TIA--So many worries

I’m a 48 year old woman and was diagnosed with a TIA on August 2. I have spent hours researching anything I can about TIAs.

It was a normal morning and I was heading outside to do yard work. I sat down to put on my shoes and I suddenly knew I was not feeling ‘right’. My left side experienced weakness and a strange numbness from my jaw to my leg. My arm was the most affected. I was confused in the sense that I just didn’t know what I was experiencing. I spent hours in the emergency department and had a CT scan, MRI, bloodwork, etc. and all appeared normal.

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor and she is adamant that she doesn’t think I had a TIA, but didn’t really offer any other suggestions. (The ER doctors went through a long list of questions to diagnose me.) She feels I’m too young. She gave me a referral to a neurologist, but here in the United States it could be a very long wait. I will likely not have an appointment for several months.

I awoke at 3:30 this morning to the same symptoms of left side weakness and numbness. It’s been about 11 hours and my arm is almost back to normal. I’m still waiting for my doctor to return my call.

I have a strong family history of stroke. I don’t smoke/vape, I don’t drink much alcohol. My blood pressure and cholesterol have always been in normal range. I don’t have other illnesses such as diabetes. I take a low dose of estrogen for perimenopause symptoms. I know I need to lower my weight and I have made dramatic dietary and exercise changes in the past 2 weeks.

I’m left doubting myself and my symptoms. I have been worrying: I am a mother and want to be here for my child. I feel lost. I am a teacher and I will return to work very soon; I’m concerned about the stress.

Thank you for listening and any advice you can offer. This seems like a very supportive group!


@estowz hi & welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear of your health scares. It’s possible that you have had TIAs but could be other things too e.g. stress . I think i’d be asking my Dr to explain what it was if they say not a TIA. TIAs aren’t normally picked up on CT scans but can he on MRIs.

I’m not sure age has anything to do with it. Strokes / TIAs can happen at any age.

I’d keep pushing your drs for an answer. You’re having symptoms so there must be something gping on.

Hope you get some answers soon.

Best wishes

Ann x


Thanks for your reply.
Of course my doctor is my family doctor, not a specialist. I was disappointed that she had no other suggestions. It will be a long wait to a neurologist the way our health insurance works here.

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Hi @estowz welcome to the forum though I’m sorry you’ve had the need to join us. :people_hugging:
Just browsing the internet and I’ve found a few article linking oestrogen with TIA’s/strokes. Also this

Stroke risk in women | Stroke Association.

And then there is also this:

Hormones And Weight Gain: How To Fix The Hormones That Control Your Weight - OBGYN Associates Of Birmingham Alabama | Obstetric Gynecological Services.

I had 2 TIA’s in quick succession on Christmas day 2½yrs ago. I was in hospital within half an hour, had all the checks, CT scan, MRI, bloodwork, they didn’t find anything. The consultant said:… it could have been either a temporary blockage in a vein that manage to clear itself or it could be in a either too small or too deep to detect vein but I’d definitely had a TIA or mini stroke but they are all strokes and I could have another one at any time and the next could be bigger! And if I have any signs of another, don’t call my GP but call an ambulance because they can save my life basically. TIA’s are considered warning signs of strokes!

Ok he was being brutally honest with me but I take that onboard and go with it. I had the symptoms same as you but down my right side, and I still have symptoms today, albeit minor by comparison to back then.

The fact that you were actually diagnosed as having a TIA and your doctor disagreeing concern me, just because you are too young! A baby still in the womb can have a TIA, age has nothing to do with it!

Taking all that into consideration, I’d suggest going back to your GP and put all the above to her, there’s enough to be considered.

You’ve just had another one, personally, I would have been straight to the hospital regardless of what anyone else says, they’re the ones with the expertise and equipment to more accurately diagnose that your GP.

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Thank you so much for the information about estrogen; that is not something I had considered. I do take a pill called estradiol. In looking that up, I found several sources citing that estradiol should not be used in at-risk patients and can increase risk of cardiovascular disease and stoke. It’s unfortunate since it changed my day-to-day quality of life so much.

I had been considering changing doctors for a while for a few other reasons, but I just haven’t done it. This might be the push I need.

In reading your experience, having 2 in one day must have been overwhelming. Your doctors said nearly the same things that the hospital doctors said to me! Sometimes we need brutal honesty. May I ask what symptoms are still lingering for you? What did they advise you to do to prevent further problems? I am taking a daily aspirin and I have made a massive change to my activity and food choices. Each time I’ve thought that an ice cream might be nice, I tell myself that I don’t want to have a stoke. It’s a great motivator!

Thank you so much.

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Hi @estowz

Welcome :slight_smile:

We’ve been putting together some oft repeated stuff in a welcome post Here (just click this blue text)

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Well your doctor should have…even despite thinking it’s not a TIA, it’s still your life she’s gambling with, she should at least err on the side of caution here. And there are HRT patches and gels out there you can use but other than that I really don’t know much about them. I’m 61 and never really had any need HRT.

My TIA’s were just weird, I was sitting down at the time. I got very sleepy for a minute or two first, then everything collapsed down my right side, eye/mouth droop…couldn’t speak, arm/leg useless, if my hubby weren’t sitting beside me I’d have topples sideways. A bit like a fainting spell, that how long it took, I came around back to normal and went to blood sugar testing kit. I’d barely finished taking the reading when it happened again. This time I didn’t recover! My son immediately did the FAST test and my hubby called the ambulance. And now I’m on Clopidogrel to thin my blood, I also take Ramipril for blood pressure. I’m type 2 diabetic and medicated for that too, but both that and strokes are genetic in my family.

Despite the CT’s and MRI scans and blood tests, they failed to find evidence. And that second episode was clearly stroke like, with all the FAST signs right there and that second episode was the one that lasted longest. I’m still left with mild Aphasia and drop foot, bouts of fatigue. But it’s taken me 2½ years to talk, walk, balance and get me back to reasonable standard of life. That was one thing the consultant got wrong, he said I’d be back to normal in 6/8 wks :rofl: But I’ll forgive him that as the world really doesn’t know enough about brain.

Healthy diet and exercise is all anyone can ever advise! May I make a suggestion, if you want to lose some weight, which is your priority, eat like a diabetic and get at least 1 hours exercise as day, in other words walk for an hour a day. So low carbs, no sugars other than natural, no processed foods…so icecream would be out for the time being and no sweets (candy), fizzy drinks or artificially flavoured drinks.

An example of my daily diet is
Breakfast: 1 slice seeded bread toasted and buttered and a 100g bowl of porridge, I use Jumbo Oats ( whole rolled oats) you can put fruit or honey in to taste, I prefer mine plane.

Lunch: soup, poach egg, bacon/ham, cold chicken, nuts, fruit … to be honest, I’m not big on lunch so I really just have bite sized snacks of these sort of things throughout the day. When I’m out and about I’ll have a sandwich or soup.

Evening meal: Chicken breast with home prepared sauce, 3 steamed veg, 3 new potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Other dishes such as spaghetti Bolognese (I just skip leave out the spaghetti for me), Chicken Stroganoff, Fish…fried/steamed/poached/baked depending, beef.
I always tend to bulk up on the meats and veg because I eat so little of the rice/spaghetti/potatoes

Other snacks, plain rice cakes or popcorn. I don’t eat crisps (chips)…though I’m happy to pinch one from the kids, no fizzy drinks, alcohol. I just drink water, milk or tea.

Treats should never be out completely, so you could have your icecream once a week or a cream cake, or chocolate or whatever floats your boat :smile: No one is a saint no matter how much we might wish to be, no one is perfect! You don’t have to ridged in your diet, just get plenty of healthy fresh, home cooked food and an hour’s exercise a day and watch that weight just fall away. My trouble is keeping enough of it on :sweat_smile: And distract yourself when tempted :grin:

Good Luck


Thank you so much! Your help is appreciated!


The occasional treat is important, that is for certain! For now I’m better off to say no and wait for something really delicious. I have always cooked at home since I find it tastes better and l really, I can’t afford eating out too often! I am a teacher and during the school year I love prepping on Sunday afternoons. It’s convenient and I know I have breakfasts and lunches mostly prepared.

I have been feeling a bit low this summer and I have not taken advantage of the weather. I’m back out walking again daily. I know that will improve my mood! And despite the workload I will be very happy to see my students again. :grinning:
I should mention that I have a wonderfully supportive partner. That is helping me with my worries knowing he will be there no matter what. And my teenage son is also doing a good job of supporting me!

I’m so sorry to hear that recovery has been such a long process for you. I suppose like everything it’s one day at a time. It just seems frustrating. My first time I was fully myself after a day. It’s been about 36 hours since my more recent tia and my left arm is ok but not 100%. Hopefully that will be back in the next couple days.

Thank you again for your kindness!


@estowz i was on HRT, estradiol, when I had my stroke. Even though there was no suggestion it was involved in my stroke my GP took me straight off it as it can increase the risk. I would definitely discuss that with your dr.


Yes I had no idea about it! It’s on my list of questions for discussion.
Did your GP offer/suggest an alternative or simply say no HRT altogether?

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It was no HRT altogether for me. I know of other people who have tried patches though which I believe is a better option. You need to weigh up risks vs benefits depending on how bad your symptoms are i guess.