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Warning Signs

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Transient Ischemic Attack – often called T-I-A –
Is a temporary shortage in the brain’s blood supply. It can be the warning sign for a stroke. It comes on fast, and doesn’t last long.

The symptoms can include numbness; weakness; paralysis on one side; blindness in one eye; double vision; difficulty in speaking and understanding.

More men have TIAs. But more women have strokes. The risks are the same for everybody:

Risk doubles every decade after 55.
A family history of strokes increases the odds nearly 30%.
African Americans and Hispanics are at greater risk.

You can’t control those risks. But you can control these:
Smoking doubles the odds of stroke. Don’t.
Drink moderately.
Control your blood pressure, lipids and blood sugars. Diabetes makes a stroke 6 times likelier.
Get checked for atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rate that ups your risk 5 times.
And have your carotid arteries, which bring blood to your brain, checked for blockage.

If you do have symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. Treatments include blood thinners, statins to lower cholesterol, blood pressure meds, and surgery to open blocked arteries.

A T-I-A is a warning. Strokes claim a victim every 40 seconds in the U.S.