Stroke treatments from alternative medicine. HBOT, NIR, other cutting-edge therapies. Information on stroke prevention, recovery and rehabilitation.
In dealing with a stroke that has already occurred, or if you want to prevent a stroke in the future, you need information on three things: Treatment, Ongoing Stroke Rehabilitation and Stroke Prevention. This page covers all three situations.
Before reading any further,
see our medical disclaimer.
The conventional stroke recovery timeline is that if a stroke patient gets to the hospital within four hours or so, the clots disrupting blood flow can be dissolved with drugs. After that, patients can work with physical, occupational and speech therapy to help them regain lost abilities. But often after six months, rehab is stopped and patients are told there is nothing else that can help.
After a stroke, however, there are alternative stroke treatments that can help, sometimes miraculously, shortening the stroke recovery timeline and offering additional regaining of functions.
Overcome neurologic cell oxygen deprivation
To make a long, complicated story short (ask your doctor), cells in the neurologic tissue of stroke victims are oxygen deprived. HBOT can save cells and encourage new vessel growth, minimizing damage by flooding them with pressurized oxygen. How soon after the stroke will this still work? The sooner the better. But...HBO pioneer David Steenblock, DO, of California has reported partial to significant recovery of neurologic function up to five years after a stroke.
Looking for stroke recovery stories? At his clinic in Newport Beach, California, Julian Whitaker, M.D. treated a stroke victim six months after her attack. She was using a walker, her speech was slurred, and she needed help with self-care. Within three weeks of starting HBOT stroke treatments, she was walking on her own and speaking normally. She eventually returned to most of her former activities.
What is HBOT?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an outpatient procedure that involves breathing 100 percent pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. This oxygen decreases pressure in the brain, relieves fluid buildup and inflammation, and supports repair and regeneration, promoting growth of new blood vessels in damaged areas.
After a stroke, there are cells that are dysfunctional, but still alive. HBOT wakes up these stunned neurons and stimulates proliferation of new neurons, facilitating the brain's ability to compensate for deficits.
Don't give up
A clinical trial of patients who received 40 HBOT stroke treatments six months to three years after they had a stroke, every participant had significant improvements in function and quality of life after HBOT. See the study: Hyperbaric oxygen induces late neuroplasticity in post stroke patients.
This infrared light reaches your brain through your nasal cavity. A study randomly divided stroke patients into two groups of 30 patients each. One group took only drugs. The second group took drugs and also used low-level intranasal light therapy. This group saw significantly greater improvement than the drugs only group.
This study used an older, less effective version of this therapy. The newer, more effective device is called the Vielight NIR light. This treatment is also being used for Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and other neurologic conditions. This is a very condensed version of a great deal of information in the July 2013 and November 2013 issues of Second Opinion newsletter.
For a photo of the Vielight and a link to more info, see my natural migraine relief page.
therapy, in which the body is rapidly cooled and then warmed, shows
promise in minimizing stroke damage. Dr. David Williams notes that treating
stroke with caffeine and alcohol can also be very effective, decreasing
stroke damage by 80 percent in animals, when given within two hours
after the stroke.
Previous use of caffeine and alcohol for stroke treatment has led to the testing of Caffeinol, a drug administered intravenously. Human trials are proceeding very slowly. Meanwhile, taking an Irish coffee (two to three cups of strong black coffee and two ounces of whiskey, without the sugar and whipped cream) right after a stroke could be helpful. The combination helps protect brain cells immediately after a stroke, and neither affects clotting directly, so any kind of stroke patient might benefit. No serious side effects have been noted in either animals or humans.
at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have found that providing
stroke patients with music or audio books aided stroke victim recovery. Fifty-four
patients were divided into three groups: music, audio books, and no
Those who listened to music for stroke rehab did the best, showing better verbal memory, focus and concentration. They also experienced less confusion and depression. The researchers conclude that listening to one to two hours of music a day for stroke treatment immediately following a stroke can produce a big improvement in quality of stroke victim recovery.
Stroke patients with low vitamin D levels were more likely to suffer severe strokes and have poor health afterwards than those with normal levels of vitamin D, according to research presented at the 2015 American Stroke Association Conference.
A study of 96 participants found that stroke patients with vitamin D blood levels below 30 ng/ml had about two times larger areas of dead tissue resulting from the stroke compared to patients with levels above 30 ng/ml. For each 10 ng/ml reduction in vitamin D levels, the odds of a healthy recovery in the three months following stroke were reduced by almost half.
Dr. Whitaker recommends 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
Stroke treatments can include dietary supplements. Tocotrienols, which are a fraction of Vitamin E, are showing promise in speeding up brain healing and even reversing brain damage from stroke, Alzheimers and dementia. Read the details on the page titled Benefits of Tocotrienols.
Julian Whitaker, M.D. recommends a "potent multivitamin," folic acid 800 micrograms (mcg) minimum, 1,000 milligrams (mg) vitamin C, 500 mg magnesium, 1,000 mg EPA/DHA, 200 to 300 mg coenzyme Q10 and 5,000 mg potassium from plant foods, such as Low-Sodium V8 juice and potassium chloride salt substitute.
As many as 60 percent of those taking aspirin to prevent stroke may be aspirin resistant, a condition that may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, such as stroke, says medical researcher Dr. David Williams. There are a number of tests available to test for aspirin resistance, including a urine test called AspirinWorks. Dr. Williams recommends taking the clot-busting supplement called "nattokinase" instead of aspirin for preventing strokes.
A study tracking more than 250,000 people with almost 5000 incidents of stroke found that, on average, those consuming five or more servings (two to three ounces per serving) of fruits and vegetables a 26% risk reduction for stroke. In addition, regular exercise, moderate alcohol intake, no smoking and optimal weight reduced risk by 54 percent. A Mediterranean diet with healthy oils, adequate protein with an emphasis on fish, and, again, lots of plant foods, seems particularly protective. See the study: Healthy diet and lifestyle and risk of stroke.
If you just can't tolerate that much green stuff, add a supplement like Advanced Greens Formula to your favorite drink to add all the advantages of vegetables, fruits, more. Note that I do not make ANY money from products I link to.
At the Whitaker Wellness Institute in Newport Beach, California, they also test for sleep apnea, which is a risk factor for stroke. Neurofeedback helps for those who still have some memory problems, depression or anxiety.
You might be interested in this book:
HBOT: Second Opinion Healing, Volume One, page 9, a special report by Robert J. Rowen, M.D., Nov. 2013.
HBOT: Health & Healing newsletter, January 2016, by Julian Whitaker, M.D.
Fruits and Vegetables: Second Opinion newsletter, June 2014, by Robert J. Rowen, M.D.
Vielight NIR: Second Opinion newsletter, July 2013 and November 2013, by Robert J. Rowen, M.D.
Aspirin, hypothermic, caffeine: Alternatives newsletter, May 2008, by Dr. David Williams, medical researcher.
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