A sudden spike in younger women having strokes in the Texas Panhandle is alarming doctors. In fact, new research says strokes among women ages 35 and 54 have tripled nationwide, with Amarillo following that trend.
Doctors say it's expanding waistlines and belly fat causing more women to have strokes. Because the issue is so new, Doctors say women should to look for these signs, numbness and weakness on one side of the body, a tingling sensation, slurred speech and vision loss, as well as loss of language.
"You need to call 911 or go to the closest emergency room. Stroke is an emergency, we don't realize that it is a lot of patients will wait if there's just a little bit of numbness or weakness, they will think it's going to get better but of course it won't get better." Neurologist, Dr. Ruby Saulog.
Dr. Saulog says the longer you wait, the damages can be as severe a paralyzation, but adds if treated within 3 hours, the chances of reversing the damage is much greater.
Doctors say there are preventative measures to be takes. First women should lose those extra pounds, especially around the mid-section.
To do that Doctors say you must change your diet, by eating healthier foods low in sugar and fat. Also health experts say exercise is just as critical, getting a minimal amount at least 3 times per week. Another factor is stress, it increases your blood pressure and puts you at greater risk.
Local Neurologist Dr. Douglas Lewis says you want to do whatever it takes to prevent stroke.
"Strokes that survive often require physical therapy, they don't get back to the jobs they were doing before. Sometimes they have to stay in nursing home or assisted living so that increases the cost of health care and burden and worry in families."
Dr. Lewis recommends women kick the smoking habit too.