Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Stroke



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Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Stroke.

Know which risk factors for stroke are manageable:

Blocked arteries, ruptured blood vessels, or blood clots can cause a stroke. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may help with stroke prevention and recovery. CAM treatments can include massage, dietary supplements, or acupuncture to manage stress.

Uncontrollable risk factors are:

*age.

*gender.

*race.

*a family history of stroke.

*a personal history of stroke.

If you think you’re having a stroke, call 911 or local emergency services.

Common controllable risk factors for stroke include:

*the use of alcohol or illicit drugs, such as cocaine.

*smoking.

*a lack of exercise or physical activity.

*a poor diet.

*an unhealthy weight.

*diabetes.

*stress.

*depression.

*poor cholesterol levels.

*high blood pressure.

*the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, but not aspirin.

According to a 50-year study of strokes in India, where strokes are more common than in Western countries, managing the risk factors for stroke was the best option for prevention. One-third of the people in their sample size made education and lifestyle changes to control their risk factors. These changes proved to be the most effective way to prevent another stroke in this population.

Evidence doesn’t suggest that CAM treatments are better than medical treatments. CAM treatments shouldn’t replace any treatments your doctor has prescribed. But adding CAM treatments to your healthcare routine may help you reach health goals. For example, it may help lower your blood pressure faster. Check with your doctor first before taking CAM treatments.

What to eat.

Your doctor may prescribe medication for lowering cholesterol and may recommend a heart-healthy lifestyle. You should regularly eat or drink the following to help you reach your health goals.

Black or green tea:

Drinking at least three cups of black or green tea per day may help reduce your risk of stroke. Tea flavonoids, which are plant nutrients, can help decrease cholesterol and blood pressure. Researchers in one study found that people who drank that amount of green or black tea had far fewer incidences of repeated stroke.

Black tea may be especially helpful for diabetes management. The compounds in black tea mimic the effects of insulin and prevent starch from turning into sugar.

Fruits and vegetables.

Eating more fruit and vegetables isn’t just good for your physical health. Researchers in a recent study found that eating more fruit may increase happiness and well-being as quickly as the next day. Increasing your intake to eight portions per day may increase life satisfaction and help lower stress levels.

Pomegranate.

Pomegranate concentrate is high in antioxidants and phytosterols, which are plant steroids that lower cholesterol. Adding pomegranate concentrate with low-dose statin therapy or the regular use of cholesterol-lowering drugs can help reduce cholesterol, according to the Israeli Institute of Technology. It may also lessen the statin’s side effects, such as muscle pain.

Ways to start moving.

Yoga is a good option for low-impact exercise. According to the Harvard Health Blog, research findings suggest that yoga may improve stroke recovery, especially for people with balance issues or fear of falling. Yoga promotes smooth physical movements, improved breathing, and mental focus that may have been lost after a stroke.

Another popular exercise for stroke prevention and recovery is tai chi. Tai chi is a Chinese exercise that practices slow and graceful movements in a semi-squatting position. Research shows that tai chi helps improve body balance and reduces depression and anxiety. Researchers in one study about tai chi and stroke prevention in seniors are currently exploring if tai chi has a role as a protective measure against ischemic stroke.

Maintaining a healthy weight and body fat ratio or body mass index is a good way to manage many risk factors. If most of the fat rests around the waist instead of the hips, then there’s a greater risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Women with a waist size greater than 35 inches and men with a waist size greater than 40 inches also have a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

According to the National Institutes of Health, weight loss can:

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