This morning I was thinking about life and death and strokes. These are sneaky little killers that can mostly be prevented by changing our lifestyle and by going to the doctor. So of course I decided to do some research and here is what I found out.
Up to 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented. (information from the National Stroke Association)
- Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor if left untreated. Get your blood pressure checked regularly and see your doctor if it is too high or low.
- Identify Atrial Fibrillation (Afib). An abnormal heartbeat can cause blood to pool in the heart and may form a clot and cause a stroke. Get it treated if it is abnormal.
- Stop Smoking. Smoking doubles the risk factor of stroke. It damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder.
- Control alcohol use. Alcohol has been linked to stroke in many studies. Limit your alcohol use to no more than two drinks per day.
- Know cholesterol levels. This fatty substance can clog arteries and cause a stroke. If it is over 200, see your doctor.
- Control diabetes. Many people with diabetes have other health problems that increase risk for stroke. See a doctor or dietician for help with managing diabetes.
- Manage exercise & diet. Excess weight puts strain on the circulatory system. Exercise five times a week. Eat a diet low in calories, salt, fats and cholesterol. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Treat circulation problems. Fatty deposits can block arteries carrying blood to the brain and lead to a stroke. See your doctor to test your blood circulation.
Recognize stroke symptoms and act quickly.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you think someone is having a stroke. Act FAST and do this simple test.
The more I read, the more I am seeing that a stroke is not a primary disease. Instead, it is a consequence of something else. Strokes are not hereditary, but the things that cause strokes can be, like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Just because family members have had a stroke does NOT mean that you will have a stroke, but it does mean that you might be at higher risk for having one than a person who does not have the family history.
Natural Stroke Prevention
I am all about using the good Earth to mend my body. I do not like taking medications, so I am always trying to find natural ways to fix what is going on, or for prevention.
Ginkgo Biloba – stops development of blood clots, enhances blood flow to the brain and can impede creation of free radicals.
Ginger and Garlic – reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels and helps prevent stroke by thinning the blood and maintaining its pressure.
- Carrots are rich in betacarotene and Vitamin A, can reduce the chance of a stroke by more than 50 percent.
- Spinach, cabbage, papaya, endives and okra are sources of folates, which help prevent the artery walls from clogging.
- Pineapple, with its bromelain enzyme that breaks down proteins and possesses anti-clotting capabilities.
- Berries (blueberries, huckleberries & bilberries) are rich in compounds called anthocyanidins, which also help impede blood coagulation and aid in breaking down plaque in the arteries.
I hope that this information helps you as it has helped me. Diet and exercise seems to be the golden key for good health overall.