Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Strokes: Activity key in preventing strokes

Activity key in preventing strokes:

Dr. Felix Veloso with a copy of his book tilted Stroke Prevention Naturally on Jan. 11 in Regina.

Activity key in preventing strokes

New book by specialist details the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in conjunction with right medication

by Irene Seiberling
Postmedia News
Thursday, January 26, 2012

How can you prevent having a stroke? A healthy lifestyle is the key.

After more than four decades treating stroke victims, Saskatchewan neurologist Dr. Felix Veloso decided it would be good medicine to give people the knowledge they need to make good decisions. So he wrote a new book telling people how they can prevent strokes naturally.

"Studies continue to confirm that a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of stroke by up to 90%," said Veloso, the founding codirector of the Stroke Clinic of Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region.

"Stroke is the leading cause of permanent disability. It is the second leading cause of death worldwide, with more than 85% of deaths from stroke occurring in developing countries," Veloso wrote in the introduction of Stroke Prevention Naturally: Proven Non-Pharmaceutical Stroke Avoidance Strategies (Your Nickel's Worth Publishing, $18.88), a 240-page paperback targeted at readers of all ages in the lifelong quest to prevent strokes.

"In Canada, the direct and indirect cost of stroke is at least $3 billion yearly and climbing," he pointed out.

It took Veloso five years of writing in his "spare" time to produce Stroke Prevention Naturally. At 75, Veloso is still seeing and treating patients.

Over the past 40 years, Veloso said he has watched patients "on all kinds of medications, and suffer all kinds of side effects" who still end up having strokes. He said he's often asked: "Is there anything else, anything naturally we could have done to prevent the stroke?"

"I realized there is a very great need to address that concern," Veloso said. "That's how I came to write the book."

With a chuckle, Veloso described his book as "a medical thriller," explaining that he didn't want to publish a dry medical reference book. "To keep it interesting," he created a composite patient in a real-life situation, who has a three-hour window of opportunity to receive life-saving medication that would prevent permanent disability. The complications, medical challenges and risk factors described are all based on actual cases encountered by Veloso over the years.

"All the recommendations that I make are all backed up by stud-ies," Veloso pointed out.

Stroke Prevention Naturally discusses the risk factors of strokes, symptoms of strokes, and what can be done naturally to prevent strokes.

There are several misconceptions about the risk factors of stroke, Veloso said.

"First of all, there's a common misperception that if you have a strong family history of stroke, you are going to have a stroke. That's not really true."

"You can actually modify your genetic makeup by means of healthy lifestyles," he said. "There is a lot of evidence now that even if you are born with bad genes, you can modify the expression of the genes to pre-vent them from developing the disease. It's just through natural, healthy lifestyles."

"Exercise is very good," Veloso said. "We all know that."

But Veloso said he doesn't believe in the "no pain, no gain" approach to exercise.

"Any exercise that you do (for) any length of time is beneficial, regardless," he emphasized. "You really don't have to do 30 minutes a day, three or four times a week, or anything like that. If you can do that, that's great. But any amount of exercise, for even five to 10 minutes a day is beneficial," he explained. "And that's what I really want to impress (up) on people. Just do it!"

Veloso also emphasized the importance of good oral hygiene.

"Gum disease is probably one of the biggest or highest risk factors for strokes," he said. "Very few people know that."

"It's very easy to take good care of your teeth and gums. And it will prevent strokes," he said.

There's nothing fancy about natural stroke prevention solutions, Veloso said. "It is simple. There are no side effects, and no cost."

"I'm not telling people to stop their medication," Veloso emphasized. "I'm telling people to do this in addition, to get added benefit. It's very important that they don't stop their medications!"

For those who can't tolerate medications at all, Veloso recommends making natural lifestyle changes. But before adopting any changes, patients should consult their family doctor, he insisted.

"The most important thing is to recognize the symptoms of stroke," Veloso said.

These include:

. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;

. Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech;

. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;

. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination;

. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

"Call 911 and go to the hospital immediately if you or somebody you know shows any symptoms of stroke," Veloso urged. "Time wasted is brain loss!"

Stroke prevention should start at an early age - in your 20s and 30s, Veloso said. Don't wait until you're in your 60s to make healthy lifestyle changes. By then, the damage is already done, he explained.
© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2012

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