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Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - Prevention

You can help prevent a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke if you control risk factors and treat other medical conditions that can lead to a stroke. You can help prevent a TIA or stroke by taking steps toward a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Know your stroke risk

Your doctor can help you know your risk. These are some of the common risk factors for stroke:

Treat any health problems you have

  • Manage high blood pressure or high cholesterol by working with your doctor.
  • Manage diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels within a target range.
  • If your doctor advises you to take aspirin or a blood thinner, take it. This can help prevent a stroke.
  • Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

  • Don't smoke or allow others to smoke around you. To learn more, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks camera.gif a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight makes it more likely you will develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes. These conditions make a stroke more likely.
  • Do activities that raise your heart rate. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, and foods that are low in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Eat fish at least 2 times each week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best. These fish include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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