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How to Quickly Recover from a Stroke: A Cardiologist’s Guide

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Recovering from a Stroke

It was a day like any other when Eleanor, a 52-year-old elementary school teacher, suddenly felt a sharp pain on one side of her head. Her words began to slur, and her right arm went numb. The room spun around her, and the children’s voices became distant echoes. Once she arrived at the hospital, the reality hit: she had experienced a stroke.

After rounds of tests, the neurologist delivered a prognosis that felt like a life sentence. “Eleanor,” he said, “medication will be part of your daily life from here on.” Fears of dependency, potential side effects, and a lifetime tied to a pill bottle loomed large. The idea of depending on medication for the rest of her life left her feeling lost, adrift in an unfamiliar sea of uncertainty.

But just when Eleanor thought there was no escaping her fate, she discovered the Natural Heart Doctor. This wasn’t just another medical practice; it was a sanctuary of holistic healing, an evidence-based state-of-the-art clinic, and a promise of rejuvenation. With this discovery, Eleanor began her tailored journey to recovery.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is akin to a storm in the brain – sudden, unexpected, and often devastating. At its core, it interrupts blood flow to a part of the brain, starving the delicate neural tissues of oxygen and nutrients they desperately need. Within mere minutes, these cells begin to die, affecting the functions they control, be it speech, movement, or even memory.

But why does this cerebral storm strike? The culprits vary. Sometimes, a blood clot plays the villain, blocking the vessels feeding the brain. At other times, a blood vessel may rupture, flooding the surrounding tissues. However, the root cause of a stroke, like a heart attack, is nearly always underlying inflammation resulting from violations of the Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well philosophy.

After the storm of a stroke, the recovery landscape is diverse. Some navigate minor setbacks and swiftly return to normalcy, while others face a longer road, adjusting to new daily realities. A concerning fact: one in four stroke survivors experience a recurrence. However, amid this challenge, there’s optimism: numerous strategies can help reduce the risk and enhance the potential for a full recovery.

Lowering Inflammation: The Brain and Heart’s Balm

Inflammation, often called the silent enemy, is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s the body’s natural defense against injury or infection. But when it lingers, it can turn destructive, wreaking havoc on our body’s systems, especially the cardiovascular and neurological ones.

To combat inflammation after a stroke, it’s crucial to understand its sources. From processed foods rich in trans fats to chronic stress, the triggers are manifold. Addressing these is the pivot point in stroke recovery.

The “Eat Well” Pillar: Nourishing the Brain and Heart

Diet, as many of us know, has profound implications on health. But after a stroke, it assumes an even more vital role. The phrase “you are what you eat” morphs from a casual saying to a recovery mantra.

Foods to Embrace:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon and mackerel reduce inflammation and aid neural repair.
  • Grass-fed beef and organs also contain brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. They are rich in vitamin B12, which may help to reduce the cognitive side effects of a stroke, such as fatigue, brain fog, and memory loss.
  • Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables brimming with antioxidants battle free radicals and support vascular health.
  • Berries, nuts, and seeds offer multiple nutrients that enhance brain function and reduce inflammation.
  • Pasture-raised poultry and eggs contain high amounts of choline, which is necessary for producing acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter for proper brain function. Studies show that choline improves stroke recovery.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Processed foods, notorious for their high sugar content, exacerbate inflammation.
  • Vegetable seed oils often found in fried foods and certain baked goods are detrimental to stroke recovery.
  • Gluten-containing foods have been shown to increase inflammation and slow the healing process
  • Foods containing pesticides, additives, or other chemicals.

The “Live Well” Pillar: Lifestyle Choices that Heal

Beyond the plate, our daily habits are pivotal in stroke recovery. Most people fail to realize that a sedentary lifestyle is just as harmful as a poor diet. Physical activity boosts blood flow and delivers vital nutrients to brain cells, helping them to recover more quickly.

  • Engage in Regular Exercise: Gentle activities like walking, tai chi, or water aerobics can enhance muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance after a stroke. At strength returns, moderate exercise improves stroke recovery.
  • Sleep: A rejuvenating sleep is the body’s natural repair mechanism. A consistent sleep schedule aids in cognitive recovery and mood regulation.
  • Chiropractic Care: Regular chiropractic adjustments aid in optimizing the nervous system, leading to improved blood flow and function. Chiropractic care focuses on holistic healing, aligning the spine, and addressing subluxations that might hinder optimal body function after having a stroke.
  • Sun Exposure: Vitamin D, synthesized through sunlight exposure, has neuroprotective effects. This sunshine vitamin aids in reducing inflammation and supporting overall brain health. Regular, moderate exposure to sunlight can enhance Vitamin D levels and nitric oxide, lowering blood pressure and providing a natural boost to stroke recovery.
  • Reduce Toxin Load: Everyday toxins, whether from pollution, cleaning products, household goods, or personal care items, trigger inflammation. Minimize toxin exposure by using natural products, ensuring clean air in living spaces, and drinking quality water is pivotal in healing from a stroke.
  • Reduce Electrosmog Exposure: In our tech-driven world, the unseen web of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) — often termed ‘electrosmog’ — has grown pervasive. Devices like smartphones, Wi-Fi routers, and even household appliances emit these fields and promote inflammation. Use wired connections, turn off devices when not in use, and maintain distance from routers to minimize risks.
  • Stress Management: Stress is vastly underrated when it comes to cardiovascular and neurologic disease. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and spending time in nature reduces cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone that exacerbates inflammation.

The “Think Well” Pillar: Mental Resilience and Recovery

A stroke doesn’t just leave physical scars; the emotional and cognitive aftermath can be equally challenging. A positive mindset, combined with mental exercises, can expedite the healing process.

  • Cognitive Rehabilitation: Engaging in brain games, puzzles, and reading can stimulate neural pathways, aiding in brain recovery.
  • Positive Affirmations: These can reshape neural patterns, instilling hope and optimism. The power of positive thinking isn’t just an adage; it’s neuroscience.
  • Gratitude Journal: Having a stroke hardly seems like something to be grateful for, but if you are reading this, you survived. Begin or end each day by giving thanks for the gifts in your life. It will improve recovery.
  • Seek Support: Spending time with loved ones decreases inflammation. If you don’t have a strong network, consider joining support groups or finding a hobby that allows connection with others.

In the intricate dance of recovery post-stroke, every step, every bite, and every thought counts. Adopting the Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well philosophy isn’t just a holistic approach; it’s a transformative one.

Supplements to Speed the Stroke Healing Process

Every stroke patient, regardless of the specifics of their situation, requires nutritional support beyond regular food intake. Our diets, while essential, often fall short of providing the concentrated nutrients necessary for optimal recovery. By understanding the root cause of a stroke, patients can incorporate specific supplements to bridge this gap.

In pursuing holistic recovery post-stroke, diving into the underlying trigger is paramount. Recognizing the main cause can lead us to tailored supplement regimens that aid recovery and protect against potential health challenges. Here are the three predominant causes of stroke:

1. Hypertension

Elevated blood pressure, a consistent culprit behind stroke occurrences, exerts excessive strain on blood vessel walls. Supplements can be particularly beneficial for those addressing hypertension.

For strokes caused by high blood pressure, the hypertension complete support protocol will enhance healing.

2. AFib

Atrial fibrillation, commonly referred to as AFib, presents as a fluttering or irregular heartbeat and can culminate in stroke or other heart complications. Tackling the core issues of AFib is a vital step in the recovery trajectory.

For strokes caused by atrial fibrillation, the AFib complete support protocol is the best for supplemental recovery.

3. Carotid Disease

Carotid arteries, pivotal in ferrying blood to the brain and head, can be undermined by plaque accumulation. Addressing carotid disease, often a stroke precursor, demands a targeted approach.

For strokes caused by carotid disease, the CAD complete support protocol will provide the best nutrients for recovery.

By integrating the appropriate NHD supplement protocol, matched to the unique stroke cause, patients are equipped with an enhanced toolkit for recovery.

Next Steps

Eleanor’s journey, while scary, became a testament to resilience and the human spirit. From that ominous day in her classroom, Eleanor has traveled a path of discovery, learning how intertwined the elements of diet, lifestyle, and mindset truly are. Today, she has hope. She knows that a stroke, while devastating, can also represent a second chance at life.

For many people, the aftermath of a stroke feels like standing on the edge of a cliff. But remember Eleanor’s journey and know there’s a roadmap to recovery and holistic wellness. It’s a path that doesn’t just revolve around managing symptoms but truly embracing life in all its vitality.

THERE ARE ALSO BIOHACKING STRATEGIES that can help such as red light therapy, ozone and hyperbaric oxygen.

We can help.

If you or a loved one has been impacted by a stroke, we’re here to help. We invite you to schedule a free 20-minute consult with one of our expert health coaches. This session will provide insights, guidance, and the first steps to navigating the post-stroke landscape. After all, every storm has a silver lining. Eleanor found hers, and with the right guidance, so can you.


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He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

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About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

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Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

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Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.


Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.