PHOENIX -- Some people call a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is what Texans coach Gary Kubiak suffered on the field last Sunday, a mini-stroke because the symptoms are like those of a stroke, but don’t last as long.
A TIA happens when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked or reduced, often by a blood clot. After a short time, blood flows again and the symptoms go away. With a stroke, the blood flow stays blocked and the brain has permanent damage.
A TIA is a warning sign that often suggests you may have a stroke in the future. According to a report on WebMD, early treatment can help prevent a stroke. If you experience the symptoms, call your doctor right away.
The symptoms of a TIA are the same as symptoms of a stroke. Most of the time, they go away in 10 to 20 minutes.
- Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or paralysis in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body
- Sudden vision changes
- Sudden trouble speaking
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
- Sudden problems with walking or balance
- A sudden, severe headache
A blood clot is the most common cause of a TIA. If your doctors suspects a you've suffered a TIA, he or she will order a variety of tests.
- Pictures of your brain and blood vessels, such as a CT scan, an MRI, a magnetic resonance or an angiogram (MRA).
- Doppler ultrasound of your carotid arteries
- Blood tests
Tolerance medicines that help prevent a stroke include blood thinners, but there are things you can do -- beyond taking medication -- to take charge of your health.
- Manage high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Control your diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels with a target range
- Take aspirin or a blood thinner
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise daily
- Eat a balanced diet
Dr. Art Mollen's practice is located at 16100 N. 71st St. in Scottsdale. For more information, call 480-656-0016 or log on to www.drartmollen.com.