In this health video you will learn natural ways to prevent and treat strokes.
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Raena Morgan: Dr. Thompson, are there natural things you can do to help prevent a stroke? Dr. Owen Thompson: Well, you bet there are. Raena Morgan: Or improve after you've had one? Dr. Owen Thompson: Both, both. Raena Morgan: Okay. Dr. Owen Thompson: Obviously, the western lifestyle, the American lifestyle, predisposes us to cardiovascular events, heart attack and stroke being the biggest two. Physical inactivity, obesity, a diet high in fat, low in good nutrients, predisposes us to higher risk of these problems. So you can obviously -- there's probably a million places you can find out on what to do for diet and exercise. And I think for a lot of people, particularly individuals who assessed their diet, and say, "I really know this isn't the greatest thing in the world." But even individuals who have what they think is a pretty well balanced diet. Depending upon, of course, certain risk factors. They may have; high cholesterol or whatever, should really look at what supplements they can take to help them. Fish oil tablets I recommend to a lot of people. The key there I think, is to take enough. They're not all the same, so you need to make sure you're getting something that is appropriate to use, and that you take in quantities that are really going to be beneficial. Of course, the number of tablets that you need to take depends on the strength of the tablets. So, you need to look that up a little bit. Raena Morgan: You have to investigate. Dr. Owen Thompson: Do a little research. You have to investigate that. But most pharmacies, nutritional supplemental sites will help you with that. I think that for individuals who've had a stroke, they need to be even more vigilant of getting their cholesterol down, getting their lipids down. They may be told, or if they aren't told, should look in on their own or ask about fish oil tablets, flax seed, whether they should be taking aspirin everyday or not. Raena Morgan: Even for a stroke, aspirin? Dr. Owen Thompson: Yes, yes. That depends on the type of stroke. If they've had a hemorrhagic stroke, and they're prone to bleeding, or if they're on certain other blood thinners, their doctor may tell them not to take aspirin. But they should inquire about it. Raena Morgan: Okay. Dr. Owen Thompson: Then, there's some controversy among experts, is to how much benefit ginkgo can give people. I don't think anybody thinks it can hurt anybody. Raena Morgan: Right. Dr. Owen Thompson: I don't want to give people the feeling that if they've had a stroke, and they've had massive brain damage because of lack of oxygen, that they can take a supplement of any kind ginkgo or anything else and reverse that. But if there are some studies that seem to clearly indicate, there are cognitive benefits from many of these supplements, and individuals need to look at that and do whatever they can do to improve their health. If they've had a stroke, lower the risk of a second stroke, and take as good of care of the undamaged brain as they possibly can. Raena Morgan: Thank you.