Women, trust your gut if you suspect a stroke; here’s how to judge

Stroke is the fourth-most common cause of death in women, and rural women are particularly in danger because stroke victims must get treatment quickly to improve their odds of a good outcome, and that can be harder to find in rural areas, Madelyn Ostendorf reports for Successful Farming.
When women have a stroke, they’re more likely than men to experience sudden confusion as an initial symptom. Here are some other common symptoms:

  • sudden loss of limb control
  • loss of vision
  • difficulty speaking
  • drooping of one side of the face
Less common but still important signs to watch for are:
  • difficulty reading
  • double vision
  • trouble balancing
  • tingling in the limbs
To assess whether someone, including oneself, is having a stroke, remember the acronym FAST:
  • F: Face drooping. Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
  • A: Arm weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S: Speech difficulty. Is speech slurred?
  • T: Time to call 911.
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