What is Mini-Stroke?

A “mini-stroke” or “transient ischemic attack” (TIA) occurs when there is a temporary drop in the blood supply to the brain. It can be caused by a variety of reasons–the most notable cause is underlying weakness of the heart. Usually, the patient experiences stroke-like symptoms, although they don’t last very long (sometimes only a few minutes to few hours). A TIA doesn’t cause any permanent damage, however, the scary part of  a TIA is that between 10 and 15 percent of TIA patients have a full-blown stroke within 3 months.

stroke_graphicMost people don’t even recognize that they experience a mini-stroke. Furthermore, since the symptoms fade away rather quickly, they seldom seek medical help.

Typical symptoms of a TIA include:

  • Face – the face may fall on one side as some of the facial muscles become paralyzed. The patient’s eye or mouth may droop, and they may be unable to smile properly.

  • Arms – arm weakness or numbness might make it hard for the patient to either raise both arms, or to keep them raised.

  • Speech – speech may be slurred and garbled.

Other signs and symptoms of a TIA can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty talking

  • Difficulty understanding what others are talking about
  • Swallowing Difficulties
  • Very bad headache
  • Paralysis, numbness, or weakness on one side of the body
  • In severe cases, loss of consciousness

If you suspect that you may experience a TIA, It is imperative to seek medical help immediately. So what can be done in addition to conventional western medical treatments?

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