A stroke results from damage to an area of the brain, due to obstructed blood supply. Causes include pressure following hemorrhage from a ruptured blood vessel, a clot in an obstructed brain artery, or an embolism. Symptoms lasting over 24 hours signify a full stroke. Their disappearances after a few hours indicate a \\\\\\\"mini-stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack).
A stroke results from damage to an area of the brain, due to obstructed blood supply. Causes include pressure following hemorrhage from a ruptured blood vessel, a clot in an obstructed brain artery, or an embolism. Symptoms lasting over 24 hours signify a full stroke. Their disappearances after a few hours indicate a "mini-stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack).
- Sudden loss of speech and movement
- Sudden heaviness in the limbs
- Loss of consciousness
The advice is essentially the same as for angina. For fully conscious patients able to eat and drink, a light whole food diet would be prescribed, substituting all saturated with polyunsaturated fats. Gentle manipulative therapy would be carried out, and gentle exercise recommended. Hydrotherapy might be utilized in patients where the restoration of limb movement would be aided by carefully supervised swimming lessons.
Vitamins and Minerals
The emphasis would be on antioxidant-rich fresh fruit and vegetable purees and juices. Choline, found in soya products, cabbage, cauliflower, chickpeas, green beans, and eggs, is believed to have a beneficial effect upon brain function and may be recommended for recovering stroke patients. Choline and antioxidants help minimize damage caused by reperfusion - the restoration of blood flow and oxygen to an area of the heart or brain temporarily deprived of it during a stroke. Choline is also a major constituent of lecithin, found in the same foods as choline, and often recommended as a supplement for the same purposes (the human brain is 40% lecithin). Specific dietary supplements are as for angina.
A course of treatment should be drawn up for the patient by a qualified medical herbalist. He or she might prescribe a preparation of yarrow, together with medications that improve the circulation in the extremities and skin, such as elderflower, rosemary, hyssop and buckwheat. Nervous restoratives to reinvigorate a debilitated central nervous system might also help, such as damiana, oats, lady's slipper, ginseng, rosemary and lavender.
Scents such as lavender and rose are comforting in themselves, so adding a few drops to the bathwater of a stroke patient is doubly useful. Lavender is said to help restore movement in weak muscles; it certainly relives headache and helps to disperse fluid retention. Rose essence also benefits the nervous system, and helps restore balance and calm.
Bach Flower Remedies
These also come into their own in patients who have undergone a severe shock, and may be depressed, confused and/or irritable. Rescue Remedy administered as soon after the stroke as the patient is fit to take it can diminish much of the anguish (consider giving some to family members). The components of Rescue Remedy can also be given singly with benefit - Rock Rose for fear and panic, Cherry Plum for bothersome, uncontrolled and irrational thoughts, Clematis for poor concentration and absentmindedness, Impatiens for impatience and irritability, and Star of Bethlehem for all the effects of serious news, or fright following an accident.
Consult a practitioner for the greatest benefit, but the following can be given every 15 minutes (provided the person can swallow), for up to 10 doses, while awaiting medical help: Belladonna 30c for someone with a hot, flushed face, headache, and eyes wide and staring; Nux 6c at the first sign of the attack, especially when precipitated by a heavy meal or drinking binge; and Aconite 30c for someone panicky and fearful of dying. A remedy to be taken 4 times daily for up to 2 weeks after a stroke is Aconite 6c.
Drugs to prevent further blood clotting may be used, together with careful nursing and physiotherapy and/or speech therapy to help restore lost function.
- Monitor blood pressure.
- Maintain healthy blood vessels through lifestyle.
- Maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- Stop smoking.
- Counseling for anger management or anxiety
- Seek urgent medical help for blurred consciousness or abnormal speech.
- Even the briefest attacks require medical attention.
- Sudden unexplained numbness, tingling and weakness in a limb must be investigated.
- Alcohol overload - binge-drinking - increases the risk of stroke.