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The brain is a dynamic organ that controls how the rest of your body functions. Every area of the brain depends on a constant supply of oxygen from the blood. When an area of your brain loses blood supply, it ceases to function and loses control of the part of the body it supports. This happens when you have a stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
The consequences of this event may be mild or serious, depending on the area of the brain affected. However, the body tries to restore its blood supply to the brain, and when this happens, normal function of the brain and the affected part of the body may return. This is what happens when you have a mini-stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A mini-stroke, therefore, is a stroke that resolves within 24 hours and improves functionality in the affected part of the body. Most mini-stroke symptoms, however, resolve within minutes.
Your risk of having a serious stroke increases dramatically within days after your TIA. Your mini-stroke therefore gives you an opportunity to find ways to reduce your risk of suffering from permanent brain damage that may result from a catastrophic stroke. This brings us to emphasize why it is important for you to recognize the symptoms of a mini-stroke.
Mini-Stroke Symptoms In Women
The symptoms of stroke in women are often silent. Many are unaware that they are experiencing a mini-stroke that could lead to a full-blown stroke within days. It is even scarier to think that even if they seek treatment for their symptoms, the diagnosis may be missed by healthcare providers in the ER. Research shows that in about 14 percent of cases, patients who had symptoms of mini-stroke or stroke were misdiagnosed to be drunk or suffering from vertigo or an inner ear infection.
The common symptoms of a mini-stroke are very similar to a full-blown stroke, except that they may disappear within minutes or hours. These changes are often sudden and include:
- Numbness, tingling or weakness of one side of the body, especially the face, arm, and leg
- Loss of vision in one eye or both eyes
- Loss of balance
- Trouble walking
- Trouble talking/understanding speech
- Bad headache, cause unknown
Unique Symptoms Of Mini-Stroke In Women
Many women who have a mini-stroke also experience unique symptoms such as:
- Sudden pain in the face, arm or leg
- Sudden feeling of being sick to the stomach (nausea)
- Sudden hiccups
- Sudden tiredness
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Sudden chest pain
- Sudden pounding/racing heartbeat
Your symptoms may depend on what area of the brain is affected. Sometimes the symptoms are less dramatic and easy to miss, especially if only a small area of the brain is affected. You do not have to experience all these symptoms to suspect that you are having a mini-stroke or stroke. Sometimes you may just feel dizzy, while another person might suddenly collapse.
Call 911 immediately if you experience these symptoms. If a stroke is about to occur, every minute is crucial.