T Nation

Preventing a Stroke (Diet & Supps)

  Hi all, I was hoping anyone with experience or expertise could offer some advice on the following situation.

Over the past 15 years, my mother has suffered around 5 of what doctors believe are are transient ischemic attacks(TIA’s). For around 5-10 minutes she was unable to speak each of these times. TIAs are usually precursors to strokes, so she had an MRI and carotid artery (both were normal for her age). Her doctor reccomded she take steps to lower her cholesterol. I suggested she take red yeast rice (1200mg) and CO-Q10 (60mg).

As far as diet goes, I’ve read that it should be low in fats…Anyone know what the latest word on this is?
For supplements, she has started taking Nature’s Way Alive multivitamin, baby asperin, glucosamine/chondroiton, and 4250 mg fish oil a day. Any other she should use?

I’m trying to get her to start exercising as well. Mostly with dumbbells right now. Anyone know if cardio is better for lowering cholesterol?

If anyone has any advice on diet, supps, exercise, medicine please let me know. Also if anyone has any experience with TIA or has has an episode like my mother please advise.

I would like to reduce the chance for stroke as much as possible. Your advice is greatly appreciated. I think I might also put this in the over 35 section.
Thanks everyone again.
-Mike

[quote]MODOK wrote:
Honestly, if the physician hasn’t set her up and answered her questions on everything save maybe supplements, he isn’t doing his job. TIA’s are a HUGE warning sign, as you are already aware.I don’t feel comfortable giving out medical advice on the internet. I’d just say the supplements LOOK fine, but there definitely might need to be changes made.

I would call the MD immediately and have him get on the same page as you and your mom in every aspect of her health. Make sure he knows about ALL supplements, some have little known side effects, like fish oil is an anticoagulant at certain doses, which would definitely affect your mom’s condition. Good luck, and I wish your mother well.[/quote]

Thanks for the response and wishes MODOK. Her doctor was actually the one who recommended fish oil and the cholesterol drugs. I asked that she try red yeast rice first. And she has had all kinds of tests done, and everything seemed normal. I was just hoping someone perhaps had experience with this type of thing. I’ll also try searching finding some type of medical forum.

She should be doing both weight training and cardio. Your red yeast idea is fine. Fish oil would be an excellent addition. It is great at reducing cholesterol. Lots of vegetables. Some fruit and whole grains. Lean protein. Minimal amounts of saturated fat. It doesn’t need to be completely eliminated. Poly and monounsaturated fat doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be low. Both actually have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. In addition to fish oil, nuts are particularly good for cholesterol. Especially walnuts.

I agree completely with earlier comments about having your mom’s doctor knowing about and guiding her supplement program. One other supplement you might have him look at is called nattokinase. It is popular as a safer alternative to aspirin therapy. Here is a link with some information from Dr. Mercola:

Perhaps, you could pass this on to the cardiologist as well.

Cardio is very valuable for raising HDL (the one you want high), but given your mother’s history, you definitely need to check how much and what intensity she can do.

Here’s a general primer for those interested in an anti-stroke/TIA program:

  • Monitor homocysteine levels. This is probably the best blood marker to predict stroke risks.

  • Take a daily aspirin/Plavix to thin blood.

  • Take a cholesterol medication, if it’s high (to prevent clot/plaque formation)

  • Take Cerefolin/metafolin - (to stop/reverse vascular atrophy of the brain)

These are all in addition to good diet and exercise.

Use the same strategies for preventing heart attacks.

Ischemic stroke is the same mechanism as a heart attack, just in the brain instead.

Diet low in saturated fat, heavy in green vegetables with enough healthy fats.

moderate exercise - the best she can manage.

Weight control, blood glucose control, blood pressure control.

Statin drugs have been useful in preventing ischemic strokes for people at risk.

If her doc hasn’t gone over all this with her, she needs another doc.