Symptoms of carotid artery blockage can be subtle and even invisible; nevertheless any sign of stroke can be devastating to continued function in normal life. Paralysis of any part of the body even for a short time can ultimately be devastating as symptoms of a mini stroke progress. Other indicators of further serious problems include temporary loss of vision, severe headache, and loss of coordination. A whole other category of characteristics related to cardiac disease includes transient ischemic attacks, which may occur often for months before a full stroke occurs.
Avoiding these types of problems by leading a healthy lifestyle is a safe way to attempt to prevent future problems. Understanding risk factors will enable a person to fully evaluate any lifestyle choice and the benefits it may offer toward disease prevention. Symptoms of a mini stroke are the same as those that occur during a full attack. The difference between a full attack and a mini stroke is that a person will recover in a matter of minutes or hours whereas a full attack will debilitate the person to the point of hospitalization. Some lifestyle factors that can determine added risk include smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and stress. Some medications treating symptoms of carotid artery blockage also raise a persons risk of having symptoms of carotid blockage. Discuss thoroughly with a doctor before taking any new medications. Sometimes a doctor does not know things about a persons life that would increase chance for symptoms of a mini stroke. Personal research as well as choosing a good doctor will reduce risk. Some factors cannot be changed, but should be acknowledged and taken into consideration before engaging in anything considered being high risk. These include age, sex, ethnic background, and family history. Even with unchangeable factors, anyone who implements a regular exercise program into their life will dramatically decrease the chances of developing symptoms of a mini stroke. Likewise, the implementation of an exercise program will decrease bad cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. If a person has any of these conditions, regular checkups from a cardiologist will further help detect yearly symptoms of carotid artery blockage.
Educating oneself about the increased risk certain activities create is important to reduced risk as well as being able to enjoy as many normal activities as possible. Although lowering blood pressure is linked to increased health, a dramatic decrease in blood pressure can also cause disease. In addition, smokers greatly increase the chances of a person having a stroke due to the lessening of blood flow and the clogging of arteries. Improving diet will undoubtedly decrease the chance of stroke. Decreasing the amount of salt, refined sugar, and fat will improve overall health as well as decrease symptoms of carotid blockage. Fat, sugar, and salt naturally found in foods are generally healthy to consume, however any added ingredients as well as preservatives will harm anyone’s health, but particularly those that have increased risk of encountering symptoms of a mini stroke. In addition moderate consumption of alcohol and the elimination of caffeine. It has been proven one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men can actually aid a person in reducing the risk of symptoms of mini stroke. Discussing the effects of alcohol on a specific person with specific conditions may help determine the benefits, if any, of moderate alcohol consumption. Treating and controlling diabetes also decreases the onset of symptoms of carotid blockage. The better health the overall body is in will determine the risk of stroke. In addition, controlling stress is crucial in keeping levels of blood pressure and cholesterol down. Some medications such as oral contraceptives have shown to increase a persons chance of developing symptoms of carotid blockage.
Unchanging factors in the increased risk of stroke include age, gender, ethnicity, and family history. Anyone over the age of 65 is at a 66% higher risk of having a stroke and even higher in the instance of men. For unknown reasons, statistic show the instance of these events also occur more often in African-Americans, however socio-economic status is a major factor no matter what ethnic background a person has. This is due to the quality of food consumed, living environment and stress levels that occur naturally in this setting. However, genetics cannot change risk factors no matter the quality of life lived. Some medications help control these genetic factors as a preventative measure, but side effects should be evaluated carefully. If a person develops symptoms of a carotid artery blockage despite careful measures taken to avoid it, immediate treatment is crucial to decreasing the chances of something worse happening. In most instances this includes careful diagnostic testing which may include Computerized Tomography (CT scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), Carotid Duplex Scanning, Transcranial Doppler (TCD), Xenon CT Scanning, Radionuclide SPECT Scanning, PET Scanning, Cerebral Angiography, and Transesophageal Echocardiography. This list is overwhelming, but all bases may need to be covered in order to make proper diagnosis. Each test checks for something slightly different or does it in a different way in hopes of finding something that would indicate risk for symptoms of carotid artery blockage. Likewise, some tests can be performed after the instance of stroke to identify the cause and help develop a plan for future wellness.