Q. What are the causes of a mini-stroke?

Answered by
Dr. Saumya Mittal
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 25, 2020 and last reviewed on: May 11, 2021

Hi doctor,

My father has a thyroid problem. Recently, he had a mini-stroke. What is the cause?



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Stroke is one of the common diseases occurring in the world. It is common among the top causes of both mortality as well as morbidity. Everyone needs to know the risk factors of stroke and who is at risk of developing it. There are numerous risk factors. There are some common medical conditions and habits that predispose to stroke if the condition is uncontrolled. Some of the risk factors are preventable or controllable and others cannot be controlled. They are referred to as modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.

The risk factors are high blood pressure. These patients are known to be hypertensive to have a stroke and cardiac diseases. Hypertensive patients have to meet their physician regularly to have a health check-up. They need to take medications regularly to avoid having the risk of developing stroke-ischemic as well as hemorrhagic. Avoid skipping medicines. Uncontrolled hypertension is a more significant risk factor responsible for developing stroke.

Patients with heart disease can develop stroke frequently. There are two reasons to have it. They can develop from the deposition of fat in the vessels (atherosclerosis) and stroke can develop due to the formation of clots. These clots can break and make their way to the brain causing a stroke (embolization). Patients with atrial fibrillation will have irregular heartbeats. It increases the risk of embolization.

Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for having both cardiac diseases as well as stroke. Patients having associated hypertension are at a higher risk. The risk is even high in uncontrollable conditions. Higher levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of having a stroke. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle also increase the chances of having a stroke. Losing weight and doing moderate exercise helps to reverse the risk.

Having a prior stroke also increases the chance of having a second episode. These are the medical conditions and common risk factors that cause a stroke. The following factors can be preventable and avoided. Smoking and alcohol abuse are individual risk factors that predispose to stroke. Abuse of stimulant drugs such as amphetamine and cocaine, and using oral contraceptive pills are risk factors predisposing to stroke.

Some conditions and risk factors that are unavoidable and unpreventable to have a stroke. The male gender has an increased chance to have a stroke. Elder-aged people are more commonly affected due to this condition. Certain races are more prone to develop stroke. The other significant risk factors are elevated hematocrit, lower socioeconomic status, and type A personality.

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