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Prevention - Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

The best way to help prevent a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and not smoke or drink too much alcohol.

These lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of problems such as:

If you've already had a TIA, making these changes can help reduce your risk of having a full stroke or another TIA.


An unhealthy diet may raise your blood pressure and cholesterol level.

A low-fat, high-fibre diet is usually recommended. Making sure you eat a balanced diet is important. Don't eat too much of any one food, particularly foods that are high in salt.

Limit the amount of salt you eat to no more than 6g (0.2oz) a day - about 1 teaspoonful. Too much salt can increase your blood pressure. There may already be salt in your food, especially in processed foods.

Healthy eating

Physical activity

Combining a healthy diet with physical activity is the best way to:

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • lower your cholesterol
  • keep your blood pressure at a healthy level

Most people should try to get at least 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of physical activity each week. This could include cycling or fast walking.

Read more about physical activity

Quit smoking

Smoking significantly increases your risk of having a TIA or stroke. This is because it narrows your arteries and makes your blood more likely to clot.

If you stop smoking, you can reduce your risk of having a TIA or stroke.

Quitting smoking will also reduce your risk of developing other serious conditions, such as lung cancer and heart disease.

Cut down on alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). All of these can increase your risk of having a TIA or stroke.

Do not go over the recommended alcohol limits.

Drinks should be spread out over the week.

Read more about alcohol's effect on the body

Managing underlying conditions

It's important to control any underlying condition that you have that's known to increase your risk of a TIA or stroke.

These can include:

Lifestyle changes can help control these conditions. But you may also need to take regular medicine.