Strokes in Women: Risk Factors
Stroke… This simple word is enough to scare us, especially if we pay attention to the statistics: two out of every three fatal victims is a woman. This is a problem that, nowadays, takes more lives than breast cancer.
It’s definitely worth learning more about this problem, which sometimes occurs without us even realizing. That’s why you should know about the risk factors associated with strokes. This will allow you to start adopting a few healthy lifestyle habits to prevent this from happening to you.
So, why not take some time to learn more? In just a few minutes, you can figure out how to protect your health. Check it out!
Strokes: factors to keep in mind
1. Be careful with hormone therapy
Many women each year undergo complex hormone therapy to counteract the effects of menopause. In the long term, this type of treatment tends to cause health problems, and strokes are one of those possible effects.
You should also know that many birth control pills that we tend to use to avoid pregnancy can have side effects in the future. Ideally, you should talk to your gynecologist about the risks that this type of treatment presents for you.
2. High blood pressure
High blood pressure tends to be that silent enemy that affects all kinds of vital function without you even realizing.
Lots of people, for example, are completely unaware that they have high blood pressure until they suffer from a stroke.
So, think about getting regular check-ups. You won’t lose anything by checking in with your doctor from time to time, and doing something as simple as monitoring your blood pressure can be an important addition to your health.
3. Be careful with those extra pounds
Obesity is not healthy; we all know that. We also know that, once you reach a certain age, your metabolism changes and you end up gaining a few bothersome pounds around your stomach.
If this is the case with your body, get in touch with a nutritionist who can help you cut down on that extra fat. If this becomes a chronic problem, it can increase your risk of having a stroke.
4. Do you get migraines?
Migraines are more common in women than in men. We are the ones who suffer from that sharp pain that stops you in your tracks and forces you to go searching for a moment of silence and darkness in your bedroom.
You should know that neurologists have indicated that this type of headache tends to be related to a variety of ischemic problems and cerebral infarction due to the role that blood vessels play in the pathophysiology of a migraine.
So, what should you do? Well, you should always follow the treatment plan laid out by your doctor, and be careful in terms of what you eat. As you know, there are lots of foods that can trigger migraines.
5. Heart disease
Doctors know what’s up: women tend to wait longer before going to the doctor than men when they notice a problem in their body. Our first response to any strange symptom is that it’s the result of exhaustion or daily problem.
We tend to think, “those palpitations or this fatigue is just a result of me being stressed out, so it’s not important.”
You absolutely must be careful with regards to this attitude, and always go see your doctor as soon as you notice something that seems a little off in your body.
Women exhibit heart problems differently than men, so make sure to pay attention to that pressure you feel in your chest, the suffocating feeling you experience when you climb the stairs, or even neck or jaw pain. These could be indicators of a serious problem that you’re unaware of.
6. The importance of getting regular blood work done
In addition to your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, there is another factor that may show the risk of strokes in women: a high number of red blood cells. This is a symptom which indicates that your blood is thicker, making it an important risk to keep in mind.
So, don’t hesitate to make regular appointments with your doctors, because they’ll definitely help you prevent many of these problems. Make sure not to postpone you health!
7. Do you have sleep apnea?
Oftentimes, we ignore simple signs from our body, such as snoring at night. This behavior is not healthy at all.
You should know that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the main risk factors of strokes in women. Why? Well, it increases your blood pressure, while lowering the amount of oxygen in your blood.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, get in touch with your doctor.
Can you prevent strokes?
As we always say here on this site, there is no magic formula for preventing many serious diseases.
Sometimes, just having a family history of a certain condition can put you at a greater risk, but the one thing you can do is try to prevent that disease from getting to you.
Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle can help you cut down on your potential risk of having a stroke.
Here are a few simple recommendations.
- If you are a smoker, what are you waiting for? Drop that dangerous habit right now.
- Maintain a healthy weight, do a bit of exercise each day and pay attention to your nutrition.
- Control your emotions and try not to get too stressed or anxious.
- Get regular medical check-ups: monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol, and keep your heart healthy.
- Go to the doctor. As women, we tend to be more focused on the people around us than on ourselves: we pay attention to our children, parents, partner. You absolutely must put your health first and never self-medicate. And, please, don’t hesitate to go to the doctor! Prevention is essential when it comes to strokes in women.