Author Topic: Stroke risk for young women  (Read 3214 times)

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7263
  • Karma: 603
Stroke risk for young women
« on: November 30, 2010, 04:12:08 PM »
I got a disturbing call today about a sister-in-law. She is in her mid-40's and had a stroke on Saturday. She is only a little over her ideal weight, a generally healthy person, non-smoker, non-drinker... cholesterol and blood pressure are both fine without meds.

Her only real risk factor that we can determine was that she has taken birth control pills for probably at least 20 years.

Luckily, her stroke was relatively minor and she is expected to fully recover, but it could have been much worse. Her symptoms were a headache and a feeling of clumsiness with one leg. She is in the medical field, but didn't recognize the signs of stroke, so didn't get immediate attention.

Take care ladies...

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable in the medical field can give us some more tips on this particular area of concern.

Offline mamabear

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 846
  • Karma: 35
Re: Stroke risk for young women
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 07:15:40 PM »
LVS,
The pill can cause lots of problems. I am not sure from your post if you meant she was still taking the pill when she had the stroke or not. However, if she was, her doctor should have talked to her about that. Even the commercials talk about increased risks after 35. I have heard comments from several women that took the pill and have all sorts of bad or weird side effects. Most birth control is the same. None of them are good for you, unless pregnancy is worse. I would rather take my chances than to ever take another method of birth control. I should rephrase the statement that most birth control is the same. Obviously they are all different, but the effect is supposed to be the same, a chemical way to alter your body's natural course to prevent pregnancy. They can cause all kinds of different problems, some only mildly annoying, some can cause death. I am glad to hear that your sister in law will be okay.

In my case I was taking the Depo shot. I quit getting it last year because of my age, but also because the doctor that was giving me the shot said that she was not aware of any "testing" for the depo shot and women that had been taking it for more than 10 years, so if I kept taking it, she did not know what the "long term" affects would be. Good enough reason to me to stop getting it. I also feel much better now that I am off it.

As far as strokes go, I don't know a lot about them, but do know that your sister in law is not the only woman I know that has had a stroke and did not know she was having one. We women need to learn more about them, just like any other heart issues, like heart attacks and heart disease, just like we would learn more about breast or cervical cancer. 

Offline Lara

  • TSP Med Control
  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 2
Re: Stroke risk for young women
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 07:45:58 PM »
Unfortunately, I know a lot about this topic.  I'm glad to hear your S-I-L is expected to fully recover. 

For me, I took LoOvral for 9 years without a problem (age 19-28, non-smoker, jogger, active), and then switched to Desogen because I had been getting headaches.  Three weeks later, my right leg had severe pain, 4+ pitting edema (swelling), and redness.  Long story short, I had a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and a PE (pulmonary embolism).  These life-threatening events at age 28 were difficult to process, to say the least.  I didn't know it at the time, but I am heterozygous for Factor V (five) Leiden mutation.  It is a genetic disorder that creates hypercoagulability (tendency to clot too much).  I have several family members who also have this, and we've all taken our turns on anticoagulants (blood thinners).

Here are some recommendations:
1. Ask the doctor to test for hypercoagulable genetic states.  Examples include, but are not limited to: Factor V Leiden mutation, Anti-Thrombin III, Lupus Anticoagulant, MTHFR gene, Protein C, Protein S, Prothrombin 20210 mutation.
2. Get off estrogens forever.  I agree with Mamabear.  Having a woman > age 35-40 on estrogens isn't a great idea.  Estrogens also create hypercoagulability for some people, and the combination could have been lethal for me.

Has she had any miscarriages?  These are common with hypercoagulable genetic mutations. 

As far as Depo-Provera goes, yeah, it was a good alternative for me for years.  Seven years, to be exact.  I found out later though, that Depo has been implicated in osteoporosis/penia, so I got off of it, and continue to jog/take Calcium/eat dairy.

Take my advice with a grain of salt, go see your OBGYN, and/or hematologist.  These medications seem harmless, but often, they're not.

Offline elcoyote

  • Gypsy Prepper Squad
  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
  • Karma: 16
    • Crap! I'm An Adult!
Re: Stroke risk for young women
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 08:05:31 PM »
Wow. I'm really glad that your SIL is recovering! I know for me, BC most likely took a relativly minor case of gallstones and made it much worse. still, I'm doing my best to get back on them. I don't care what damage it does to my gallbladder, if it means I can go for more than a week not being on my period and maybe someday have kids...

-ki-

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7263
  • Karma: 603
Re: Stroke risk for young women
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 08:49:21 PM »
Thanks for the responses, everyone... We are all very relieved that she is expected to have a full recovery and no long-term damage. My main thought was that there might be others who would be at risk for stroke at a relatively young age due to the use of BC and who also may not recognize symptoms... for those of you in the know, am I correct in assuming that giving someone an aspirin at first sign of stroke may help reduce long-term damage? (and of course getting immediate medical help)

It seems like I heard that somewhere...

Offline Lara

  • TSP Med Control
  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 2
Re: Stroke risk for young women
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 09:21:56 PM »
Aspirin has been recommended for acute chest pain while calling 911.  The problem with using this approach for stroke symptoms is that without imaging the brain (CT/MRI), we have no idea if the stroke is hemorrhagic (bleeding) or embolic (clot).  Taking aspirin with a hemorrhagic stroke can be devastating.

Offline mamabear

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 846
  • Karma: 35
Re: Stroke risk for young women
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 09:47:10 PM »
Wow. I'm really glad that your SIL is recovering! I know for me, BC most likely took a relativly minor case of gallstones and made it much worse. still, I'm doing my best to get back on them. I don't care what damage it does to my gallbladder, if it means I can go for more than a week not being on my period and maybe someday have kids...

-ki-
Consider talking with someone that deals with natural remedies. I too have unpredictable periods, sometimes as little as 10 days apart, or as many as 45 days apart. I have been looking into herbal and natural remedies to deal with this. I have not chosen one or started one yet because other than the obvious fact of the bleeding too many times a month, I don't really have any other problems with it. I am sure that it is problematic, just saying that for me, I don't get too worked up over it. Finding an herbal/natural remedy could also allow you to still have kids at some point rather than something drastic like a hysterectomy.