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How To Identify Stroke Symptoms With The F.A.S.T. Model

Identifying stroke symptoms early is the first step to reducing disabilities and death. Learn how you can read the signs of stroke ASAP.

Stroke 1 min scaled

Stroke symptoms can sometimes be confused with other heart conditions. However, knowing what to look for and calling for help immediately is crucial.

Strokes occur when blood supply to the brain stops, either due to a blood clot that blocks the blood vessel or a bleeding of the blood vessels in the brain.

Once there is a disruption to the brain’s blood supply, the brain cells start to die.

It’s important to identify stroke symptoms early, get treatment, and restore blood supply immediately to save lives and prevent disabilities. Read on to learn how.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Stroke?

Stroke symptoms include paralysis on one side of the body, a sudden headache, slurred speech, and balance problems.

Identifying signs and symptoms of stroke early and treating it as soon as possible is crucial. If given the right treatment within three hours, the patient can reduce disabilities and prevent the death of brain cells from occurring.

Mini stroke symptoms can be harder to identify, but they are equally as important when it comes to saving lives.

Here are some of the most common signs to watch out for:

  • Muscular impairment or difficulty walking
  • Vision problems, such as blurred or double vision or temporary vision loss in either one eye
  • Numbing feeling in the face, limbs, or entire body
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Sudden coordination problems
  • Drooling
  • Sensation of pins and needles in the limbs
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Balance problems
  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed
  • Difficulty expressing yourself or understanding others

How To Identify Stroke Symptoms Using The F.A.S.T. Method

A person may get a stroke at any time. However, the risk is higher in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol.

It’s not always easy to identify a stroke in someone else, unless you know what you’re looking for. Luckily, the F.A.S.T. method is easy to remember and can help save lives.

Here is what to look for:

  • Face: Is there any weakness on one side of the face? Get the person to smile to make the weakness in facial muscles more obvious. You may notice the drooping of the mouth on one side.
  • Arms: Do both arms have equal strength? Ask the person to raise both arms to check for weakness.
  • Speech: Is there any slurring of speech? Ask the person to swallow to detect if there are difficulties.
  • Time: If you observe any stroke symptoms, do not delay and immediately call for help.

It is essential not to overlook these symptoms. Even if you are not sure if someone is having a stroke, it’s a good idea to call for help anyway.

Time is of the essence when it comes to protecting brain cells from dying, which can have lasting negative effects.

How is a Stroke Treated?

If you have a stroke in the United States, you’ll be taken to a hospital where doctors will quickly try to restore blood flow to the brain.

The type of treatment you receive depends on the type of stroke you have. Patients may be given an IV that contains medication to dissolve the blood clot.

They may also have to undergo surgery or another procedure that breaks the blood vessel blocking blood flow to the brain.

The best way to treat a stroke is by taking preventative measures to ensure that your risk is low or that you will have an easy recovery if you do suffer from one.

Stroke Prevention, According to Eastern Medicine

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), persons with deficiency of qi (vital life force), blood, and liver and kidney yin (passive energy) are at a higher risk of stroke.

Wind, fire, phlegm, and blood stasis can obstruct the body’s meridians, causing stroke symptoms like numbness, weakness, and slurred speech. 

TCM Physician Ng Qing Xiang gives some examples, “Wind-phlegm obstruction leads to a sudden onset of stroke, with symptoms such as drooping of mouth, slurred speech, leaking of saliva, joint pain, and stiffness in the limbs.”

“Phlegm-heat obstruction sets off typical stroke symptoms and other accompanying symptoms – for example, sticky phlegm, bloated stomach, and constipation. Meanwhile, qi deficiency with blood stasis syndrome results in weakness in one side of the body, pale face, breathlessness, diarrhea, and fatigue,” she says.

How To Recover From Stroke Symptoms

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of stroke.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle and preventing diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity can help you recover from stroke symptoms and prevent them in the future.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Take care of your physical health by getting adequate exercise and enough sleep. Exercising can also help reduce stress levels and reduce the risk of stroke.

According to TCM, you can consume a balanced diet by following the five colors of food; green, red, yellow, white, and black.

Try Acupuncture

According to Physician Ng, acupuncture can be an effective treatment to improve a patient’s body constitution with reference to their syndrome differentiation. “The acupoints Zu San Li (ST 36) and Guan Yuan (CV or RN4) address qi deficiency, while Feng Long (ST40) acupoint eliminates phlegm in the body,” Physician Ng notes.

Use Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies can help control high blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for stroke.

Mulberry leaves and chrysanthemum flowers tea helps reduce heat in the body and control blood pressure.

According to studies, red yeast rice has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Eu Yan Sang’s CholesFREE Plus contains 100% pure red yeast rice and has undergone a process called ZEROTOX® to help support healthy cholesterol levels by ensuring all active compounds are intact.

People with high cholesterol levels can also consume tea with hawthorn berries as it helps digestion and lowers the fat content. However, they are not suitable for people with gastric problems, and pregnant women should avoid them. Read more about the incredible health benefits of hawthorn berries here.

Reducing Stroke Symptoms: Timing is Key

By using the F.A.S.T. way to identify stroke symptoms and getting the right treatment plan for this disease, you can help your loved ones in times of need.

Remember that patients with stroke respond very well if they receive immediate treatment – usually within three hours or less.

Above all, living a healthy lifestyle and using natural remedies are the best ways to help prevent strokes and recover from them.


  1. British Red Cross. Learn first aid for someone who may be having a stroke.
  2. National Library of Medicine. 2016. Red yeast rice’ as a cholesterol-lowering substance? Caution is warranted.
  3. The Stroke Foundation. How do you know if someone is having a stroke? Think… F.A.S.T.
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/treatments.htm
  5. https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@gwtg/documents/downloadable/ucm_310976.pdf
  6. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113

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