Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

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Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

Post  Almostangela on Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:34 pm

A friend had just experienced a stroke this past year and he was a heavy smoker. So, with this event, it has brought a big awareness into my life about the risks of strokes and the reality is that, we, as a group, are a high risk factor. Especially those of us on birth control, menopause and certains drugs. I've been hiding this issue it and not bringing it up to my familie's attention, but I realize that time is of the essense when you have a stroke, so they should know about it.

So I looked up the signs, and well, I get these whenever I get a migraine. Trouble speaking, mixing up words/sentances, confusion, dizziness, trouble walking, and if you ask me to smile, it's pretty half hearted and lopsided from the pain or meds.

Does anyone know of another more definitive way of telling if it is a stoke?

Angela
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Re: Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

Post  kimsmom on Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:21 pm

I have also heard that if you cannot stick out your tongue you are having a stroke. Liquid sliding out of your mouth when you take a sip of a drink. Droopy mouth too.

kimsmom
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Re: Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

Post  Ruth on Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:52 pm

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden severe headache with no known cause

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Re: Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

Post  Almostangela on Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:00 am

That's a good one, Kimsmom. I want my guys to give me a test if I'm acting stranger than normal.

Hi Ruth. That is what I found too, but line one could be reaction to pain killers sometimes, line 2 is aphasia which I get sometimes, line 3 is aura, line 4 is reaction to drugs and line 5 if migraine of different degrees.
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Re: Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

Post  TeriRobert on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:31 am

I asked this same question of a couple of Migraine specialists at a conference not long ago. They both said the same thing -- if you think you could be having a stroke rather than a Migraine or as well as a Migraine, call your doctor or go to the ER.

That didn't seem very helpful to me because some people might feel that way with every Migraine. They said that, unfortunately, there are times when the only way to tell is to be seen by a doctor. Neutral

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Re: Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

Post  estre004 on Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:14 am

Since we are at higher risk for strokes, I wouldn't hesitate to have an MRI if you are concerned.
This happened to me. I lost my peripheral vision on one side for just a few seconds. This was on my way for a migraine appointment. It was brushed off as part of the migraine. Another doctor down the line ordered an MRI to make sure. Sure enough, I had had a stroke. After having this stroke, I never experienced an aura again. Whatever caused my aura's just popped. This happened 10 years ago without any risk factors other than migraine. Avoiding migraines is top priority for me!! If you get aura, be doubly concerned! I'm convinced that without having aura anymore my risk is gone.

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Re: Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

Post  hpilgrim on Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:23 pm

Hi Angela-
I have wondered the same thing, esp. for my older son who has hemiplegic migraine. The symptoms are the same as those Ruth listed...
He has been in the ER twice, and had a CT scan just to be sure.

Thankfully he doesn't have them often....

Holly

ps. the COST of the MRI or CT scan has been quite a problem also...
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Re: Stroke and Migraines - how do you tell?

Post  Almostangela on Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:29 pm

Thanks for the input, everyone.

Angela
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