Blood clots, blocked arteries, and ruptured vessels can all cause a stroke. Luckily, “complementary and alternative medicine” or CAM may help you with stroke recovery and prevention. CAM treatments may include dietary supplements, acupuncture to manage stress, and massage.
Uncontrollable risk factors are:
- Personal history of stroke
- Family history of stroke
Common controllable risk factors include:
- A lack of exercise or physical activity
- A poor diet
- Poor cholesterol levels
- An unhealthy weight
- The use of alcohol or illicit drugs, such as cocaine
- The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, but not aspirin
- High blood pressure
Managing the risk factors for stroke was the best option to prevent it. You can make education and lifestyle changes. Your health goals can be reached by adding CAM treatments into your healthcare routine. For instance, it may help in lowering your blood pressure faster.
Regularly eat or drink the following to help you achieve your health goals.
Black or green tea
Tea flavonoids can help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol level. Reduce your risk of stroke by drinking at least three cups of black or green tea per day. Studies reveal that people who drank tea regularly had fewer incidences of repeated stroke.
Black tea, in particular, may be helpful for diabetes management. It contains compounds that affect the insulin as well as prevent starch from turning into sugar.
Being high in antioxidants, pomegranate concentrate has phytosterols which can lower cholesterol.
Fruits and vegetables
According to research, eating more fruits and vegetables is not just good for you health. It may also increase happiness and well-being as quickly as the next day. AN increase intake to eight portions daily may help lower stress levels and increase life satisfaction.
A popular exercise for stroke prevention and recovery is the Chinese exercise known as tai chi. It involves slow and graceful movements in semi-squatting position. According to research, tai chi helps reduce anxiety and depression and also improve body balance.
If you want a low-impact exercise, yoga is a good option for you. It may improve stroke recovery, mainly for those elderly with fear of falling and balance issues as it promotes improved breathing, smooth physical movements and mental focus that may have lost after a stroke.
You will be able to manage many risk factors by maintaining a healthy weight and body fat ratio. There is a greater risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes if most of your fats rest around your waist instead of the hips. Also, men with a waist size greater than 40 inches as well as women with a waist size greater than 35 inches have a higher risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Weight loss can:
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower body fat
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- Improve blood pressure readings
DON’T STRESS OUT
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), high levels of stress are linked to a significantly increased risk for stroke. Reduce your body’s tension by learning different relaxation techniques.
Acupuncture involves inserting small needles into specific points of the body. It can ease pain and help manage other muscle problems affected by stroke. Acupressure is a similar therapy which uses the same points as acupuncture but without needles.
Though no scientific evidence shows that acupuncture is effective for stroke prevention, there were studies that show how it can improve person’s quality of life and emotional well-being. Acupuncture must be applied by experienced and licensed practitioners as they have the training and skills to use it for health issues like:
Massage helps increase blood flow to an affected area. It can increase health, decrease pain and improve movement after stroke.
Here are other ways you can relax:
- Getting enough rest
- Fun hobbies, such as playing board games or reading
- Positive self-talk
Boost prevention or recovery
Take vitamins or herbal supplements to help with risk factors like blood vessel damage and high cholesterol. Always check with your doctor before taking any extra supplements as some may have negative side effects when mixed with certain medications.
For people who prefer natural remedies, herbal supplements are a popular choice. These supplements may help prevent another stroke and improve blood circulation in the brain:
- Asian ginseng may improve memory and decreases diabetes risk.
- Garlic may prevent blood clotting and destroy plaque.
- Ginkgo may improve blood flow to the brain.
- Bilberry may improve cholesterol and lower blood sugar.
- Turmeric may prevent the blockages in arteries and help lower cholesterol levels.
Vitamins and nutrients
Some research suggests that they can help reduce risk and improve recovery. You may find benefits from taking the following:
- Omega-3 fatty acids may improve cholesterol levels.
- Alpha-lipoic acid may help prevent cell damage
- Magnesium may help lower blood pressure.
- Folic acid, vitamin B-6, B-12, and betaine, may help lower levels of homocysteine –which is an amino acid linked with an increased risk of stroke if it’s at high levels.
- Vitamin E may help improve memory impairment and diabetes
- Vitamin C may help reduce plaque buildup in the arteries and repair blood vessel damage
- Vitamin D supplements may be beneficial because low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of artery-blocking strokes, especially in people with high blood pressure.
It is recommended by AHA that you get your nutrients and vitamins from food rather than supplements.
Always ask your doctor first before taking any additional supplements.