Thank you for writing.
For the benefit of our readers, a TIA is a transient ischemic attack. This is also called a mini-stroke.
A TIA places you at greater risk for having a stroke. The risk is actually highest in the first week after your TIA. Therefore, rapid treatment aims to decrease stroke risk. This can be done with lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery. If the cause of the TIA is a treatable condition it must be promptly treated. Specific conditions include:
Smokers must quit. Patient with diabetes, hypertension, and/or high cholesterol must make every effort to manage these conditions. It can be done with:
Regular exercise—discuss this with your doctor first
Appropriate dietary changes—low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
Other lifestyle interventions
In addition, doctors often prescribe medication to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This will help lower these risk factors. To decrease the risk of clot formation your doctor may recommend:
If the carotid artery on the same side as the TIA is 70% blocked or more, doctors may recommend:
A carotid endarterectomy—to remove the plaque deposits
Other less invasive procedures such as (intra-arterial stenting)
These procedures have risks associated with them. Talk to your doctor about your options. They are often not done if there are no symptoms and less than 70% blockage.
The following strategies may help reduce the chance of TIAs and stroke:
Exercise regularly, with your doctor's approval.
Eat a healthful diet. It should be low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Maintain a healthy weight.
If you smoke, quit.
Drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate alcohol intake is no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
Control blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes with medications as needed.