Symptoms Of A Stroke In Women You May Not Know About

If you know someone who has had a stroke, you know how frightening the experience can be. In the event of a stroke, it's crucial to act quickly, so knowing the symptoms of a stroke could save a life (per Mayo Clinic).

Some common stroke symptoms are slurred speech and trouble understanding the speech of others, paralysis in one side of the body, headaches, and trouble walking. You can use the acronym FAST — which stands for face, arms, speech, and time — if you suspect someone is having a stroke. Ask the person to smile, raise their arms, and speak to you. Someone having a stroke may experience drooping on one side of their face, difficulty raising one of their arms, or trouble speaking. Finally, if you see someone having these symptoms, you should call 911 or get medical assistance immediately. Timely treatment can help reduce the risk of brain damage. However, while these are the typical symptoms of a stroke, Northwestern Medicine says it's important to know that stroke symptoms can sometimes look a bit different in women.

How stroke symptoms manifest differently in women

Northwestern Medicine reports that women can experience stroke symptoms that are unique from those experienced by men. These symptoms include a racing heartbeat, hiccups, chest pains, nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Because these symptoms are not generally associated with a stroke, neurologist Dr. Paul E. Later says that it may take longer to recognize a stroke in women. 

The American Heart Association also shares that women make up approximately 60% of deaths by stroke, which is thought to be due to their quiet symptoms. Dr. Pooja Khatri explains how a stroke in women may start as fatigue or headaches, and women might brush these symptoms off because they don't seem severe. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, she suggests that it's better to be safe than sorry, so it's imperative to be seen by a doctor quickly.