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Stroke Resources

On average, every four minutes someone dies of stroke.

How to Identify a Stroke: BE FAST

Common Stroke Signs and Symptoms

The following signs and symptoms are seen in both men and women, according to the National Stroke Association, and include sudden:

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

Women may report unique stroke symptoms, including sudden:

  • face and limb pain
  • hiccups
  • nausea
  • general weakness
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • palpitations

Stroke can be caused by:
  • a clot obstructing blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke)
  • a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) 
  • a temporary clot called a TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke.”

When a stroke occurs, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it begins to die. Brain function, future abilities and life itself are threatened every minute a stroke goes untreated. Every minute the brain is without oxygen, 2 million brain cells die.

What Can You Do To Prevent Stroke?

The risk factors for stroke can be divided into two categories: those you can’t change and those you can.

What you can’t control
  • Age—your chances of stroke go up as you age
  • Gender—men have a slightly higher risk than women
  • Race—African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American people are at higher risk for stroke
  • Family history—if your immediate family member has had a stroke, your risk increases

What you can control

  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol under control
  • Reduce the amount of salt and fat in your diet 
  • Exercise more
  • Stop smoking
  • Keep your weight in control
  • Limit alcohol use