Are you at risk for a stroke?
Knowing the signs of a stroke could help save your lifeBy Lisa Fitterman
According to a 2011 report by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, stroke awareness in this country is dangerously low, especially among women. Yet a stroke occurs in this country every 10 minutes, and it can happen to men and women of all ages. Here's how to spot the warning signs:
Signs it may be a stroke
These symptoms come on suddenly, and you may not experience all of them.
• Numbness, tingling or weakness of the face, arm or leg
• Trouble speaking or confusion
• Vision problems
• Severe headache and/or dizziness
What are the risk factors?
Along with smoking, risk factors for strokes in women under the age of 55 include:
- • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
- • Conditions such as diabetes and lupus
- • Use of birth control pills
- • Migraines with auras
- Clotting disorders can also cause stroke. Women who have had more than one miscarriage, for example, may be at higher risk for blood clots, as are women with a history of leg clots (or deep vein thromboses). The same goes if you have a vascular condition called livedo reticularis, characterized by mottled, purple-red patterns on the skin.