Mini stroke is a condition, in which the flow of blood to a part of brain gets blocked or reduced for a short duration. The following article provides some tips to prevent the attack.
Also known as transient ischemic attack (TIA), a mini stroke occurs for a short duration. The symptoms of this condition, are similar to those of a stroke (also known as ‘brain attack’). However, it does not cause any permanent damage. The condition is usually caused by a blood clot in one of the tiny arteries of the brain, which does not stay for a long time. The blood flow resumes shortly, and the symptoms can be mild to almost none.
However, in case of a brain stroke, this blockage remains for a longer time, which may cause permanent damage to the brain. The significance of the occurrence of a transient ischemic attack is the fact that, 1 out of 3 people diagnosed with this, eventually suffer from a real stroke. That is why, this condition, rather than being addressed as a problem, is taken as a warning sign. The brain stroke can occur, a few minutes, or months, or a year after the attack. Paying attention to these warning signs, may help people take preventive steps before the attack occurs.
Prevention of mini stroke requires, determining the risk factors and adapting a healthy lifestyle.
- Smoking increases the chances of a person to develop a TIA, and it also makes a person 2 ½ times more vulnerable to a stroke as compared to nonsmokers. Second hand smoking should also be avoided and shunning this habit would be the best step towards a healthy life.
- Cutting down on the amount of saturated fat in the diet, reduces the risk of this condition. Instead of these fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, along with omega-3 fatty acids should be incorporated in the diet. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in the body is also an essential requirement.
- Nutrients such as folate and potassium, help the body protect itself from stroke. Antioxidants also carry out the same job, hence a vegetable and fruit-based diet, which is rich in these components is the most recommended diet plan.
- People suffering from hypertension are known to be 4 – 6 times more vulnerable to a stroke than those who are not. With time, high blood pressure causes the small blood vessels in the brain to weaken, that is why people must keep a close check on their blood pressure, and limit the amount of sodium in the diet. Eating less salt, although may not prevent hypertension, but may certainly reduce the risks significantly.
- Another important step for preventing it, is to keep alcohol consumption to a moderate level. More than 2 drinks a day increases the risk considerably.
- A common solution to all kinds of health problems is, indulging in regular exercise. Being physically active primarily reduces the risks of this attack, besides being beneficial in controlling obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
- Addiction of illicit drugs, is not only a practice that is against moral behavior, but it also puts one’s health in jeopardy. Since it increases the risk of mini stroke and stroke, it is advisable to stay away from such substances.
The symptoms depend on the part of brain which gets affected. The common symptoms that may show up are:
- Numbness or paralysis of a part of the face, any one arm, or leg
- Slurred speech or difficulty in deciphering what others are saying
- Blurred or decreased vision in one or both the eyes
- Dizziness accompanied by a headache, and sometimes nausea or vomiting
- Loss of balance and sudden confusion
Treatment aims at diagnosing the underlying cause of this condition, and correcting it, so that a general stroke can be evaded. For this, the patient may be prescribed with medications, or recommended to undergo a angioplasty, which is a surgery that involves unblocking a coronary artery. But understanding the signs and symptoms of the condition and using preventive measures is the best option.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.