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Am I Having a STROKE? Know the Signs and Symptoms.

Updated on October 8, 2010

I am a 39 year old female smoker. As I was sitting at my computer, working on homework, I felt a pain overcome my head like never before. I have had migraines previously,and this was no migrain. It came on so quickly. I felt my thoughts becoming confused, my words, well, muffled. The right side of my body felt numb.I felt so dizzy, so scared. What was wrong with me? Too scared to call my daughter for help, I managed to grab the phone. As I tried to remember the number to the Doctor, the symptoms I was experiencing were gone. They left as quickly as they came.

A blockage or clot

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is disrupted. Thus causing brain cells to die. A stroke is often referred to as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).,

There are two kinds of stroke

Ischemic stroke: caused by a clot in the blood supply (vessel) to the brain.

Hemorrhagic stroke: Caused by a blood vesel that bursts and bleeds into the brain.

Then there are Transient Ischemic Attacks, aka:TIA. This is what happened to me. This is known as "mini strokes" or "warning strokes." It is caused from the blood supply being temporarly interrupted. This is a serious issue as it is a warning of a larger one to come and should not be taken lightly. See your Doctor right away or go to the Emergency Room.

Risk Factors

There are controllable

Risk Factors

In other words, you can change them. You have control. There are some factors that you of course cannot. Such as age, sex (more common in men than women),heredity, prior stroke, heart attack or TIA.

The good news is that you can help yourself by changing the risks.

  1. Smoking- QUIT! Enough said.
  2. Diabetes- although not curable, it is treatable
  3. High Blood Pressure- can be lowered with diet, exercise and/or medication. High Blood Pressure is the leading cause of stroke.
  4. Obesity- Proper diet and exercise can help maintain a healthy weight
  5. Inactivity- get out and move! Exercise can help with blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and your overall happiness


Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg -- especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms SEEK EMERGENCY CARE IMMEDIATELY

The sooner you receive help the best chances you have of receiving treatment that could reverse or stop further damamge. Medical teams have a window of 3 hours to help you with medications and treatments that would be effective. Don't Delay- Seek Help Immediately.

Know the acronym

Act F.A.S.T.


Ask the person to smile. Is it even or drooping on one side?


Ask the person to raise up both arms. Does one fall down or lower than the other?


Ask the person to speak. Something simple such as: My name is Mary


Call 911


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