Message to stroke survivors

Here’s a great column penned by Senator Mark Kirk who describes suffering from a stroke and then his rehabilitation process.

Climbing the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 3 was one of the greatest moments of my life. It was a goal fulfilled and a message to all stroke survivors: Never, ever give up.

I was the beneficiary of many kindnesses from colleagues on both sides of the aisle after my stroke, and those acts will forever matter more to me than any political differences. I don’t expect to be the same senator I was before my stroke — I hope to be a better one. I want to make my life matter by doing work that matters to others. I want to do it with the help of my friends, Republicans and Democrats, and to share the satisfaction of knowing we have honored our public trust together.

I was once a pessimist. I’m not that man anymore. And that change, brought about by misfortune, is the best thing that ever happened to me.

It’s important to share inspirational stories like this with people who have suffered from a stroke or other illnesses.

Elevated Risk Of Stroke For Heavy Drinkers

Free Image Courtesy of

Drinking for your health is one thing, however, heavy drinkers are at risk to develop stroke 15 years earlier than their non-drinking counterparts.

The study found that on average, heavy drinkers who experienced a stroke did so at the age of 60, whereas non-heavy drinkers experienced a stroke at the age of 74, on average.

The early occurrence of stroke may be related to diseased or damaged small blood vessels, the authors wrote.

Among stroke patients younger than 60 who had a stroke that occurred in the deep part of the brain, heavy drinkers were more likely to die within two years of the study follow-up than non-heavy drinkers.

The researchers also found that heavy alcohol drinkers were frequently not living independent lives before the stroke.

Other alcohol related issues, including multiple falls, nerve problems, depression and chronic fatigue likely caused their dependence on others.

In addition, more than half of heavy drinkers had high blood pressure.

Although, there is controversy over the actual benefits of alcohol, the key seems to be moderation.

New research has shown that non-alcoholic wine provides greater health benefits than alcohol so this is something to consider when making the choice for your health.

High Blood Pressure Still Not Managed Very Well

Free Image Courtesy of

The CDC has done a great job of making the public aware of the dangers of hypertension yet many don’t make the changes necessary to keep their high blood pressure under control.

High blood pressure quadruples the risk of a death from stroke and triples it for heart disease. So the CDC is pushing for more action.

Previously, public health officials and groups in the private sector unveiled Million Hearts, a campaign to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. One plank of that plan is to improve the proportion of people with controlled blood pressure to 65 percent from 46 percent.

So what will it take to achieve a goal like that? The CDC has some ideas.

Among them:

Take the blood pressure medicines you’ve been prescribed.
Lose weight and stop smoking.
Measure and keep track of your blood pressure between doctor visits.

Simple lifestyle changes like consuming less salt and sodium and sugar along with maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise go a long way toward keeping your blood pressure down.

Hypertension is a contributing factor to stroke, and heart attack.

Men May Benefit From Chocolate To Lower Stroke Risk

Free Image Courtesy of

Chocolate has been lauded in the news for it’s health benefits.

Now a Swedish study has found that men, in particular, may benefit from the flavonoids in cocoa to ward off strokes.

The study, which was funded by a Swedish research council and published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, adds to the growing evidence that chocolate, or rather cocoa, has some heart-healthy properties.
Cocoa contains flavonoids, compounds that have been shown to lower blood pressure, increase “good” cholesterol (HDL) and improve the function of arteries.
Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, also may thin the blood and prevent clotting, which could help stave off heart attacks and strokes.

Although there are definite health benefits from chocolate, moderation, healthy diet and exercise work together to maintain optimal health.

Body Shapers Can Pose Real Health Hazards

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wanting to look your best in a tight dress sometimes requires a little help from body contouring under garments.

Super stretchy, body binding foundations may actually lead to bacterial infections because of their lack of breathability and to life threatening blood clots caused by ill fitting items which restrict blood flow.

Stroke Is The Silent Killer Of Women

Strokes kill twice as many women as breast cancer every year.

450,000 women will have a stroke this year alone.

The unique risk factors for women include hormone therapy such as birth control pills and hormone replacement at menopause.

High blood pressure is the universal risk factor for stroke for all people and anyone can have a stroke at any time.

It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you notice any stoke symptoms.

Every moment your brain is without oxygen irreparable damage can be done to the brain.

When A Little Wine Is A Good Thing

Women who drink moderately have lower stroke risk.

Although there are many confusing, contradictory, and concocted reports it seems that the consensus is in.

When you consider that a women’s risk of dying from heart disease or stroke is greater than her risk of breast cancer,( a recent study found a link between drinking alcohol and an increased risk of breast cancer ) then it is worth entertaining the idea of a glass of red wine as a good thing.

Blood clots can cause the most common type of stroke, so fewer blood clots should mean fewer ischemic strokes. That’s what this new study, which was published online today in the journal Stroke, found.

The researchers also found less risk of hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain. Earlier studies have found more risk of hemorrhagic stroke, perhaps because a clot would be a good thing there.

Citrus Fruits Lower the Risk of Stroke in Women

Citrus fruits may help lower stroke risk in women, study finds.

It is important to eat the whole fruit and not just to consume juice which also contains a lot of sugar.

Flavanones may reduce risk of stroke through several mechanisms, including improving blood vessel health and reducing inflammation.

In the study, women who ate the most citrus fruit had a 19 percent lower risk of having an ischemic stroke than women who ate the least. In an ischemic stroke, blood flow to the brain is blocked, sometimes by clogged arteries.

Americans Are Consuming Too Much Salt

It seems that Americans are getting too much sodium in their diets.

Excess sodium raises blood pressure and makes it difficult to lose weight.
Hypertension can lead to heart attack and stroke so it is worth monitoring your diet to eliminate excess salt.

Currently, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends the average individual should consume a limit of 2,300 milligrams per day. But the average person’s actual sodium consumption per day – 3,300 milligrams, according to the report. And that doesn’t include salt added at the table.

Since sodium acts a preservative it is found in many processed foods.

Breads, rolls, lunch meats and pizza are just some of the worst culprits contributing to excessive sodium in our daily diets.

Insurers Don’t Like the Big Business of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is proving to be a drain on insurance companies.

Snoring was once considered an annoyance, however, research has shown that complications can increase the risk of several serious illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and dementia.

Testing can be a lucrative business, and labs have popped up in free-standing clinics and hospitals across the country. Over the past decade, the number of accredited sleep labs that test for the disorder has quadrupled, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

At the same time, insurer spending on the procedure has skyrocketed. Medicare payments for sleep testing increased from $62 million in 2001 to $235 million in 2009, according to the Office of the Inspector General.

Although the initial cost may be a burden on insurers the hope lies in the prevention of more serious and costly ailments in the future.

Related Posts