It is very likely that you had a mini-stroke and did not know about it. A research by the Stroke Association found that 68 percents of people do not know the symptoms of mini-stroke, and those who did said that they would not have done anything about it. No wonder that 128,842 Americans die of stroke every year.
What is mini-stroke?
Mini-stroke or a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) is caused by a short drop in the supply of blood to the brain. The brain is deprived of oxygen and the person experiences symptoms of stroke, such as dizziness, loss of balance, blurred vision, speech problems, numbness on one side of the body etc. The symptoms of a mini-stroke last only a few minutes and apparently do not cause any permanent damage.
But, scientists believe that a mini-stroke is a warning that the real deal might be coming. One third of people who suffer a mini-stroke get a real stroke later on, and 15 percents get it within a year after the mini-stroke.
What can we do?
According to the CDC, 6.2 million Americans will have a stroke at some point in their lives. Thousands of those strokes can be prevented if people learned to watch for warning signs. A mini-stroke is the biggest warning sign you can get. It is also an opportunity to do something about it.
Since the symptoms of a mini-stroke are the same as for the big one, you should treat them as seriously. Go to the emergency room if you experience more than one of these symptoms: your face droops on one side, you feel pins and needles on one side of your body, you cannot lift your arms above your head, or your speech is slurred.
Don’t worry that the symptoms are gone in a few minutes. Your doctor will be able to tell if you had a mini-stroke and suggest measures to prevent real stroke. Some of the measures are: losing weight, stop smoking and reduce your consumption of alcohol. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes also increase your risk of stroke, so make sure that they are well controlled.