The Candid

Stroke Is The Third Leading Cause Of Death In Women, Yet It’s Commonly Misdiagnosed

It’s no secret that women are often not taken seriously by medical professionals. Their concerns are disregarded, and they might receive a misdiagnosis, which can have a huge impact on their lives.

Research has shown that women are more likely than men to be misdiagnosed. In fact, 57 percent of women have reported that they had been wrongly diagnosed by a doctor before.

In 2016, a study revealed that women are 50 percent more likely than men to be given a misdiagnosis after a heart attack. In addition, women have a 33 percent higher chance of being misdiagnosed after a stroke.

In a series of viral videos on TikTok, Dr. Erin Nance (@littlemissdiagnosed) is calling attention to the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions in women and just how serious a misdiagnosis can be.

Dr. Nance is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. For the month of October, she posted a video every day discussing a specific condition. On the 14th day, she talks about strokes.

According to Dr. Nance, stroke is the third leading cause of death in women. However, most women who are misdiagnosed are usually told that they have a migraine or are just experiencing anxiety.

She went on to describe the unique symptoms of stroke in women, including loss of consciousness, fainting, general weakness throughout the body, shortness of breath, confusion, unresponsiveness, disorientation, sudden behavioral changes, agitation, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, seizures, or even hiccups.

She also noted that women can also get the “classic signs of stroke,” such as a droopy face, slurred speech, and weakness on one side of the body.

However, the previously mentioned symptoms are the ones that are usually overlooked when the patient is examined in the emergency room. Then, Dr. Nance shared the common risk factors for stroke.

nenetus – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

“These are some of the unique risk factors that women have that put them at greater chance of developing stroke; number one: taking birth control pills. This does not mean that all women should stop taking their birth control pills. It means that if you have a symptom, a stroke-like symptom, and you are taking birth control pills, this should be transmitted immediately to your doctor for concern of having a possible stroke,” said Dr. Nance.

Next is being pregnant, followed by the use of hormone replacement therapy and a history of having migraines.

She explained that “migraines can have patterns where the vessels go into vasospasm, which can cause the blood to clot, thereby causing a stroke.”

Finally, she emphasized that this information is extremely important for everyone to know, even if you’re in good health, the reason being that women need to be treated three hours after presenting with these symptoms for the least impact on their well-being.

Several women in the comments section shared their own stories of misdiagnoses about themselves and loved ones.

“My mother died of a hemorrhagic stroke. She had a headache at the back of her head for weeks. Her doctor knew but refused to send her for a CT,” commented one person.

“My mother had a stroke: it started with vision changes and dizziness. The nurse didn’t think she was having a stroke; she didn’t fit in their little box,” wrote another.

“I have had a mini-stroke. I was fine and then all of a sudden I couldn’t speak. I knew the words but couldn’t get them out. I lost my vision,” added a third.


Day 14: Stroke is no joke #littlemissdiagnosed #31for31lmd #stroke

♬ original sound – Dr. Erin Nance 🇺🇸

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