WebMD Health News: May 5, 2011 “For those at risk, common activities such as drinking coffee, having sex, or blowing the nose could trigger a stroke, according to new research from the Netherlands”. . . Does that mean that healthy people in the Netherlands are walking around sleepy, horny, and snotty? Fooey! There is a better way to prevent stroke: A heart health diet and Asian herbs that protect blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress.
People who have an untreated brain aneurysm, resulting from a weakness in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain, are at risk. An aneurysm causes a blood vessel wall to balloon. If it ruptures, it leads to a stroke known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which involves bleeding between a membrane that covers the brain and the brain. While 2% of the population has this brain aneurysm, few rupture, according to researcher Monique H.M. Vlak, MD, a neurologist at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands. The study is published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Vlak and colleagues surveyed 250 patients who had a stroke after a brain aneurysm ruptured. They asked the patients about exposure to 30 potential triggers in the period shortly before the stroke. The eight triggers that increased the risk for the stroke included:
Next, Vlak calculated population-attributable risk, the percent of these strokes t attributed to a single trigger. Coffee and vigorous exercise gave the highest risk. “All these triggers,” Vlak told WebMD, “are superimposed on known risk factors for stroke, such as advancing age or having uncontrolled high blood pressure. The risk due to these trigger factors only lasts one hour.” The common mechanism for the triggers is the temporary increase in blood pressure produced by all of them. ((Why do women tend to have ruptured aneurysms more often? Does reduced estrogen threaten blood vessel integrity?))
Vlak says people who know they have an untreated aneurysm should avoid at least some of the triggers. She says, “I think drinking no coffee or cola and avoiding straining for defecation are easy to do and can prevent some of the subarachnoid hemorrhages. However, we do not advise patients to refrain from physical exercise, since this is also an important factor in lowering the risks of other cardiovascular diseases.”
Sacco’s Second Opinion
The study has some built-in limitations, such as people’s ability to recall exactly what they did in the period before the stroke, says Ralph L. Sacco, MD, professor and chair of neurology at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami and president of the American Heart Association. He was not involved in the research. ((Living in Miami, does he drink café Cubano?)) “These strokes,” he says, “can occur in younger people and are more frequent in women, smokers, and hypertensives.” He calls the triggers plausible. He says the supposed mechanism, the elevation in blood pressure, makes sense. “People with known brain aneurysms may need to avoid such triggers,” he says.
“Quitting smoking and never starting, and controlling blood pressure are more important factors to control than giving up coffee.” ((I thought so. Besides, you may miss the benefits of coffee, including possibly reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.))
Here is what I recommend for lowering your risk of blood vessel fragility and possibly stroke:
Chinese herbal remedies have been used successfully for thousands of years to treat high blood pressure. Blood Pressure Formula is based on the formula “Jiang Ya Ling” (Effective Formula for Subduing Hypertension). The herbs in the Herbal Blood Pressure Formula perform several functions to help maintain a healthy blood pressure. The formula:
Main indications: It is indicated in cases of hypertension (high blood pressure), especially in its early stages, when the blood vessels are not yet very hard (i.e., the atherosclerosis is not yet severe). You may see blood pressure normalized within two weeks of treatment. Symptoms such as headache, dizziness, tinnitus (ear ringing), flushed face and irritability will improve during that time. The formula is also effective in lowering blood cholesterol level and preventing hardening of the arteries.
Directions: As a dietary supplement, take 4 tablets three times daily. There are 96 tablets per pack. ((I do not have hypertension. Mine tends to be about 100/60 or slightly higher. But I will take a smaller dose, for example 2 pills every other day as needed, during spring to cool my brain and temper, improve sleep, and protect blood vessels.))
Blood Pressure Formula is GMP certified (GMP refers to the Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations promulgated by the US Food and Drug Administration under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) and imported to USA in accordance with the FDA guidelines.
Ingredients: Heal all (fruit spike) Chinese skullcap (root) Chrysanthemum (flower) Chinese mint (Aboveground parts) Japanese sophora (flower)
Caution: Do not use if pregnant.
Herbs and Supplements for atherosclerosis (AKA “hardening of the arteries”) from University of Maryland Medical Center: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/atherosclerosis-002383.htm
Flavonoids also reduce atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.)
Symptoms of Deficient Flavonoids: Excessive bruisability, nose bleeds, swelling after injury, and hemorrhoids can be indicators of flavonoid deficiency. Generally weakened immune function, as evidenced by frequent colds or infections, can also be a sign of inadequate dietary intake of flavonoids.
Food Sources of Flavonoids:
Virtually all fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices contain flavonoids. They are also found in dry beans (where they give red beans, black beans, and speckled beans their color) and grains (where the color provided by flavonoids is usually in the yellow family). Products made from the foods above (for example, wines made from grapes) also typically contain a wide variety of flavonoids.
While the flavonoid family is too complex to report all of its food connections, some highlights are especially important. In the fruit family, it is berries that come out highest in the chemical category of flavonoids called anthocyanins. Black raspberries, for example, may contain up to 100 milligrams of anthocyanins per ounce.
Green tea has flavonoid components called catechins that may reach 1,000 milligrams (or 1 gram) per cup. In general the more colorful components of the food – like the skins of fruits – contain the highest concentration of flavonoids. An exception to this rule, however, is the white pulpy inside of oranges. Unlike the watery orange-colored sections of this fruit, which contain virtually all of its vitamin C, the orange’s flavonoids are found in the white pulpy portion inside the skin and surrounding the sections.
So avoid stroke; Live, love, laugh and be happy.
Do you want to receive notices whenever I update the blog? Simply enter your email below and hit subscribe. Your email address will never be shared with any third party!
“There is no one else of Letha’s stature, experience, and knowledge in the field of alternative medicine.” –Alice Rhee, NBC News
“I used to think I knew something about alternative medicine. When I read Asian Health Secrets I learned something new on every page.”
–Bill Thompson, AP Radio
“Letha unearths the wisdom of the ancients.”
–New York Post
Now you can connect with Letha on Facebook!
Just Click Here and join Letha for updates, questions and more information,