While men and women report many of the same symptoms of a stroke, such as weakness of the arms, facial drooping, and difficulty speaking, women often experience the signs of a stroke somewhat differently. As a result, they might not receive medical attention and diagnosis as quickly, leading to poorer outcomes.
For instance, women may have more mild or general stroke symptoms, such as fatigue or confusion. They can also experience an overall feeling of weakness, for instance, rather than weakness specific to the right or left side of the body. As a result, they might think their symptoms are the result of poor sleeping or stress. Headaches or nausea, which may also indicate a stroke, might get similarly explained away.
Therefore, women should be on the lookout for any deterioration in bodily function that comes on suddenly without a clear cause. If such an event is experienced, they should get medical help right away. If a stroke did cause the symptoms, they will be able to get the timely medical intervention so essential to optimal treatment.
An emergency medicine physician in Los Angeles, California, Zachary Lutsky spent more than a decade in an attending position at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Board-certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Zachary Lutsky maintains membership in professional organizations including the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
The American College of Emergency Physicians works to support both the physical and mental health of physicians through initiatives such as the ACEP Wellness & Assistance Program. In coordination with Mines & Associates, the program provides physicians with access to three counseling or wellness sessions to help them bear the emotional and physical burden of their work.
Counseling sessions, which can take place in person or by phone, might help doctors develop tools to combat anxiety, depression, substance abuse, or relationship issues. Alternately, 30-minute wellness phone calls from a certified wellness coach can help physicians identify steps to pursue their fitness and wellness goals. The strictly confidential program is available for free to all ACEP members.