Chapter 2.28 - Stroke
In this chapter, Dr. Donache presents Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the prevention and treatment of the different types of strokes, including hemorrhagic stroke, and transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke.
The chapter includes an overview of the disease's symptoms, conventional treatment methods, and alternative therapies, including Bio-Energetic therapies, Bodywork and Movement therapies, and Mental / Emotional treatments.
This chapter is taken from Dr. Donache's upcoming book, Finding Balance - Integrating Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the Prevention of the Top 30 Diseases in America. Each section of chapter 2, which describes alternative treatments for each of the top diseases, is available as a download on this website.
Table of Contents
Glossary of Terms Used in this Chapter
Additional Disease Descriptions and Treatments Available for Download
Table of Contents
- ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT
- CONVENTIONAL APPROACHES
- TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT
- Preventing Subsequent Strokes
- Lifestyle Changes
- Issues and Answers
- *How To Find Your Neutral Position
- BIO-ENERGETIC THERAPIES
BODYWORK AND MOVEMENT THERAPIES
- Nutrition and Supplements
- Enzymatic Therapies
- Rainforest and Western Herbs
- Rainforest Herbs
- Western Herbs
- Homeopathic Remedies
- Essential Oils
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
- Therapeutic Bodywork and Massage
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Hatha Yoga Postures
- PRODUCT ORDERING INFORMATION
- GLOSSARY OF TERMS
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A stroke is a sudden loss in function of a part of the brain caused by interference with its blood supply. An estimated 1 million Americans are disabled by peripheral vascular disease.
This can occur when the brain is suddenly deprived of blood or when a blood vessel bursts in or near the brain. Symptoms vary greatly, depending on the cause of the stroke, the part of the brain affected and the amount of damage. Arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis involve the buildup of deposits on the insides of the artery walls, which causes thickening and hardening of the arteries. In arteriosclerosis, the deposits are composed largely of calcium; in atherosclerosis, the deposits consist of fatty substances. Both conditions have about the same effect on circulation, causing high blood pressure and ultimately heart attack and/or stroke.
Common symptoms include:
- Sudden blurriness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye;
- Sudden weakness or numbness of one side of the face, an arm or a leg;
- Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech;
- Sudden, severe headaches; unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA); or "mini-stroke," is different in that symptoms resemble those of a stroke, but disappear within 24 hours. The brain coordinates how we move, feel, think and behave. When an area of the brain is injured by a stroke, a person may lose some of the functions controlled by that region. The brain receives its energy from blood pumped through large arteries known as the carotid arteries and the vertebral arteries. These arteries branch into smaller and smaller arteries in the brain, which in turn divide into branches called capillaries. Capillaries deliver the oxygen and nutrients that brain tissue needs.
Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain becomes blocked. Blockage can occur in several ways. A fatty deposit called plaque can build up on the walls of an artery, decreasing the flow of blood to brain tissue. Also, a blood clot, or thrombus, can develop on the plaque surface and block blood flow to the part of the brain the artery serves. Sometimes a wandering blood clot, or embolus, travels from the heart or an artery to the narrower vessels in the brain. This may create a sudden blockage called an embolism. Not all strokes are caused by blockage of an artery.
In hemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds within or near the brain. When this happens, nearby brain tissue is compressed and may suffer damage or die. After initial testing and treatment, some patients, especially those who have experienced major hemorrhagic strokes, may be moved to an intensive care unit. Patients in more stable condition may undergo additional testing and begin a rehabilitation program.
A team of health care professionals -- including a neurologist, family physician, physiatrist, nurse, massage, physical, and occupational therapists may help with a patient's rehabilitation after a stroke. But the most important members of the rehabilitation team are the patient and his or her family members.
Stroke can be treated. Most people who have had a stroke can recover at least some, if not much, of their functioning, within weeks or even months -- and they may reduce their risk of having another stroke. This healing process is called spontaneous recovery.
Some factors that may increase the likelihood of a stroke include:
- A previous stroke or TIA ("mini-stroke");
- High blood pressure;
- Irregular heartbeat;
- Coronary artery disease;
- High blood cholesterol levels;
- Smoking or heavy alcohol use;
- Advancing age;
- Family history of stroke or heart disease.
Although arteriosclerosis causes high blood pressure, high blood pressure can also cause arteriosclerosis. Calcium-based and fatty deposits typically form in areas of the arteries that have been weakened by high blood pressure or strain - or order to repair the cardiovascular system! These arteries can even be weakened by low blood pH balance, or hyperacidity caused from a diet rich in acid forming foods, sugar, alcohol, and soft drinks.
The consequent narrowing of the arteries then makes blood pressure that is already high - even higher. As the arteries become less pliable and less permeable, cells experience ischemia (oxygen starvation) due to insufficient circulation. If a blood clot has been formed or snagged in the deposit, and occludes the arterial supply of blood to the brain, a cerebrovascular accident, or stroke, occurs.
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Glossary of Terms
- An abnormal thinning and protrusion of a blood vessel wall; poses a risk of rupturing and bleeding.
- Medications that prevent blood clotting.
- Carotid Arteries
- The principal arteries in the neck that carry blood from the heart to the brain.
- Carotid Endarterectomy
- A surgical procedure to remove plaque from a carotid artery.
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- A computerized scanning technique that uses multiple X-ray pictures to create cross-sectional images of the brain or other organs.
- ECG (EKG) or Electrocardiogram
- A recording of the electrical impulses of the heart that can reveal heart problems.
- The sudden blocking of a blood vessel by an embolus; one cause of ischemic stroke.
- A traveling blood clot.
- Hemorrhagic Stroke
- A stroke that occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in or near the brain.
- Infarct or Infarction
- Area of damaged or dead tissue; in a stroke, brain infarction is caused by impaired blood flow.
- Ischemic Stroke
- A stroke that occurs when part of the brain is suddenly deprived of blood.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- A computerized scanning technique that uses magnet fields to create images of internal organs.
- Deposits of fatty material in the arteries.
- A blood clot that forms inside a blood vessel; can cause a stroke if it forms in a blood vessel in the brain or leading to the brain.
- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
- A "mini-stroke" whose symptoms resemble ischemic stroke but disappear within 24 hours; often a warning sign of ischemic stroke.
- Vertebral Arteries
- One of the large arteries in the neck that carry blood from the heart to the brain.
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