and heart diseases, stroke is the third leading cause of death.
Approximate 1/4 of all stroke victims die as a direct result
of the stroke or it's complications. Stroke is caused by uncontrolled
diet that is high in saturated and trans fats resulting in cholesterol
build up in the arteries and high blood pressure. In other words,
if cholesterol building up in the arteries is blocking the circulation
of blood in any part of the body causing oxygen not to be delivered
to the brain, resulting in some cells in the brain to die off
and are unable reproduce, then we have stroke. Other strokes
happen when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures causing the
cells in your brain to be deprived of oxygen in your blood,
they die and never come back.
There are similar causes of stroke and heart diseases, but in
stroke the result is more severe. Any delay of rescuing will
result in death of the victim. Here are some causes of stroke:
A diet high in saturated and trans fats causes bad cholesterol
to build up in your blood vessels in the brain, blocking oxygen
needed for the cells thus increasing the risk of stroke. Also
unhealthy diet causes high blood pressure making your heart
work harder to pump blood to your body in result of heart diseases.
High blood pressure also causes the blood vessels in your brain
to harden and thin, increasing the risk of stroke.
Smoking not only has a devastating effect on the health of the
smoker but also to anyone that inhales its toxic fumes. Cigarettes
contain high levels of cadmium that causes the blood to clot
activity of cells in result of blocking blood flow and damaging
the blood vessels in the brain.
Moderate drinking is good for your heart, but excessive drinking
can raise levels of some fats in your blood causing cholesterol
to build up in the arteries and blood vessels in the brain resulting
in increase of the risk of stroke.
People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease or have strokes
at an earlier age than other people. Diabetes with unhealthy
diet causes high blood glucose levels that damage nerves and
blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease
and stroke, the leading causes of death among people with diabetes.
- a body mass index of 30 or higher
Study shows that even after adjusting for other stroke risk
factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol,
smoking, cardiac diseases, moderate alcohol consumption, and
physical activity; obesity is still associated with a greatest
risk of stroke in men and women.
of birth control pills
Birth control pills contain estrogen and one of two other hormones,
lynestrenol or norethisterone that increase the risk of blood
clotting, which can lead to ischemic stroke especially in woman
who smoke and who are older than 35.
many other causes of stroke such as heart diseases that we have
discussed lengthily in the heart diseases articles.
Here are some symptoms of strokes:
trouble in standing
Sudden trouble in standing is an early symptom of stroke as
a result of circulation of blood that carries oxygen to suddenly
deplete caused by narrowing of arteries and high blood pressure.
and loss of balance
The brain coordinates information from the eyes, the inner ear,
and the body's sense to maintain balance. If the cells of that
part of the brain get damaged in result of depleted oxygen will
cause dizziness and loss of balance.
A sudden onset of confusion means that something is potentially
going wrong with the brain. Almost all conditions that affect
the brain are life-threatening. It might be caused by a tumor
or low levels of oxygen in the cells of the cerebral cortex
in your brain that affect your ability to think with your usual
speed or clarity. It might also be caused by lowered blood sugar,
as is the case of diabetes.
trouble speaking and understanding
Having trouble speaking and understanding occurs when the brain
cells in the area of the broca, wernicke and angular ayrus in
the left hemisphere area begin to die because they stop getting
the oxygen and nutrients they need to function.
Headache is a condition of pain in the head, sometimes neck
or upper back pain may also be interpreted as a headache. It
ranks amongst the most common local pain complaints and may
be frequent for many people but sudden severe headaches may
be caused by an early symptom of heart disease as we mentioned
in previous articles, by rupturing a brain vessel or depletion
of oxygen in some parts of the brain.
This may be an early indication of stroke when the oxygen in
the blood supply to the part of the brain is suddenly interrupted
or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into
cells that control the vision area of the cerebral cortex in
The Risk Factors
Human aging is the biological process that is unavoidable but
controllable. Starting at age 40, the cells in our body begin
this process causing the deterioration of some functions of
our body. Most people of this age group already have some form
of cholesterol building up in their arteries and high blood
pressure resulting in an increased risk of stroke.
People with a family history of stroke have a greater chance
of stroke than those do not have such a family history.
Because of frequent high blood pressure in African Americans,
they have a significantly higher risk of stroke than their Caucasian
High blood pressure causes hardening and thinning of arterial
walls and makes our heart work harder to pump blood throughout
our body resulting in heart diseases as well as increasing the
risk of stroke.
Smokers may be exposed to toxic cadmium, causing high blood
pressure and heart diseases as well as contributing to a higher
risk of stroke.
Drinking one cup of wine for women and 2 cups of wine for men
might help to increase the circulation of blood as well as providing
more oxygen for cells. However, excessive drinking not only
damages the normal function of liver but also raises high blood
pressure, increasing the risk of stroke.
Diabetes with unhealthy diet causes high levels of glucose in
the bloodstream. Diabetics have a greater risk of stroke, because
high levels of glucose damage the arterial wall as well as clotting
the arteries and blood vessels.
Males have a 20% greater risk of stroke than females.
Types of Strokes
There are 2 types of strokes:
stroke caused by a clot or other blockage within an artery leading
to the brain.
2. Hemorrhagic stroke caused by the vessel in the brain rupturing
in result of blood leaking into the brain.
This is the most common type of stroke accounting for almost
80% of all strokes. The brain depends on its arteries to bring
fresh blood from the heart and lungs. The blood carries oxygen
and nutrients to the brain, and takes away carbon dioxide and
cellular waste. If an artery is blocked then the brain cells
may not receive enough oxygen. They then cannot make enough
energy and will eventually stop working. There are 2 types of
If blood clots from the inside of the arteries of the brain,
we have thrombic stroke.
Study shows that this type of stroke is responsible for almost
50% of all strokes. The most common problem is narrowing off
the arteries in the neck or head. Thrombotic stroke are also
sometimes referred to as large-artery strokes. The process leading
to thrombotic stroke is complex and occurs over time. Thrombotic
stroke might be caused by the arterial walls slowly thickening
and hardening as a result of arteries being injured. Such injures
signal the immune system to release white blood cells to the
site causing stroke. Thrombotic stroke also occurs when the
inner wall of arteries were injured in result of less nitric
oxide being produced, causing the hardening of the arteries.
If the blood clot then blocks the already narrowed artery and
shuts off oxygen to part of the brain, we have a thrombotic
If blood clotted in other parts of the body's arteries subsequently
entering the brain, we have embolic stroke. In this case the
clot was formed somewhere other than in the brain itself. The
clot then travels the bloodstream until they become lodged and
can not travel any further. This naturally restricts the flow
of blood to the brain and results in embolic stroke. An embolic
stroke occurs when a blood clot or other particle forms in a
blood vessel away from your brain. It is usually caused by a
dislodged blood clot that has traveled through the blood vessels
until it becomes wedged in an artery. It is also caused by irregular
beating in the heart's two upper chambers. This abnormal heart
rhythm can lead to poor blood flow and the formation of a blood
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts inside
the brain, causing an increase of the fluid pressure on the
brain and harms the brain by pressing it against the skull.
Hemorrhagic stroke is associated with high blood pressure, which
stresses the arterial walls until they break. There are 2 types
of hemorrhagic strokes:
Intracerebral hemorrhage is internal bleeding that can happen
in any part of the brain. Blood may accumulate in the brain
tissues itself, or in the space between the brain and the membranes
covering it. Most commonly the problem arises in the small arterial
inside the brain which have been diseased causing these tiny
blood vessels to start to leak. Since the actual source of the
bleeding is often small, it can take time for the blood to build
up resulting in symptoms of an intracerebral hemorrhage and
often increases over minutes or hours. People may not notice
the problems associated with bleeding into the brain and ischemic
Hemorrhagic strokes that cause bleeding into the fluid filled
spaces located deep in the brain are called subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage may occur at any age but is most common
from age 40 to 65. It is caused by the presence of blood within
the subarachnoid space from some pathological processes a result
of ruptured aneurysms and bleeding may stop spontaneously. Other
causes include vascular malformation, tumors and infection.The
most effective treatment is to proceed with microsurgical clipping
of the lesion. This stroke causes paralysis of all limbs, unconsciousness
and bleeding into the cerebellum produceing typical signs of
in coordination with headache and stiffness of the neck.
1. Cold water fish
Cold water fish such as salmon and tuna contains high amounts
of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that can help to reduce the cholesterol
clotting up in the arteries and blood vessels in the brain in
result of lowering blood pressure and the risk of stroke.
Almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E and other minerals
that can help to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and maintain
healthy blood flow in the body.
Blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capacity because
of their large anthocyanin concentration that helps to prevent
heart disease and stroke by reducing the build up of bad cholesterol
Apples are loaded with brain-protecting quercetin. It also contains
high amounts of antioxidants and chemicals that help to protect
cells throughout the body, particularly the brain and the heart.
Phytochemicals in apricots can help to protect the heart and
eye as well prevent stroke. The beta carotene as we mentioned
in a previous article can help to lower the level of bad cholesterol
in the arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases and
Kiwi fruit contains high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium
and antioxidants that are good for the heart and immune system
as well as preventing stroke.
Rice bran contains high amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
and nutritional dietary fiber that help to lower levels of cholesterol
in the arteries and reduce the risk of stroke and heart diseases.
Oat bran is high in beta glucans that has proven effective in
lowering the LDL as well as reducing the risk of stoke
Three B-vitamins: folate, B-6, and B-12 can lower homocysteine,
an amino acid that is found naturally in the body and study
shows that the higher the level of homocysteine in the blood,
the higher the risk of stroke.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that may reduce oxidative stress
to brain cells. Such stress occurs when highly volatile forms
of oxygen damage cell structure. Study shows that beta- carotene
helps to reduce the risk against cerebral infraction and stroke.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to reduce arterial clotting.
Selenium is a powerful agent that helps to keep tissues and
arteries elastic. It also helps to reduce the stickiness of
the blood and decreases the risk of clotting, in turn lowering
the risk of heart attack and stroke. Selenium increases the
ratio of HDL (good) cholesterol to LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Pycnogenol helps to keep collagen elastic and soften the blood
platelets, making blood flow more efficiently.
Co enzyme is a strong antioxidant that not only protects low
density lipoprotein LDL against oxidants, but also helps for
getting oxygen to the cells.
Lecithin is a fat-like substance called a phospholipid that
helps to remove bad cholesterol and other lipids from the body.
It also protects the arteries and organs from the build up of
fatty tissue that can lead to stroke or heart attack.
Melatonin is a neurohormone produced in our body by the pineal
gland. It is a powerful antioxidant that easily penetrates the
blood-brain barrier and is used to treat thrombotic stroke.
Vitamin C helps to strengthen the arterial wall, lowering the
risk of heart diseases and stroke.
The herb is extracted from the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree
and was first used medicinally in China more than 4,000 years
ago. Ginkgo biloba has the ability to increase the oxygen content
to the brain and other bodily tissues, improving circulation
of blood and improving cerebral tolerance to hypoxia. Study
shows that taking Ginkgo and other blood thinner medications
together may increase the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking ginkgo biloba.
Hawthorn contains cardiotonic amines, polyphenols, and is a
source of Vitamins C, B, and many other nutrients that help
in relaxing and dilating arteries, increasing the flow of blood
and oxygen to and from the heart and maintaining healthy blood
pressure resulting in lowered risk of stroke.
Garlic contains high amounts of antioxidants and elements that
help to improve blood circulation. It is dangerous to take garlic
extract together with blood thinner medications as we mentioned
in a previous article.
Cayenne contains an active ingredient called capsaicin that
has the abilities to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
as well as preventing heart diseases and stroke.
Blueberries are one of the richest food sources of natural antioxidants
readily available, having more than twice the levels of other
berries that helps to prevent heart disease, stroke and internal
Pigweed is an excellent plant-source of calcium. It helps lower
one-third of the risk of succumbing to heart attack. Personally,
I believe these results also apply to ischemic strokes, because
they are biologically so similar to heart attack.
Willow bark has been shown in several studies to reduce the
risk of ischemic stroke by about 18 percent. Study shows that
willow bark has the aspirin's ability to prevent heart attacks,
and also shows a slight increase in risk of hemorrhagic stroke
from taking willow bark daily but the increase was small and
not statistically significant.
This is another herb proven to have anti-clotting abilities
and has the same function as garlic.
Chinese Acupuncture and Herbs
Acupuncture is the most popular treatment modality for stroke
patients in China, used effectively on 85% of the stroke patients
there. The recently acceptance of acupuncture by western medical
practitioners allows one more effective method in curing diseases
especially stroke. Study shows that acupuncture helps to facilitate
nerve regeneration, decrease blood viscosity, as well as helping
surviving nerve cells find new pathways, effectively bypassing
damaged parts of the brain resulting in decreased risk of stroke.
biloba (bai guo ye)
Ginkgo biloba improves mental functioning as well as preventing
blood cells from forming blood clots in the brain. Study shows
that ginkgo improves blood circulation and lowers plasma cholesterol
concentrations that help to lower the risk of stroke.
Gastrodia was listed in the ancient Shennong Bencao Jing (ca.
100 A.D.) and was later classified by Tao Hong as a superior
herb, meaning that it could be taken for a long time to protect
health and prolong life, as well as for treating illnesses.
Gastrodia is used by Chinese herbalist in treating stroke and
chronic weaknesses of Qi that eventually blocks the flow of
blood to the brain.
True Cinnamon is one form of the common spice. As we discussed
before, cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar by mimicking insulin,
activating insulin receptors and working with insulin in the
cells to reduce blood sugar by up to 20%. Also cinnamon has
some antioxidant benefits that helps to find new pathways for
surviving nerve cells after stroke.
Angelica can help to warm up the chest-yang to remove obstruction
of blood flow in the heart vessels as well as brain vessels.
Dragon's Blood is used for increased power, purification, protection,
consecration, and the development of strong ritual energy. It
also helps to relieve pain in the heart due to blood stagnation
and stimulate blood circulation to the brain resulting in decreased
risk of stroke.
many other Chinese herbs that can help to prevent and treat
stroke such as ginger root, mantis egg case, and tortoise plastron.
Please consult with your doctor before taking any Chinese herb
because some of these herbs may have side effects.
Common Sense Approaches
1. A healthy Diet
Uncontrolled diet that is high in saturated fat and trans fat
results in cholesterol building up in the arteries and blood
vessels obstructing the flow of blood and damaging brain cells
because of lack of oxygen causing stroke. If we can consume
less of processed foods, fatty animal meats and avoid artificial
chemicals and consume more healthy vegetables and fruits, we
can reduce the risk of stroke.
on a happy face
Study shows that people with depression have an increased risk
of stroke. Experts also found that people with elevated levels
of depression will increase the risk of stroke by 73%.
Regular moderate exercise will help to improve circulation of
blood flow and lessen the risk of stroke that is caused by clogged
blood vessels by 30% because regular walking helps to lower
high blood pressure and increase levels of HDL.
Cigarettes contain toxic chemicals cadmium together with heavy
metals that cause blood clotting in the arteries resulting in
increased high blood pressure and risk of heart diseases as
well as stroke.
intake of alcohol
Excessive drinking increases high blood pressure, thus increasing
the likelihood of stroke.
I hope this
information will help. If you need more information of the above
subject, please visit my home page at:
Kyle J. Norton
reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have all the
I have been studying natural remedies for disease prevention
for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since
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