According to the National Stroke Reference Group of Nigeria, stroke is the number one cause of long-term disability and a leading cause of death globally. The most common type of stroke is called “ischemic stroke,” which results from an obstruction in a blood vessel supplying blood to your brain. Once you suffer a stroke, the damage, should you survive it, can be absolutely devastating.
Thankfully, up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. According to researchers,lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, body mass index, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and smoking can have a direct bearing on your individual risk.
There’s also compelling evidence showing that your vitamin D status, stress, and use of drugs that lower cholesterol and hormone replacement therapy and/or birth control pills play a role.
Lifestyle Factors that prevent getting a Stroke
Daniel Lackland, a professor of neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina and a spokesman for the American Heart Association, has developed a scale of lifestyle factors that have a bearing on stroke risk, called the “Life’s Simple Seven” scale, which includes:
Control your cholesterol
Manage your blood pressure
Reduce your blood sugar, and
The Truth About Cholesterol Levels and Stroke
It’s well worth noting that cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins have been found to increase stroke risk.Total cholesterol will tell you virtually nothing about your disease risk, unless it’s exceptionally elevated (above 330 or so, which would be suggestive of familial hypercholesterolemia, and is, in my view, about the only time a cholesterol-lowering drug would be appropriate). Two ratios that are far better indicators of heart disease risk are:
1.Your HDL/total cholesterol ratio: HDL percentage is a very potent indicator of your heart disease risk. Just divide your HDL level by your total cholesterol. This percentage should ideally be above 24 percent. Below 10 percent, it’s a significant indicator of risk for heart disease
2.Your triglyceride/HDL ratios: This percentage should ideally be below 2
8 Factors that can Trigger a Stroke
• Processed meats: Certain preservatives, such as sodium nitrate and nitrite found in smoked and processed meats have been shown to damage your blood vessels, which could increase your risk of stroke. I recommend avoiding all forms of processed meats, opting instead for organic, grass-fed or pastured meats
• Diet soda: Research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in 2011 showed that drinking just one diet soda a day may increase your risk of stroke by 48 percent. There’s plenty of evidence showing that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) can be dangerous to your health. I believe aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous artificial sweetener on the market.
• Vitamin D deficiency: According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Annual Scientific Sessions in 2010, low levels of vitamin D—the essential nutrient obtained from exposure to sunlight.
As a last resort, a vitamin D3 supplement can be taken. Research suggests the average adult needs to take 5,000 IU’s of vitamin D per day in order to elevate their levels above 40 ng/ml, which is the absolute minimum for disease prevention. If you opt for a supplement, you also need to make sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of vitamin K2, as it works synergistically with vitamin D and activates matrix GLA protein, which inhibits arterial calcification.
• Stress. According to a 2008 study, the more stressed you are, the greater your risk of suffering a stroke. The researchers actually found that for every notch lower a person scored on their well-being scale, their risk of stroke increased by 11 percent. Not surprisingly, the relationship between psychological distress and stroke was most pronounced when the stroke was fatal.
• Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills. If you’re on one of the hormonal birth control methods (whether it’s the pill, patch, vaginal ring or implant), it is important to understand that you are taking synthetic progesterone and synthetic estrogen — something that is clearly not advantageous if you want to maintain optimal health. These contraceptives contain the same synthetic hormones as those used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has well-documented risks, including an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer.
• Statins. Statin drugs are frequently prescribed to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. However, research shows that these cholesterol-lowering drugs actually increase your risk of a second stroke if you’ve already had one. There are two reasons why this might happen: the drugs may either lower cholesterol too much, to the point that it increases your risk of brain bleeding, or they may affect clotting factors in your blood, increasing the bleeding risk.
Chances are greater than 100 to 1 that you do not need a statin drug. Seventy-five percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels. Therefore, if you optimize your insulin level, you will automatically optimize your cholesterol.
• Trans-Fats: Known to Increase Stroke Risk.This includes numerous processed foods, such as crackers, chips, most store-bought baked goods, and any fried foods, just to name a few examples. Trans fats are known to promote inflammation, which is a hallmark of most chronic and/or serious diseases; not just strokes and heart disease.
Processed White Salt— White salt irritates the endothelial lining and contributes to high blood pressure.
Unrefined natural salt on the other hand, such as Himalayan salt, is actually very important for a variety of biological processes, including helping the lining of your blood vessels to regulate blood pressure—clearly a beneficial effect, as opposed to a disease-promoting one.
In case you or your loved one already have a stroke, please speak to our healthcare expert on the best protocol for stroke recovery on 08037194634 or 07031189207