Could estrogen be a protector from stroke pre-menopause? It could be, considering how this condition affects women, especially after menopause.
Stroke is one of the top 5 leading causes of death and a significant cause of disability. Did you know that women account for 60% of all stroke events?
In the 10 years after menopause, a woman’s risk for stroke roughly doubles.
We’re digging into the topic today… so let’s definitely start at the beginning with some details about symptoms, types, and yes, the definition of stroke.
A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced, according to the Mayo Clinic. Brain cells can begin to die off in minutes, resulting in brain damage. It’s the blood, after all, that carries the critical oxygen and other nutrients for proper brain feeding and function.
A few symptoms are quite noticeable and will signal a stroke, others are more subtle. The key is to respond as quickly as possible if you suspect a stroke is happening in order to prevent or minimize brain damage. Here are the symptoms of stroke:
One of the baffling things about strokes is that it can be difficult to assess when one is happening if symptoms aren’t either of the first two in the above-bulleted list.
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Timing is key and your awareness and ability to think and act fast can may a significant difference. This is also from the Mayo Clinic and may help you… or someone close to you.
We checked in with the American Stroke Association for more details on the different types of strokes that can occur.
We also found this type: Silent stroke
Silent stroke is many times undetectable during its occurrence and can be found after with an MRI or CT scan.
Why does the risk for stroke increase after menopause? It’s thought that additional cardiovascular risk factors develop after menopause. Actually, multiple risk factors for stroke develop with the onset of menopause: abdominal weight gain, an increase in triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol, a decrease in HDL (healthy) cholesterol, increased fasting glucose and other measures of insulin resistance, increased BMI, and increased blood pressure.
A study also showed that women who experienced early-onset menopause (age 42 and younger) may be twice as likely to suffer from a stroke as women who experience menopause at age 54 or over at menopause. More studies and more evidence are needed here, but the number presented is significant.
This study proved interesting, but yet inconclusive when it comes to how hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may decrease the risk of stroke in human women.
“Animal studies demonstrate that postmenopausal HRT has beneficial effects on stroke, but the outcomes are not consistent in human studies due to multifactorial mechanisms.”
So, essentially, there’s a disconnect when it comes to humans, and more study is needed on this topic as well.
And right now is the best time to begin.
What are your thoughts on the topic of stroke before and after menopause? Join this and all of the other threads of conversation in the Gennev Community Forum. You are definitely in good company there.
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