A stroke is a medical emergency and must be treated quickly! According to the National Stroke Association – 80% of strokes are preventable. Stop. Listen & Learn the warning signs and F.A.S.T. test. If you, or someone you witness are having the following symptons, call 911 immediately! Even if the symptom or symptoms completely go away, you should still get the the Emergency Department right away. If the symptom or symptoms are due to a Trans Ischemic Attack (TIA), then you could be at risk of a permanent stroke. Immediate diagnosis and treatment may prevent the TIA from going onto a permanent stroke.
I know this all too well because this was my outcome. I had a TIA and did not receive FAST treatment. Within six months I suffered a massive stroke. Immediately, I was paralyzed, lost my ability to speak and most of my hearing was gone. – Valerie Greene, Founder of Bcenter.com
What are the types of stroke?
Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke). A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke”, is caused by a temporary clot. (85% of strokes are “ischemic,” caused by clots).
As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field.
A stroke can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and lead to death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and it is the second leading cause of death worldwide.
A stroke can happen to anyone. Know the warning signs.
Warning Signs of Stroke
The most common sign of stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body. Other warning signs can include:
- Sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
- Keep your blood slippery and reduce the risk of a stroke naturally
- Hydrate Proper hydration helps to keep your blood lubricated. Dehydrated people have sludgy & often sticky blood. Make sure you drink plenty of clean water throughout the day. Research drinking healthy restructured water.
- Avoid fatty foods. Follow a healthy, low-fat diet.First and foremost, keep your sweets under control. Second, avoid trans fats—partially hydrogenated oils used in processed and fried foods.
- Do not drink more than 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks a day.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps keep all systems healthy. It promotes beneficial blood viscosity and opens up capillaries for ideal blood flow.
- Get your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure is a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke. Even moderate reductions can lower risk.
- Have your cholesterol checked. If you are at high risk for stroke, your LDL “bad” cholesterol should be lower than 100 mg/dL.
- Quit smoking! Smoking causes sludgy, viscous, and inflamed blood. Stopping smoking can improve your heart health, tremendously.
- Relax Anger and stress fuel the flames of inflammation in the arteries and blood. Moderate your emotions.
Other Stroke-Prevention Guidelines by Dr. Mercola
Lifestyle plays a major role in whether or not you’re going to become a statistic here. Exercise is clearly at the top of the list in terms of recommendations, as maintaining a regular fitness program will go a long way toward improving your insulin and leptin receptor signaling.
I recommend a comprehensive program that includes Peak Fitness exercises along with super slow strength training, Active Isolated Stretching and core work. If you’ve had a stroke, exercise is also very important, as research shows it can significantly improve both your mental and physical recovery.12 Besides exercise and the specific dietary factors already discussed above, other lifestyle factors that can have a direct impact on your stroke risk include:
Processed meats: Certain preservatives, such as sodium nitrate and nitrite found in smoked and processed meats have been shown to damage your blood vessels, which could increase your risk of stroke. I recommend avoiding all forms of processed meats, opting instead for organic, grass-fed or pastured meats
Diet soda: Research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in 2011 showed that drinking just one diet soda a day may increase your risk of stroke by 48 percent. Ideally, strive to eliminate all soda from your diet, as just one can of regular soda contains nearly twice my recommended daily allowance for fructose in order to maintain good health and prevent disease.
Vitamin D deficiency: According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Annual Scientific Sessions in 2010,13 low levels of vitamin D—the essential nutrient obtained from exposure to sunlight—doubles the risk of stroke in Caucasians. To get your levels into the healthy range of 50-70 ng/ml, appropriate sun exposure is your best bet.
As a last resort, a vitamin D3 supplement can be taken. Research suggests the average adult needs to take 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D per day in order to elevate their levels above 40 ng/ml, which is the absolute minimum for disease prevention. If you opt for a supplement, you also need to make sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of vitamin K2, as it works synergistically with vitamin D and activates matrix GLA protein, which inhibits arterial calcification.
Stress. According to a 2008 study,14 the more stressed you are, the greater your risk of suffering a stroke. The researchers actually found that for every notch lower a person scored on their well-being scale, their risk of stroke increased by 11 percent. Not surprisingly, the relationship between psychological distress and stroke was most pronounced when the stroke was fatal. My favorite overall tool to manage stress is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It’s a handy, free tool for unloading emotional baggage quickly and painlessly, and so easy that even children can learn it. Other common stress-reduction tools with a high success rate include prayer, meditation, laughter and yoga, for example.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills. If you’re on one of the hormonal birth control methods (whether it’s the pill, patch, vaginal ring or implant), it is important to understand that you are taking synthetic progesterone and synthetic estrogen — something that is clearly not advantageous if you want to maintain optimal health. These contraceptives contain the same synthetic hormones as those used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has well-documented risks, including an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer.
Statins. Statin drugs are frequently prescribed to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. However, research shows that these cholesterol-lowering drugs actually increase your risk of a second stroke if you’ve already had one. There are two reasons why this might happen: the drugs may either lower cholesterol too much, to the point that it increases your risk of brain bleeding, or they may affect clotting factors in your blood, increasing the bleeding risk.
Chances are greater than 100 to 1 that you do not need a statin drug. Seventy-five percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels. Therefore, if you optimize your insulin level, you will automatically optimize your cholesterol. For a refresher on how to do this, please see my recent article, Statin Nation: The Great Cholesterol Cover-Up.
Grounding. Walking barefoot, aka “grounding,” has a potent antioxidant effect that helps alleviate inflammation throughout your body. The human body appears to be finely tuned to “work” with the earth in the sense that there’s a constant flow of energy between our bodies and the earth. When you put your feet on the ground, you absorb large amounts of negative electrons through the soles of your feet.
In today’s world, this is more important than ever, yet fewer people than ever actually connect with the earth in this way anymore. High-sugar diets, smoking, radiofrequencies and other toxic electromagnetic forces, emotional stress, high cholesterol, and high uric acid levels are examples of factors that make your blood hypercoagulable, meaning it makes it thick and slow-moving, which increases your risk of having a blood clot or stroke.
Grounding helps thin your blood by improving its zeta potential. This gives each blood cell more negative charge which helps them repel each other to keep your blood thin and less likely to clot. This can significantly reduce your risk of stroke. Research has demonstrated it takes about 80 minutes for the free electrons from the earth to reach your blood stream and transform your blood, so make it a point to regularly walk barefoot on grass or on wet sand for about 1.5-2 hours, if possible.