In cases of a mini-stroke, treatment typically involves lifestyle changes, such as increasing your physical activity and changing your diet. Healthcare providers may also prescribe anticoagulants, antiplatelets, or other medications as part of mini-stroke treatment. In some instances doctors may recommend certain procedures for a person who has had a mini-stroke.
An Introduction to Mini-Stroke TreatmentA transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke, starts just like a stroke but then resolves, leaving no noticeable symptoms or deficits. The occurrence of a mini-stroke is a warning that the person is at risk for a more serious and debilitating stroke. Of the approximately 50,000 Americans who have a mini-stroke each year, about one-third will have an acute stroke sometime in the future. That is why mini-stroke treatment is so important. Research has shown that people who get treatment for a mini-stroke can significantly decrease their chances for a stroke.
Mini-stroke treatment may involve the following:
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, changing your diet, and increasing your physical activity
- Medications used to help blood from clotting or control mini-stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation
- A surgery or procedure to help decrease the chances of another mini-stroke.
Nearly everyone who has had a TIA needs to make at least some lifestyle changes as part of their mini-stroke treatment. These changes involve minimizing the risk factors for another mini-stroke or even a stroke. Some of these lifestyle changes can include:
- Eating a healthy diet to prevent or lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol (see DASH Diet or Low Cholesterol Diet).
- Quitting smoking.
- Exercising as directed by your doctor. Exercise is good for your overall health. It can help you lose weight, keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, reduce stress, and lift your mood.
- Losing weight if you are overweight or obese (see BMI Calculator to learn about what might be a healthy weight for you).
- Cutting back on alcohol consumption if you drink heavily.
Adopting new habits, such as not smoking, following a healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight, and becoming more physically active can go a long way in helping to reduce your risk of another mini-stroke.
You will also need to manage certain medical conditions that increase your risk for another mini-stroke. For example, if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or atrial fibrillation, you need to get these under control (see Lowering Blood Pressure, Lowering Cholesterol, Diabetes Treatment, or Atrial Fibrillation Treatment).