Stroke symptoms: Seven atypical signs of a stroke you should look out for

Countdown: Hewer recalls time he thought he was having a stroke

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A stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency that can happen when the brain’s blood supply is cut off, requiring urgent attention. While some strokes can occur suddenly with a rapid onset of physical symptoms, there are many subtle signs that you might be dismissing as something else. Headaches, dizziness and pain are all vague symptoms of a host of medical conditions – but when should you be concerned?

What are the atypical symptoms of a stroke?

According to Stroke UK, 100,000 Brits have strokes each year, striking one person every five minutes.

While 1.3 million people in the UK have survived a stroke, a new study has revealed that thousands of strokes could be prevented by looking out for these key symptoms.

  • Weakness in the face (such as a droopy eyelid or lip)
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Loss of balance
  • Slurred speech
  • Headache

Strokes can begin with odd symptoms which can quickly escalate into the peak of this medical emergency.

A stroke will begin when the blood supply is cut off from your brain which can cause painful headaches and confusion.

One of the earliest symptoms of a stroke are dizziness, loss of balance, headaches and feeling like your brain is ‘offline’.

While the most well-known symptoms of a stroke describe a droopy face and weak limbs, these early symptoms are crucial to spotting a stroke early and acting fast.

What are the most common symptoms of a stroke?

The ‘FAST’ acronym is used to sum up the most rapid signs of a stroke which affect the face, arms and a person’s ability to speak.

A stroke can be categorised into the following stages by the NHS:

Face – the face may have dropped on one side and the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

Arms – the person with a suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness.

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Speech – someone suffering from a stroke may have slurred or garbled speech.

In some cases the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.

They might also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

Time – the NHS says it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

Stroke symptoms unique to women

Atypical stroke symptoms can be more common in women which makes them more susceptible to experiencing this alarming condition.

These symptoms are often more subtle and harder to identify as a serious side effect of something as life-threatening as a stroke.

According to medical website, Healthline, the most common symptoms of a stroke in women include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Hiccups
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain
  • Fainting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • General weakness
  • While these common symptoms may seem minor, time is crucial when it comes to experiencing a stroke so it is always best to raise the alarm when experiencing any combination of these symptoms.

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