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Stroke, cholesterol, High Blood Pressure and what to do about it

Updated on March 8, 2012
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There is a strange stereotype:

"Stroke only strikes the elderly."

It is plain wrong in present days.

Cardiologists are observing lowest age for stroke around 30 year old males now. They are small and not something that kills in the spot. But still - a stroke is a stroke. You are hospitalized and monitored.

Why should 30 year old have a stroke? It's quite simple:

  • Stress increases the strain on the heart
  • High fat junk food clogs the arteries with bad cholesterol
  • Sitting behind a desk all day does not train the heart muscle at all
  • Obesity leads to thickening of the blood and constricting of the blood vessels
  • Smoking, even passive leads to lower oxygen in the blood stream
  • Drinking (sorry folks, 1 glass is enough - 2 are unhealthy)
  • Stimulants as coffee, guarana and others lead to sudden jumps in the 2 directions in a matter of 30 minutes. First you are "high" and then your body punishes you and you go extremely "low"

How is any of those leading to a stroke?

Stress

Stress is one adaptive process of the body. Your pituitary and adrenal glands inject stress hormones in your body in response of the needs to adapt.

If you are over exhausted or need to react fast to a critical situation, your adrenal glands will produce Adrenaline.

Adrenaline boosts all your systems to work faster. It is also called "Fight or flight" hormone.

Naturally our bodies react with high adrenaline when we are threatened by an animal or other human.

Blood pressure rises, blood vessels constrict to allow it, glucose is pumped in the muscles, oxygen consumption goes to 200%, everything works faster and we are able to do whatever is needed.

After high Adrenaline, it takes some time for our bodies to recover and our brains need some time to get back to normal.

So after being high, we are going low. It is as natural as the awake-sleeping-awake pattern of our life.

When we don't have enough time - we CAN'T recover, our body injects more stress hormones and we pump ourselves to the next critical task.

Later, at evenings and weekends - all we can do is just sit in front of the TV like a vegetable, filling our mouths with

Junk food and obesity

Immobility -> Unhealthy food -> obesity. These are the 3 steps in the worst devil circle. If you are cubicle slave like the most people living in Europe and North America - you already know what it is.

  1. You can't afford a restaurant or you don't have time for such long lunch break.
  2. You stuff quickly any random junk food, so you conserve time for some personal things.
  3. You get fat quickly, because you eat unhealthy and don't move too much.
  4. You are not motivated to eat healthy, because it takes time and is expensive (all-in-all you repeat step 1 with different motive)
  5. You stuff quickly any random junk food ...
  6. ...

Sound familiar? Here is the result:

  • Obesity = High blood pressure and high glucose levels in blood.
  • High blood pressure = damaged blood vessels
  • Damaged blood vessels + Stress = bursting blood vessels
  • Bursting blood vessels = stroke or heart attack.

Why do blood vessels burst? Because you have been inflating them for years. They are elastic, but their elasticity has limits. And not just the HBP and HGI. You may also have high

Cholesterol levels

Damaged blood vessels are also more prone to clogging. Having high cholesterol levels for long time and inability to deduce it from the body will lead to its deposition to the walls of the blood vessels.

In time the cholesterol deposit becomes really hard and the elasticity of the vessel is gone.

Lot of things can make a small part of the cholesterol deposited in the blood vessel to detach from the wall. Or it can even be a small blood clot (coagulated blood).

Clogged narrowed vessels in the heart will lead to low oxygen to the most important muscle in the body.

This is exactly when the heart attack happens. And you really need

Prevention

Speak with your doctor and do medical exams every year (2 times if you are 30+). Measure the blood pressure, blood glucose, ECG, fat profile and possible blood and urine tests.

If there are any deviations - you need to find the reason.

Essential high blood pressure, slightly elevated blood glucose or higher-than-normal Cholesterol are all signs of something abnormal happening in the body and if you catch them in time - you can continue your normal life with only slight changes.

But If it is even "a bit" late - do not hesitate to start taking pills.

The cruel truth is - you can't know you are getting worse, because normally a bit higher from this or that cannot be felt by a healthy person. You start to feel sick, when there is already need for radical change, so - monitor your health profile regularly.

High blood pressure is not common cold or the Flu.

You can't "Cure" it with a one-week-course of Antibiotics and light diet.

Chronic illness often needs life-long support medication.

Or you can change the way you live:

  • Reduce weight
  • Sport
  • Eat enough raw plant food
  • Stop drinking
  • Stop smoking

If you can make this your own creed - you will not need medication.

Low cholesterol diet

It is quite simple, but most of you will often cheat and/or refuse to take it seriously.

There are some easy rules, a healthy individual can also benefit from:

  • Cut fat from the meat before cooking.
  • Remove the skin from the chicken.
  • Cool meat boullions and remove the hardened animal fat on top of it.
  • Bake meat over a grid that allows the fat to drain from it.
  • Avoid frying and deep frying. Try to bake, roast or boil.
  • Remove egg yellows. Replace the yellow with few drops of olive oil.
  • Instead of mayonaise sauce - use vinegar and olive oil.

It is really not hard to prepare a healthy meal even from a bit greasy meat.

I am posting this table as a guideline. Feel free to build over it, but try not to overeat anything that is in the 3-rd column.

Food type
Recommended
Avoid
Fat
Reduce fat as much as you can. If you can't - use small quantities of sunflower or olive oil.
Butter, lard, bacon, palm oil, cocoa oil and margarine
Meat and eggs
Chicken without the skin, turkey, veal, rabbit and game are all okay. No more than 2 eggs per week, whites only.
Fatty meat, salami, peperoni, wursts, paté, duck, goose, egg yellows.
Fish
All kinds of sea fishes. 2-3 times per week.
Caviar, fried fish, shrimp and squid.
Milk and products
0.5% milk, curd, cheeses with fat less than 20%
Full milk, condensed milk, cream, cheese, ice cream
Fruis and vegetables
All fresh kinds. Most of the frozen kinds that don't need cooking. Freshly squeezed juices.
Fries, crisps, chips, fruit syrups, peanuts, pistaccios.
Cereals and breads
Full grain bread, oatmeal.
Muffins, sweets, french toast, white bread.
Soups
All vegetable soups without noodles.
Cream soups, meat bullions, instant soups.
Drinks
Tea, light coffees, mineral water, fruit juices without sugar, non-fizzy drinks.
Coffee with cream, cocoa, alcohol.
Spices
Herbs, mustard, peppers, vinegar. Light soy sauce without MCG.
Mayo and mayonaise based sauces, soy sauce.

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    • jhunpaler profile image

      jhunpaler 5 years ago from Philippines

      Informative hub. I have seen patients at age less than 30 yrs old, having stroke and heart attack. Hope this hub reaches a lot people to increase awareness especially in obesity and cholesterol

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      I am famaliar with all of this. I do take regular meds for high blood pressure, and I go every 3 months to check it.

      The food chart is excellent. I hope more people see this hub. It's very helpful. I will share.

      Thanks mOrdOr

    • m0rd0r profile image
      Author

      Stoill Barzakov 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Thank you for reading jhunpaler, I tend to break some of those rules, and this hub is here to remind me ;)

    • m0rd0r profile image
      Author

      Stoill Barzakov 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Thank you for sharing your own experience Ann.

      My aunt is having a handful of pills every day. Lifelong Supporting therapy can be a horror, so I am trying to scare at least a dozen of young people to check themselves.

      Better safe than sorry.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      These are great tips for staying healthy so you can avoid a stroke.

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