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.
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.
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.