It’s quite natural for some people to confuse strokes with heart attacks, but while the latter occurs in the heart, the former has to do with the brain. A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to a certain part of the brain stops. Due to this, the cells in that part of the brain start dying. And because the body cannot function without the brain, a stroke ends up affecting the entire body and can turn fatal without medical aid.
This is the reason why recognising the signs of a stroke early and getting medical attention for the patient is very important. Most of the symptoms of stroke depend on the region of the brain that has been affected but there are a few common and early signs of a stroke that you should learn to recognise.
How to act FAST
Because a stroke usually comes on suddenly and without warning, it’s basic symptoms can be quite unique. The US’s National Stroke Association, therefore, uses the abbreviation FAST to help you recognise the following basic symptoms of a stroke.
Other symptoms of stroke
Apart from the FAST symptoms, the following signs may also show up early on if someone is having a stroke:
A stroke can have immense effects on the body and can lead to paralysis, speech issues, vision problems, slow cognitive function, memory loss, coma or even death. Given such devastating effects, it’s very important that if you see anybody with the above-mentioned early signs of a stroke, take them to a doctor or call emergency health services immediately.
The early warning signs and symptoms of stroke in women, however, may differ and manifest in very different ways. We'll address the warning signs of stroke in women in the second part of this series on stroke symptoms.
For more information, read our article on Stroke: Symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention.
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