Like all parts of the body, the brain needs a continuous supply of oxygen
to function properly. When that oxygen supply is cut off, brain tissues
begin to die within minutes, never to regenerate. This tissue death is what
happens during a stroke. A stroke occurs when blood carrying oxygen and
other nutrients to the brain is blocked or interrupted; the extent of the
damage to the brain usually depends upon the length of the interruption and
the speed with which treatment is received. As most of us know, strokes are
extremely serious and often fatal. They are the third leading cause of
death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer.
An overwhelming percentage of strokes are caused by arteriosclerosis, a
condition in which fatty deposits build up inside the arterial walls and
obstruct blood flow. An artery leading to the brain may become so thick
with plaque that the passage of blood is effectively blocked. The blood
supply may also be shut off if a clot lodges itself in an artery that's
already damaged and narrow. In a few cases, a cerebral blood vessel will
actually rupture. High blood pressure is also a major predisposition to
strokes, which damage the arteries and may cause a rupture; it, too, can
often be managed with proper diet, exercise, supplementation, and stress
Although we've been conditioned to think of strokes as tragic but
unpreventable accidents that occur in old age, the truth is that
arteriosclerosis is often a condition caused or made more probable by
controllable lifestyle factors. Although arteries do tend to weaken, as we
get older, poor diet and lack of exercise, along with uncontrolled stress,
are reasons that plaque builds up in the arteries in the first place.
Genetic cardiovascular risk factors also play a role for many people.
A few other factors also increase the risk for stroke. If you have an
irregular heartbeat or a damaged heart valve or have suffered a recent
heart attack, you should be especially vigilant about your health and
should be monitored regularly by a doctor. Women who take oral
contraceptives and who smoke also have a greater chance of developing blood
clots, as so women on certain types of synthetic hormone replacement.
If you have a stroke, you have a significantly greater chance of surviving
and even fully recovering when you receive medical treatment within three
hours after symptoms begin-the earlier, the better. Call an ambulance or
get to an emergency room immediately if you experience any of the following
symptoms: weakness or numbness along one side of the body; difficulty
talking or understanding speech; blurred vision; confusion; a sudden,
intense headache; unexplained dizziness or loss of balance; or loss of
consciousness. These symptoms may come on suddenly, within a matter of
seconds or minutes, or they may develop over the course of a day or two. If
you have arteriosclerosis or are over fifty, you should be aware of these
stroke warning signs so that you know when to get help, should it ever be
It's difficult to say exactly what the consequences of a stroke will be.
The damage largely depends upon which brain tissues are deprived of oxygen
and how long the interruption of blood flow lasts. If the blood flow is
suspended for only a few seconds, you may experience visual and speech
problems, weakness, trembling, or confusion, but it's likely that you'll
soon return to normal. People who survive longer periods of oxygen
deprivation may suffer lasting damage to their vision, speech,
coordination, or movement, although physical therapy may restore some or
even total functioning.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of
effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
|The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help Stroke:
James F. Balch
Multivitamin – High
See All of our
Take as directed on
the container. It
contains a variety
of antioxidants, as
well as minerals
that are associated
with reducing the
risk of stroke.
Take as directed on
bottle. This has
been shown to help
Take 2,000 mg of
aged garlic daily.
and increases HDL
See All of our
Omega 3 – Fish Oil
Take a daily dosage
listed on the
bottle. Fish oil
inflammation in the
arteries and lowers
Take 10 to 20 mg
total and LDL
increases the good
Take 400 IU daily
of a mixed complex.
oxidation and is a
Take 180 to 240 mg
daily of a 24
Green Tea Extract
Take 400 to 1,200
mg of the capsule
form. Look for a
between 80 and 90
and between 35 and
gallate. Green tea
contains a rich
Click here to see
studies for Stroke
· Paralysis or numbness on one side of the face or the body
A sudden, severe headache
Blurred vision or blindness
An inability to understand others' speech
Loss of balance
Loss of consciousness
· Genetic cardiovascular risk factors (elevated fibrinogen, homocysteine,
High blood pressure
Blood that clots too easily
Damaged heart valve
· Oral contraceptives (especially in women over thirty-five)
Synthetic hormone replacement
If you experience any of the symptoms listed previously, get medical help
immediately. The following treatments will assist in the recovery from
strokes or will prevent future strokes from occurring, but they cannot
substitute for emergency care by doctors.
Follow a diet consisting of whole, natural foods, including fresh fruits
and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, fish, nuts, and seeds. This
eating plan, which is high in nutrients and fiber, will reduce your risk of
forming blood clots. The antioxidants in these foods will also counteract
free-radical damage, making you less likely to develop arteriosclerosis.
Fish are high in essential fatty acids and decrease your risk of stroke.
They contain "good" fats that improve circulation and act as natural blood
thinners. The Nurses' Health Study found a significant decrease in the risk
of thrombotic stroke among women who ate fish at least two times per week,
when compared with the risk in women who ate fish less than once per month.
Although you should eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, try to
have a couple of servings of those that are blue-red or purple in color at
least twice a day. Purple grapes, berries, red cabbage, and eggplant are
all high in anthocyanidins, a substance that lowers the risk of stroke and
Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure and thereby decreases stroke risk.
Good sources include leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, and citrus
Consume green and white tea, which contains powerful antioxidants.
Foods to Avoid
A diet that's high in saturated and trans-fatty acids is thought to be a
leading cause of both arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure. Eliminate
red meat, butter, fried and greasy foods, and all junk food from your diet.
You must also avoid margarine and shortening, as well as products made with
these items. This includes many sweet baked goods. Vegetable oils should
not be used for frying. The exception is canola oil.
Although we don't tend to think of sugar as a cause of heart disease, high
amounts of it will increase the inflammation in artery walls. Decrease the
amount of simple sugars in the diet, such as those from white breads,
pastas, candy, and soda pop.
Sodium can send blood pressure levels soaring in many people. Don't use
table salt, and avoid processed food, which is the leading source of sodium
in the American diet.
If you've had a stroke, do not undergo any kind of fasting program until
your doctor has told you that your condition is stable. Fresh vegetable
juices are excellent for detoxification. Make them fresh or buy super green
food powder drinks.
· Pantetheine is a metabolite of vitamin B5 that has been shown in studies
to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, as well to increase HDL. It can be
particularly effective for people with diabetes. Take 600 to 900 mg daily.
· Soy protein has been shown in studies to reduce total and LDL cholesterol
and to increase HDL. Take 25 to 50 grams daily.
· Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a mushroom extract that reduces
cholesterol. Take 800 mg two to three times daily.
· Vitamin E prevents LDL oxidation. Take 400 to 800 IU of a mixed blend
· Vitamin C reduces total cholesterol and LDL levels and acts to prevent
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