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Dr. Oz and Judge Judy discuss mini-stroke health crisis: Her diet secrets

Dr. Oz: Judge Judy's health crisis, mini-stroke, diet and workout secrets
Dr. Oz: Judge Judy's health crisis, mini-stroke, diet and workout secrets
Screengrab from Fox TV

Dr. Mehmet Oz spoke with Judge Judy Sheindlin about her recent health scare and mini-stroke on the July 1 episode of the Dr. Oz Show. Judge Judy is known for her hard-charging personality, so she was shocked when she suffered a mini-stroke while taping her TV show three years ago.

Judge Judy suffered a mini-stroke called a transient ischemic attack in March 2011, which caused her to slur her speech while taping of her show. Her staff immediately called the paramedics.

Judge Judy was rushed to the hospital and said she was lucky to be released shortly afterward with no permanent damage. Looking back, she recalled that the month before her stroke, she had double vision and felt very tired. Fatigue, slurred speech, and vision problems are common symptoms of a stroke.

During a stroke, blood flow to the brain is interrupted when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks. When either of these things happen, brain damage occurs and brain cells die. Dr. Oz said getting immediate medical attention is critical with stroke victims because every second counts.

Judge Judy Eats Only Two Meals a Day and Exercises Daily

Fortunately, Judge Judy has recovered completely from the stroke and is doing well, thanks to a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Judge Judy, 71, works out every day and follows a healthy diet (she eats only two meals a day). "I eat routinely," she said. "I try to eat two meals a day and we never eat after 6 p.m. I don't like that full feeling."

For exercise, Judge Judy walks three miles a day on the treadmill, lifts weights, and does lots of stretching. Due to a genetic predisposition for gallbladder problems, she has been following a low-fat diet since her thirties that excludes bacon, eggs, and other dietary fats.

Judge Judy has been taking Plavix, a medication that prevents blood clots, for the past two years, and she gets a colonoscopy every five years.

Most people can make a full recovery from mini-strokes, but it's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to speed recovery. According to the National Stroke Association, up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. You can prevent a potentially deadly stroke by doing the following:

  • Don't smoke.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Manage high blood pressure.
  • Control diabetes.
  • Follow a healthy low-calorie diet, as obesity is a major risk factor.
  • Limit or avoid diet sodas, which increase your risk of stroke.