Stroke update: what’s missing will cost lives

Every year 650,000 North Americans suffer a lethal stroke, or one that leads to debilitating mental or physical problems. The American Stroke Association (ASA) has issued an important update on how to prevent this disaster for those who have not had a major stroke or a mini one.

But why do prestigious university medical centers continue to make a grievous error that costs lives?

Remember, you cannot change your family history of stroke, or your age. But you can change the odds, because 90% of the factors that cause stroke are controllable. So here are facts you should be aware of.

Anticoagulants (blood thinners) to treat A Fib, an irregular heart rate, should be used more often, but have a high risk of causing bleeding. Experts make no mention that in some cases magnesium can often restore a heart’s rhythm. Or, Vitamin E and an 81 milligram Aspirin daily. Both can thin the blood with fewer complications. A Fib is associated with a four to five times increased risk of stroke.

Aspirin, the 81 milligram dose, should be considered by patients without A Fib but who have a high risk of stroke. This decision must take into consideration that Aspirin may on occasion cause gastrointestinal bleeding and possible death.

Diet should be low in sodium, high in potassium along with olive oil, fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and a daily serving of nuts to keep blood pressure in check. But we should eat less red meats, baked goods, butter and margarine. And congratulations to the experts who have finally mentioned the optional medical benefit of wine with meals.

Blood pressure – hypertension should be monitored with a digital upper arm cuff, as decreased pressure is vital in stroke prevention. Anti-hypertension drugs may be needed.

LDL, the bad cholesterol, should no longer determine whether doctors advise cholesterol-lowering-drugs (CLDs). Rather, the decision should be made by calculating a patient’s 10-year risk of stroke or heart attack. The higher the risk, the greater the dose of a CLD required. (Readers should know I decided not to take CLD drugs after a heart attack 17 years ago because of their side effects)

Migraine sufferers under age 55 show increased risk of a blood clot forming. Smoking increases that risk. But there is debate on how to treat this condition.

Calculation of stroke risk is the newer tool. It considers a person’s weight, age, diet, daily exercise, whether they smoke, use alcohol, have diabetes, hypertension or have had a mini-stroke or auricular fibrillation (A Fib). These factors along with family history provide doctors with the information of whether patients are at low or high risk of stroke. This allows patients to mend bad habits long before a stroke occurs.

The ASA report claims that over 50% of strokes can be avoided by losing weight, exercising, cessation of smoking and heavy drinking, and keeping diabetes under control. This advice makes sense.

Unfortunately, the American Stroke Association and reports from Johns Hopkins and the University of California on stroke prevention make no mention of high doses of Vitamin C and lysine to prevent and reverse atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) that cause hypertension. Powder and capsules of this combination can be obtained in Canada in Health Food stores. In the U.S. at www.mymedi-c.com or the toll-free number 1-844-872-0069. But it doesn’t matter which products you take as long as the dose is adequate.

Strokes occur because an artery in the brain develops a blood clot or an artery ruptures. Studies show that high doses of Vitamin C act like Drano to keep arteries open. You can see photos showing the dramatic result on my web site www.docgiff.com.

High doses of lysine help to decrease the risk of an artery rupturing. When added to Vitamin C, lysine makes arterial walls stronger and less likely to burst.

I have sent reports to university centers to request they make this information available to doctors and the public. I believe it is unconscionable that prestigious universities, the Canadian Medical Association Journal and Cardiology and Stroke Associations continue to ignore this monumental research. It will cost lives.

Next week – a shocking finding about cholesterol

For comments, visit www.docgiff.com.

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