symptoms include:
- Weakness on one side of your body
- Facial drooling, numbness or tingling in your face
- Slurred speech or difficulty speaking in sentences
- Confusion and difficulty walking or moving around easily
- Loss of vision in the left eye, right eye, or both
- Severe headache, neck pain and nausea
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Changes in your personality, such as becoming more irritable, forgetful or depressed
- Severe headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Vision changes and eye pain
- dizziness and confusion, as well as difficulty with balance, memory and thinking clearly.
When we talk about stroke in women, it’s important to remember that there are two types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic.
- Ischemic strokes are caused by a blockage or bleeding within the blood vessel. The most common causes of ischemic strokes are high blood pressure, heart disease, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Ischemic strokes are also known as “thromboembolic” strokes because they are often preceded by a clotting event.
- Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding tissue. While this type of stroke can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, high cholesterol levels, pregnancy, or surgery-related trauma to the brain—it’s uncommon for women to experience this type of stroke.
The current situation of stroke in women is a complex one, as there are many factors that come into play. The most common cause of stroke in women is atherosclerosis, which can affect the carotid artery and other arteries. In some cases, it can be caused by a tumor on the spine. There are also other causes like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Women are more likely to die from stroke than men, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have other health issues that can put them at risk. According to Power stroke clinical trials, the most common stroke risks for women are:
- Heart disease: Between 10% and 20% of women have heart disease. This is when blood flow to the heart gets blocked or becomes irregular, which can lead to a stroke. High blood pressure: About one in three women have high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure: About 75% of women have high blood pressure. It’s a condition where the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries is too strong, which puts stress on them and makes them more likely to burst.
- Diabetes: About 30% of women have diabetes, which causes damage to the blood vessels throughout the body. This can also cause a stroke.
- High cholesterol: About 28% of women have high levels of cholesterol. This is when you have too much fat in your blood, and it builds up in places like your artery walls. High cholesterol is a precursor to heart problems.
- Smoking: About 25% of women smoke, which causes damage to your blood vessels that can lead to a stroke.
- Drinking too much alcohol: About 20% of women drink too much alcohol, which can damage the lining of blood vessels and lead to clots that block them or cause bleeding.
Women are more likely to have symptoms at the time of their stroke, which can help reduce their chances of survival if treated within six hours. In addition to this, women tend to be older when they suffer from strokes compared to men (the mean age for female patients is 75 years old). These factors combined mean that women have a higher chance of surviving a stroke than men do.
However, regardless of gender differences, the overall risk for stroke remains high regardless of age or ethnicity. There are several ways you can reduce your risk for stroke. You can exercise regularly (particularly strength training), eat a healthy diet (avoid fatty foods and sugar), and avoid smoking cigarettes and alcohol as much as possible (these substances increase blood pressure and may lead to clotting problems).
Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death for women. Each year, stroke claims the lives of millions of women around the world. This is a startling fact, considering that strokes are largely preventable.
The good news? It is possible to prevent a stroke from happening. It’s important to understand the causes of stroke so you can take action to reduce your risk and help others do the same. The symptoms of a stroke are similar to those of some other, less serious conditions; however, if you or someone you know experiences sudden numbness, weakness or difficulty speaking, loss of balance, headache, and changes in vision or emotion — it is important that one seek help immediately.