You have been diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack (TIA). You can think of a TIA as a temporary or mini-stroke. Blood temporarily could not reach part of your brain. Unlike a stroke, TIAs usually cause no lasting damage. If you think you are having symptoms of a TIA or stroke, get medical help right away—even if the symptoms go away.
Take your medications exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses.
Learn to take your blood pressure. Keep a log for your doctor.
Change your diet if your doctor tells you to. Your doctor may suggest that you cut back on salt. If so, here are some tips:
Limit canned, dried, packaged, and fast foods.
Don’t add salt to your food at the table.
Season foods with herbs instead of salt when you cook.
Maintain a healthy weight. Get help to lose any extra pounds.
Begin an exercise program. Ask your doctor how to get started. You can benefit from simple activities, such as walking or gardening.
Limit your alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks a day.
Know your cholesterol level. Follow your doctor’s advice about how to keep cholesterol under control.
If you are a smoker, you need to quit now. Enroll in a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success. Ask your doctor about medications or other methods to help you quit.
Your health care provider will give you information on dietary changes that you may need to make, based on your situation. Your provider may recommend that you see a registered dietitian for help with diet changes. Changes may include:
Reducing fat and cholesterol intake
Reducing sodium (salt) intake, especially if you have high blood pressure
Increasing your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits
Eating lean proteins, such as fish, poultry, and legumes (beans and peas) and eating less red meat and processed meats
Using low-fat dairy products
Using vegetable and nut oils in limited amounts
Limiting sweets and processed foods such as chips, cookies, and baked goods
If you are overweight, your health care provider will work with you to lose weight and lower your body mass index (BMI) to a normal or near-normal level. Making diet changes and increasing physical activity can help.
Begin an exercise program. Ask your doctor how to get started and how much activity you should try to get on a daily or weekly basis. You can benefit from simple activities such as walking or gardening.
Learn stress-management techniques to help you deal with stress in your home and work life.
Some medications require blood tests to check for progress or problems. Keep follow-up appointments for any blood tests ordered by your doctors.
Call 911 right away if you have any of the following:
Weakness, tingling, or loss of feeling on one side of your face or body
Sudden double vision, or trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble talking, or slurring your speech
Trouble understanding others
Sudden, severe headache
Dizziness, loss of balance, or a spinning feeling, a sense of falling
Blackouts or seizures