Why should you care?
The CDC recently announced they are investigating the link between the Covid-19 vaccine and the recent rise in ischemic strokes. (1.)
Ischemic strokes are caused by a blockage or reduction of blood flow to the brain due to a blood clot. This blockage prevents vital nutrients and oxygen from reaching portions of the brain.
Brain cells begin to die within minutes. As a result, areas of the body that are controlled by that part of the brain show signs of loss of function quite rapidly.
Without timely treatment, strokes can cause death.
Whatever the CDC ends up discovering, or reporting, it’s important to know two things:
- Over the last 40 years the risk for death from an ischemic stroke was declining.
- Now, the risk for death from a stroke has risen - and is rising. (2.)
What should you do?
Prevention is key.
A stroke is something that happens suddenly, out of nowhere, with little to no warning, just like a car accident.
However, unlike a car accident, there are behind the scene processes building up to an ischemic stroke for years on end. Often silent risk factors are increasing inflammation and building plaque within arteries. Your actions today can increase or decrease your risk for stroke.
In 2019, my healthy father suffered a TIA (transient ischemic attack) while at the gym. TIA’s are known as “mini-strokes,” warning signs that a greater, more devastating full-blown stroke is looming.
For that reason, after being seen in the ER, he was admitted overnight for observation in the neuro-intensive care unit.
The next morning it was discovered he had suffered a massive, life-altering stroke, overnight despite being “monitored.”
Strokes are time sensitive.
There are medications you can give to help prevent the devastation. If you or someone you know is having a stroke, or you think a stroke is occurring, you must go to the ER immediately.
By the next morning, my father was not within the time frame to receive a blood clot killing medicine known as TPA. So a surgical procedure to remove the blood clot was performed instead, but the loss of function remained.
All of that while under the watchful eye of a hospital.
These things happen quite regularly. And if you’d like to know how I really feel about elderly care in hospitals, you can read more here.
The reason I tell you all of that is not give you a sob story, or to make you afraid of medications, but to impress upon you the need to advocate and to take care of yourself today.
Hospitals are where you need to go if you are having a stroke. Let’s be clear. They can save your life.
But, they make mistakes, too. So do government mandates.
So if you’re like me, and you want to prevent disease, here are 3 things I’m doing to prevent a stroke in my own life as a nurse and as someone with a family history.
1. Addressing inflammatory markers regularly.
Blood pressure: Managing blood pressure is one of the best markers to reduce the risk for stroke (3.)
Waist Circumference: Focusing on a healthy waist circumference is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy metabolic function. Waist circumference is a modifiable risk factor for many health issues. (Read blog post.)
CRP levels: Elevated CRP levels, especially among those with atrial fibrillation, have been shown to increase the risk for ischemic strokes. (4.)
Hemoglobin A1C: This assessment of blood sugar control has been shown to indicate ischemic stroke risk, too. (5.)
2. Follow an anti-inflammatory approach to life (notice that’s not just nutrition).
This is something I work on with all of my clients and it has also been a huge part to my own healing process, too.
What does it look like?
Nutrition: Focusing on blood sugar balance (imbalanced blood sugar is a cause of glycation, the thickening of arteries), promoting insulin sensitivity, nutrient dense foods, and less ultra-processed foods.
Movement: Daily movement (being sedentary increases the risk for stroke by 44%) (6.) and building muscle (Read my blog post about the fountain of youth).
Lifestyle: Stress management, boundaries, time outside, etc.
3. Addressing hidden sources of inflammation.
Sleep apnea (more than doubles the risk for stroke) (7.)
Medications (hormonal birth control, for example) (8.)
Mineral imbalances (Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium all play a role and this is why I do love offering a hair tissue mineral analysis). (9.)
Mental stress (10.)
We all have steps we can take to prevent disease. While you’re at it, make sure you’re preventing those specific diseases, like strokes, that are on the rise.
With numbers increasing, it would be a good idea to take action most people aren’t willing to do: improve your nutrition, movement, and mentality.
Are you trying to prevent disease, but need a clear path to get you there? Click here to apply to join my program today.