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Optimize Stroke Recovery: 10 Steps you Can Take to Promote Healing

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Strokes are terrifying. They cause debilitating conditions that may significantly disrupt your life. My goal is to help you build up your health in order to prevent a stroke (and many other conditions). If you are one of millions of people who have suffered a stroke, read on for some recommendations that can improve your health.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood vessels carrying blood to the brain become blocked or ruptured. When blood, which contains oxygen and nutrients, cannot circulate to the brain and brain cells, the brain dies.

If you have had a stroke, there are things you can do to help your recovery.

Stroke Recovery Recommendations

  1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

    One of the best things you can do for your brain is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Inflammation of the brain, or neuroinflammation, is often at the root cause of a stroke and other neurodegenerative disorders.

    An organic Paleo diet limits processed foods and toxins, which can damage blood vessel linings and lead to stroke.

    Load up on:

    • nitrate-rich foods like leafy greens and beets
    • wild-caught salmon or sardines to boost Omega-3 intake (a nutrient needed for brain function
    • antioxidants like coffee, green tea, and quality meat
    • Omega 3 fats, antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin B12 can help to increase neurogenesis (creation of new neurons in the brain) after a stroke.
  2. Increase your Sleep

    Sleep speeds up brain recovery by allowing it to heal and detox by flushing toxins.

    Good quality sleep is also key to restoring mental health and cellular energy. We recommend 8-9 hours of sleep in order to enter REM.

    **Deep REM sleep is essential to helping the brain process motor information and eliminate toxins.

  3. Exercise your Brain

    Rewire the brain after a stroke by actively engaging it. Doing brain activities keeps the mind active and increases communication between brain cells.

    Read books, do crossword puzzles, or play card games to keep the brain active.

    Not only will this help your brain recover from a stroke, but it will also help you prevent neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

  4. Exercise your Body

    Struggles with balance and movement are common among stroke survivors. The best way to improve movement after a stroke is to get moving.

    Try going for a walk outside each day and gradually increase your time. If walking is not an option, try swimming, yoga, Tai Chi, or any other exercises that will promote movement, strength, and balance.

    You can change many exercises to accommodate physical limitations. You can do this!!

  5. Increase Blood Flow

    Impaired blood flow is both a risk factor AND a consequence of a stroke. Atherosclerosis of the arteries impedes blood flow and this poor blood flow, along with other factors, contributes to atherosclerosis.

    Increasing nitric oxide is one technique that naturally improves blood flow. Nitric oxide is a molecule responsible for vasodilation, meaning it keeps the arteries relaxed and open while promoting blood flow. You can also try the nitric oxide dump.

    Restoring blood flow is vital for stroke recovery.

  6. Reduce Stress

    Stress releases cortisol into the body, which promotes inflammation and depletes the immune system. Inflammation and depleted immunity trigger other health issues to arise.

    Stress-reducing activities like meditation have shown to reduce depression and fatigue. They also help to improve attention, regulate mood and improve information processing within your brain, all of which are important for recovery.

  7. Infrared Sauna

    The heat of an infrared sauna can open capillaries (small blood vessels that connect arteries to veins) and improve blood flow. This means it helps to combat strokes and speed up stroke recovery.

    An additional added benefit of infrared sauna use is it can significantly lower blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke.

  8. Sunshine

    We know the positive impact sunshine has on our Vitamin D levels, but the impact it has on our mental health is also significant.

    Stroke patients are more susceptible to depression. It is imperative for them to get outside for at least 30 minutes a day for some healing sunshine. We need our mind and spirit to be at full capacity in order to help heal the body.

  9. Get your Heart Healthy

    One of the most important things you can do to recover and prevent future strokes is to take care of your cardiovascular health. You want your blood vessels to be dilated and your blood to flow well. High blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, oxidized cholesterol and high blood sugar all impede blood flow to the brain, increase inflammation and the risk for neurodegeneration.

    Atherosclerosis of the heart is a significant risk factor for an ischemic stroke or brain damage. Taking care of your heart is taking care of your brain. To keep your heart and brain healthy see: Natural Heart Doctor’s Healthy Heart Resource Guide.

  10. Talk to your doctor

    Stroke survivors who have damaged blood vessels from a stroke event are at risk for having another stroke and/or vascular dementia.

    Cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, blood lipids, blood sugar and hormones must be adequately managed in order to ensure good blood flow throughout the body and prevent future strokes.

    It is vital to talk to a doctor of cause to discover the reason your stroke occurred.

    We recommend the Cardiovascular Comprehensive Test Panel and analysis of the whole body for diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

You don’t have to do this alone…there are stroke support groups that can help as well.

If you want help for you or a loved one, please contact us for a free consultation with one of our health coaches.

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