Monday, March 18, 2013

Guest Blog Post by Eric Shaffer: Natural Remedies for Preventing Strokes

This blog is a guest post by Eric Shaffer, a freelance writer from Florida.  He specializes in writing articles on nutrition and pharmaceuticals. For questions about this article, you can contact Eric at:

Naturally lowering your risk of stroke and reasons to be cautious with blood thinners

If someone is at risk for a stroke, or has had a stroke previously, most doctors are quick to prescribe harsh drugs for their patients. While strokes should be taken very seriously, there are usually safer options available than prescription medications.

When looking for natural ways to prevent stroke, it is important to know the
risk factors that can lead to a stroke. Controlling or eliminating risk factors may be all you need to protect yourself. Good blood flow is key, so issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and being overweight are all major risk factors. Some surprising risk factors include oral contraceptives in women, stress, binge drinking, and eating right before going to sleep. Many of these can be handled with diet and exercise or slight lifestyle changes. 

A Healthy Diet Matters

A healthy, well rounded diet is important for so many reasons, including avoiding stroke. Your diet should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Oranges and citrus fruits are particularly important because they contain flavanones. Tomato products are also very important because of the lycopene they contain which prevents cancer and heart disease. Green tea has been shown to help reduce stroke risk, unfortunately for it to be effective, you must drink five cups per day. If this is more green tea than you can take, there are supplements on the market that will give you the same benefits. The Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish are also very beneficial. Eating broiled or baked fish just one to three times a month lowers your chance of stoke significantly. Surprisingly, fried fish will actually increase your chance of stoke because frying destroys the Omega-3 fatty acids. Foods to avoid, or enjoy in moderation, are red meats, white flour, and sugar.

There are many
supplements and vitamins to consider before using prescription medications. A simple daily vitamin that's high in B vitamins and Folic Acid is a great place to start. B vitamins will even help avoid depression if someone has already suffered from a stroke. Garlic has properties similar to aspirin, as does Ginkgo Biloba. These should not be taken without consulting a doctor, because Ginkgo Biloba can thin your blood. It will also improve circulation and can even minimize the damage a stroke can cause when taken before or during a stroke.

Fish oils provide important Omega-3 fatty acids, as talked about previously. If you are vegetarian, or you don't like the side effects from fish oils, there are DHA pills, produced from algae, available that provide similar effects. With any medication, it is important to consult your doctor before adding or changing your vitamin intake. 

Exercise: It’s never too late to start

Exercise is another key component for avoiding stroke and overall health. It allows your body to react to bleeding faster and improves circulation and blood flow. Just walking several times a week will drastically lower your chance of stroke. People who are active through their 20's and 30's have a much lower risk, but it's never too late to start an exercise regimen that will significantly help your health.

Common Blood Thinners and the Issues

There are medications your doctor can prescribe that lower your chances of stroke but they should only be used as a last resort, if lifestyle and diet changes aren't enough. The most popular are
Coumadin and Pradaxa. Both of these are blood thinners that can result in massive hemorrhaging or uncontrolled bleeding. Pradaxa, which has been on the market for two years, has already blamed for over 500 deaths and currently has 200 lawsuits filed against them in federal court. Once pradaxa is administered, there is no antidote if the bleeding starts, unlike its counterpart Coumadin. Any hemorrhage or major injury will cause the patient to bleed to death. There are also many minor side effects associated with these drugs.

You should consult your doctor and come up with a plan of action if you are at risk for a stroke. There are so many changes to make and things to try before jumping to prescription medications that have life threatening side effects. A healthy diet, along with regular exercise, can do amazing things for your overall health. 

1 comment:

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This natural remedy should be given to those people who are living in countries whose temperature rises from the natural like 37 degrees and above?? But thanks for sharing!