By Dr. Zulfikar Bux
Emergency Medicine Specialist
Kaieteur News – Stroke is a major contributor of disabilities and deaths worldwide. It is the second leading cause of deaths globally, and accounts for approximately 15 percent of deaths in Guyana. About 15 percent of strokes are preceded by a transient ischemic attack (TIA) which is usually called a pre-stroke. Because a TIA is often a short and mild episode, generally it is not taken seriously and progresses to a full-blown stroke later. Today, I will highlight warning signs for a stroke that you should keep an eye out for and hopefully, prevent yourself or someone you know, from being another stroke statistics.
What is a TIA?
A TIA is a mild form of a stroke that is usually termed a pre-stroke. It is considered a “warning” stroke. During this type of stroke, blood flow to your brain is blocked for a few minutes to a few hours. The average amount of time is one minute. Most symptoms go away within 24 hours. That is far less than a major stroke. There is usually no long-term damage following a TIA but it increases significantly your risk of a major stroke.
What are symptoms of TIA?
The symptoms of a TIA are short and present in the following ways:
What causes TIA?
A TIA like a stroke is caused by reduction or loss of blood flow to the brain. The most common cause is a blood clot. Blood clots are caused by cholesterol buildup. As cholesterol blocks your arteries, it forms a blood clot. Eventually, the clot breaks free and travels to your brain causing a TIA. Managing your cholesterol levels through diet, exercise, and medicine lowers your risk. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity can increase your chances of having a TIA. Lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of TIA. This includes healthy eating, exercise, not smoking and limiting alcohol.
How is TIA diagnosed?
It’s difficult to identify a TIA from a major stroke as it is happening. Getting to a hospital or your doctor as soon as the symptoms manifest is of paramount importance. This will help to get you on early treatment and prevent the TIA from progressing to a major stroke. Doctors will examine you and look for subtle signs and symptoms suggestive of a TIA. Once any is present, they will institute treatment and order scans of your blood vessels and brain to diagnose accurately the area of your brain being affected.
How is TIA treated?
Most of the time, your body treats a TIA on its own. The blood clot quickly dissolves. A TIA still requires immediate attention; the sooner you are treated, the better your recovery and outcome. Most of the times, you will be placed on the following categories of medicine to treat the TIA:
Can TIA be prevented or avoided?
After a TIA, your doctor may want you to take aspirin. Aspirin can help keep your blood from forming clots that block your arteries. If taking low-dose aspirin is right for you, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. Your doctor may also prescribe a statin. Statins slow down your body’s production of cholesterol. These drugs also remove cholesterol buildup from your arteries. You also can reduce risk through healthy living and managing diseases that cause strokes. Maintain a healthy diet, exercise, don’t smoke, limit alcohol, and take your medicines.
A TIA is a warning for a future, major stroke. Without lifestyle changes and medicine, a second TIA or major stroke can happen within one year of your first TIA. Even with healthy changes, there’s no guarantee you won’t have a stroke. Detecting a TIA may be the difference between life and death; be vigilant and visit your doctor or the hospital right away if you feel you are experiencing or may have experienced symptoms of a TIA.
Aug 09, 2022USA Tri State tour to Guyana By Sean Devers Kaieteur News – In ideal conditions for cricket under blue skies, the Tri State Youth Development of the USA cruised to a second victory from as many...
Kaieteur News – The PNC/R may have done more than simply shot itself in the foot. It may have inflicted a grievous... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – In the first part of this commentary, the conclusion was reached that the great... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]