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What to Learn from Hailey Bieber: How to Identify Strokes

By Skye Sherman  •   April 11, 2022

Photo Credit: by Olha Ruskykh, Pexels.com
Photo Credit: by Olha Ruskykh, Pexels.com

Did you see the recent news about Hailey Beiber? She shocked the world when she posted about her recent experience being rushed to the hospital after exhibiting stroke-like symptoms. Though she did not post exactly what her symptoms were before she went to the emergency room, she shared the following on her Instagram:

“On Thursday morning, I was sitting at breakfast with my husband when I started having stroke-like symptoms and was taken to the hospital. They found I had suffered a very small blood clot to my brain, which caused a small lack of oxygen, but my body had passed it on its own and I recovered completely within a few hours.”

The most surprising thing about her experience is how young she is. The celebrity, who is married to the famous singer Justin Beiber, is young, thin, and healthy, and she’s only 25!

This is why it’s important to know about strokes. Even if you don’t think you are a likely candidate for a stroke, they can happen to anyone at a moment’s notice. Being trained and educated, and making sure others around you are too, is vital. You could save a life.

Read on to learn more about what happened to Hailey Beiber, why more young people are having strokes, and the stroke signs and symptoms you need to be able to recognize.

What happened to Hailey Beiber?

If you didn’t see the news or if you don’t follow Hailey Bieber on Instagram, you may not know that the young model recently experienced an extreme health scare.

VeryWell Health reports, “Hailey Bieber was hospitalized last week after having stroke-like symptoms due to a small blood clot in her brain. The 25-year-old model said the blood clot caused ‘a small lack of oxygen’ but she recovered within a few hours.”

Though he was not involved in her care and had no firsthand knowledge of the situation, VeryWell Health reports that ABC News contributor Darien Sutton, MD, said on Good Morning America that he believes she “had a transient ischemic attack, or ‘mini-stroke.’”

It may sound impossible to have a stroke at the young and energetic age of 25, especially for someone as young, beautiful, and apparently healthy as Hailey Beiber. But did you know that younger and younger people are having strokes? This unfortunate fact means it’s more important than ever to recognize the potential signs and symptoms.

Health reports: “15% of strokes impact those between the ages of 18 and 55—and those cases may be trending upward: A 2019 study published in the journal Neurology found that incidence of stroke in young people rose by 23% in one decade, between 1998 and 2010.”

In addition, around 10 to 15% of strokes occur in people under age 50, according to VeryWell Health. So, as they put it, “Young adults are not altogether immune from the risk.” Even if you are young, you should be aware of the stroke signs for yourself and for others around you.

Why are younger people having strokes?

The recent trend is that people are having strokes at younger ages than we have commonly seen in the past. But why is this happening?

It could be due to COVID, which seems to have some links to blood clots, though there is not enough factual evidence to back this up yet. Further research could help to strengthen the connection or disprove this theory.

VeryWell Health reports, “Some studies have suggested that COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk of developing blood clots, but the risk appears rare … Most people won’t develop dangerous blood clots, but it’s important to learn the symptoms of a stroke so they can get help immediately in case of an emergency.”

Time will tell as further studies are completed regarding why people are having strokes at younger ages.

What is a stroke and what are the symptoms of a stroke?

First, it’s important to understand what exactly a stroke is and what happens when a person is having one. A stroke is basically a brain injury which occurs when there is a disruption of blood flow to the brain. This usually happens suddenly, as the result of a blood clot or something similar.

The brain relies on a constant, steady stream of oxygen and if this flow is disrupted even temporarily, it could spell disaster. A stroke is similar to a heart attack but it’s happening in the brain rather than in the heart.

The CDC shares that there are two main types of strokes, the ischemic stroke and the hemorrhagic stroke:

“Most strokes (87%) are ischemic strokes. An ischemic stroke happens when blood flow through the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked. Blood clots often cause the blockages that lead to ischemic strokes. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures (breaks open). The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them.”

There are also transient ischemic strokes (TIAs), which are less common but still important to be aware of. In the next section you will learn about TIAs, which may be what Bieber suffered.

Any type of stroke can cause permanent damage and even death.

What you need to know about strokes and transient ischemic strokes (TIAs)

The most important thing you should know about a stroke is that it is one of the most time sensitive medical conditions out there. Attending to a potential stroke as quickly as possible is the best way to ensure the most positive outcome possible.

As VeryWell Health reports, “Nearly 30% of people under the age of 45 don’t know the telltale signs of a stroke, according to a recent survey. But early detection can be key in reducing risk of complications. Studies estimate that a stroke can destroy an average of about 2 million neurons per minute.”

The main thing you need to know about a stroke is how time sensitive it is. A few minutes or seconds could make or break a person’s recovery and overall outcome. It could be the difference between a somewhat minor health scare and a fatal condition. Getting early medical attention as fast as possible is key when dealing with a stroke.

You should also know about transient ischemic strokes (TIAs), which may have been what Hailey Beiber experienced.

“Some people who experience symptoms of a stroke may actually be experiencing a transient ischemic stroke (TIA) or mini-stroke. A TIA is temporary and it can resolve from a few minutes to a few hours. While a stroke usually causes abnormalities that are visible on a brain scan, TIA may not be detected through MRI after someone recovers. This could mean that the body has dissolved the blood clot on its own and it’s more typical with smaller blood clots.”

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell whether a person is suffering a stroke or a TIA until after the incident. Just remember that recovering from a TIA does not remove all risks of complications, and just because it was a “mini stroke” doesn’t mean it can’t cause harm.

“Depending on the cause of the blood clot, there may be underlying medical issues that need to be addressed,” VeryWell Health states. If there is an underlying cause that led to the blood clot or stroke, it’s important to get it resolved before another stroke or dangerous medical condition occurs.

Regardless of what type of stroke occurred, catching a stroke early is vital to making a full recovery. You should always consult with a medical professional for advice on treatment and healing.

The BE FAST Method

One way to detect a stroke is to use the BE FAST method, which is an easy way to remember what to look for to detect stroke symptoms. It also reminds you to seek professional medical attention immediately.

B: Balance. Is the person having difficulty standing up?

E: Eyes. Is the person having difficulty seeing?

F: Face. Is the one side of the person’s face drooping?

A: Arms. Is the person experiencing numbness or weakness in one arm?

S: Speech. Is the person having difficulty speaking or are they slurring their words?

T: Timing. Call 911 as soon as possible, and make note of the time the symptoms appeared.

If you can remember the BE FAST method for detecting a stroke, you may be able to save someone’s life.

The Mayo Clinic also advises the below:

“If you or someone you’re with may be having a stroke, pay particular attention to the time the symptoms began. Some treatment options are most effective when given soon after a stroke begins. Signs and symptoms of stroke include:

● Trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying. You may experience confusion, slur words or have difficulty understanding speech.

● Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg. This often affects just one side of the body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Also, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.

● Problems seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.

● Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate that you're having a stroke.

● Trouble walking. You may stumble or lose your balance. You may also have sudden dizziness or a loss of coordination.”

If you identify these common stroke signs in yourself or others, seek medical attention immediately.

VeryWell Health sums it up well: “While strokes are more common in older adults, they can have life-altering impact on people of all ages. Experts say it is important to learn the signs of a stroke to quickly identify and connect someone with help if needed. A ‘mini-stroke’ may resolve itself in a few hours, but it’s a warning sign of risk factors that may eventually result in a stroke.”

Be aware of stroke symptoms and you could save someone’s life.

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Disclaimer:

The purpose of the above content is to raise awareness only and does not advocate treatment or diagnosis. This information should not be substituted for your physician's consultation and it should not indicate that use of the drug is safe and suitable for you or your (pet). Seek professional medical advice and treatment if you have any questions or concerns.