Skip to main content

‘Mini Stroke’ Is Serious Warning Sign

Make lifestyle changes to help avoid life-altering consequences.

‘Mini Stroke’ Is Serious Warning Sign

Q: My father-in-law had a "mini stroke." What is that?

"It's called a transient ischemic stroke, or TIA. When deprived even briefly of blood, oxygen and nutrients, brain cells begin to die. With a TIA, the blocked artery is caused by a clot that usually

lasts less than five minutes, typically without causing permanent brain damage," says board-certified cardiologist Rohan Wagle, M.D. "However, I characterize a TIA as a 'warning stroke' to be taken seriously as it significantly increases the risk of having a complete stroke with life-altering consequences."

TIA symptoms

"Sudden onset of symptoms, though short-lived, usually include temporary loss of visi​on; difficulty speaking; and weakness, numbness or tingling on one side of the body," Dr. Wagle says. "Lingering symptoms, such as lightheadedness, could take longer to subside."

Are you at risk?

Dr. Wagle says risk factors include:

  • ​A family history of stroke or TIA.
  •  Uncontrolled high blood pressure. Having diabetes.
  • Using tobacco.
  • Frequent headaches.


He says studies suggest lifestyle changes that may reduce risks include:

  • Avoiding tobacco.
  • Eating healthy high-fiber foods, while limiting sodium and fats.
  • Exercising regularly – not just being a weekend warrior.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Controlling blood pressure and glucose level.

​"Regular medical exams that identify and address risk factors in the early stages can help reduce the occurrence of strokes and other cardiovascular calamities," concludes Dr. Wagle.

Alternate Text
Rohan Wagle, MD, FACC

​When illness becomes overwhelming, I’m committed to working with my patients to create and achieve jointly-desired goals. I value strong relationships with my patients so I can become their biggest advocate and, ultimately, their motivation for leading a healthier, happier life.​