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TIA Frustrations

By Anonymous January 31, 2019 - 7:21pm
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I recently had what was described as a TIA with the CT showing white matter issues. It started with me feeling like I was falling and ending up unconscious on the floor with hands and feet feeling very cold. I could not speak (roughly five hours) but could write. I have inverted internal carotid arteries. The doctor I saw afterward, is disregarding what happened. In fact she said, "I have never seen anything like that, it isn't possible." Since that episode, I have experienced times when I stutter on words or unable to say certain letters. I do not know what to do. Has anyone experienced or have heard/know of such things?

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HERWriter Guide

Hello Anon

Thank you for writing.

It's very frustrating when doctors assume what you're saying isn't true or real, simply because they hadn't heard of it. I have also experienced this.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) refers to temporary brain dysfunction. It lasts no longer than 24 hours. TIA is due to a shortage of blood and oxygen. It sometimes is referred to as a mini-stroke. TIA is a serious condition. It serves as a warning for a stroke . About 30% of stroke patients have had a TIA at some point in the past.

Anon, you need to seek care, possibly from another doctor. Get a second opinion. A TIA places you at greater risk for having a stroke. The risk is actually highest in the first week after your TIA. Therefore, rapid treatment aims to decrease stroke risk. This can be done with lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery. If the cause of the TIA is a treatable condition it must be promptly treated. Specific conditions include:

Atrial fibrillation
Severe anemia

Smokers must quit . Patient with diabetes, hypertension , and/or high cholesterol must make every effort to manage these conditions. It can be done with:

Regular exercise
Appropriate dietary changes—low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
Other lifestyle interventions

In addition, doctors often prescribe medication to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This will help lower these risk factors. Most also prescribe aspirin or other drugs to decrease the risk of clot formation. It is still unclear whether the use of several drugs together offers benefit over aspirin alone.

If the carotid artery on the same side as the TIA is 70% blocked or more, doctors may recommend:

A carotid endarterectomy —to remove the plaque deposits
Other less invasive procedures
These procedures can sometimes cause strokes. It is not routinely done if there are no symptoms and less than 70% blockage.

Please stay in touch with us.

February 1, 2019 - 4:48am
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