1. AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
Researchers from Spain found that women are more likely to suffer from an autoimmune disease that raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Inflammation of the brain’s blood vessels may be the reason, according to the study.
2. MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
The link between mental health problems and stroke isn’t yet clear. However, researchers from Harvard University have found a correlation between heightened amygdala activity and a higher risk of stroke.
3. IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT
The heart, of course, is responsible for delivering oxygen-rich blood to every organ of the body. Irregular heartbeat, also known as heart palpitations, correlate with a higher risk of stroke. The Stroke Foundation of Australia specifies atrial fibrillation – a related condition – as a risk factor for stroke.
4. PREMATURE MENOPAUSE OR MENSTRUATION
As stated, women experience stroke disproportionate to their population numbers – and hormones are a big reason why this is. Research states that either menstruation before age 10 and menopause before age 45 may be tied to increasing stroke risk.
Vision changes are a universal sign of stroke. Women are more prone to report these disturbances as hallucinations. Regardless, if you see something that your logical brain knows isn’t there, call 9-1-1.
6. BEHAVIORAL CHANGES
Per the University of Michigan, women are more likely to experience a shift in mental state – and less likely to report it. This is a problem, as some stroke types target areas of the brain responsible for personality. Talk to a doctor about changes in mood – it may save your life.
The brain’s consciousness center lies atop the brainstem. As a result, cutting blood flow to this region of the brain can result in fainting. Furthermore, women are more likely to suffer strokes to this part of the brain than are men. So don’t downplay any loss of consciousness – talk to your doctor.
8. USE OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS OR HRT
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills raise the likelihood of stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, ‘the pill’ can double your chances of stroke. Make sure your doc is affirming healthy blood pressure levels before prescribing either treatment!
9. SLURRED SPEECH
Okay, so both men and women report this one. Slurred speech is a telltale sign that something is amiss with your noggin (provided you’re sober!) Don’t mess around. Call 9-1-1.
10. SUDDEN PROLONGED NUMBNESS
The limbs send signals to the brain – and vice-versa – which creates the sensation of touch. If you all of a sudden are experiencing severe, unexpected, and lengthy numb sessions, something is almost certainly wrong.