Heart Health Videos

Video: Transient Ischemic Attack – What is it?

Dr. Minkoff talks explains what a transient ischemic attacks is.

A Transient Ischemic Attack is a very serious condition and is a precursor to a stroke. A TIA can occur when there is a blocked or narrow artery that didn’t get blood to a portion of the brain and then it opened up by itself.

In this video you will learn:

  • What is Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)?
  • The causes of TIA
  • Conventional treatments for TIA
  • Alternative treatments for TIA

Learn about EECP treatment for TIA.

What is a Transient Ischemic Attack?

Transient ischemic attack video

Hi. Dr Minkoff here, LifeWorks Wellness Center, Clearwater, Florida.

I want to talk to you about a disease or a condition called TIA.

TIA is Transient, Transient means it’s passing, it’s quick.

Ischemic, ischemia means not enough oxygen. Attacks.

So if the arteries that go to your brain have a blockage or they get a clot and it’s small enough so that it blocks an area off of your brain where for a temporary amount of time, might be five minutes or ten minutes or even a half an hour where that part of the brain doesn’t get oxygen, then you might get a droopy eye, a numb face, speech impediment, numb arm, numb leg, loss of consciousness or diminishment of consciousness but it sort of comes back by itself.

Which means that there was a block in that artery or the artery spasmed very tight, you didn’t get blood to a portion of the brain and then it opened up by itself and so we call that a transient ischemic attack.

Now that’s a precursor to a stroke because what happens in a stroke is that thing doesn’t open up.

You could also get a stroke if that blood vessel broke and bled so that you didn’t get blood to the area because of bleeding but we usually were talking about it where there’s a clot.

So if you have an irregular heartbeat and you get a clot built up in your heart and it goes to your brain and it blocks off an area of your brain, you could have a transient ischemic attack or worse you could have a stroke.

Now when someone gets angina, which is a transient ischemic attack of their heart, so the heart doesn’t get enough blood, now the heart flutters uncomfortably or you get pain, it’s basically the same process.

These aren’t good and what this means is that there’s a major problem going on in your vascular system, in your blood vessel system.

Now it might be that the that the arteries are narrow because there’s inflammation, infection and they’ve built up plaque so that the arteries are now narrow and then you’re outside and you haven’t been drinking enough and you get dehydrated and then you have a big heavy meal where there’s a lot of you know the blood is thick with food and it can’t get through and you could have a Transient Ischemic Attack.

So in anyone that we see this in, we test them very carefully.

Do you have blocked arteries in your head and neck, in your heart? Sometimes this occurs in the legs too.

And then really do a very careful analysis to find out like, is your blood too thick? If so what do we need to do to get it thinned out?

Do you need some kind of therapy like fish oil or extra vitamin E or certain kinds of enzymes so that your blood flows better?

Do we need to get the inside of your arteries cleaned out so that the the artery isn’t too narrowed. So these are if you’ve had a TIA this is not something to take lightly.

Yes it went away but your risk of having a real stroke are very high and so we do a full work up on these people to figure out like is it their blood, is it their arteries, is it both and then how can we work with them to open these up.

We have a therapy that’s very unique. There’s only one in Tampa Bay area that I know of, which is called EECP.

What happens with this EECP therapy is that it turns on a hormone in the body so that if there’s a blockage here, the body grows new blood vessels around the blockage and it’s kind of a natural bypass.

So if this is going on in the brain or it’s going on in the heart or sometimes it’s going on in the kidney, this therapy can actually turn the body’s own healing mechanisms on to get this better.

And then you know it’s like a six-week treatment, seven week treatment, doesn’t take very long. And in people who have symptoms, this is especially true of people with heart symptoms where they have Transient Ischemic Attacks or angina attacks is that within 17 treatments the angina goes away, like the body responds to this very quickly. So this is a major condition, this is not something that should be ignored.

The usual therapy is aspirin and blood thinners which in some people might be necessary temporarily but the real therapy is figure out like why is this going on, do our best to unwind it so then the person doesn’t have the big risk of this happening again and that’s true for the heart and for the brain, okay.

So that’s TIA, Transient Ischemic Attack and it’s a handleable condition and we’re really good at it, okay. Hope this helps.

Helpful Heart Health Resources

  • Heart Health - our complete page on heart health / cardiovascular treatment.