Therapy - Stroke
A stroke happens as a result of the blood supply to a brain area suddenly becoming reduced. When this happens, nerve cells do not receive sufficient oxygen or nutrients. As a result these cells may be damaged, leading to complications. Other terms for a stroke are cerebrovascular accident (CVA), cerebral insult, and infarction.
Every year, nearly 270,000 Germans suffer a stroke. It is the third leading cause of death after cancer and heart disease. Those who survive a stroke are often left struggling long-term with the consequences: Approximately 50 percent of patients who survive a stroke one year after the incident remain disabled in the long term and are left in need of care.
Types of stroke
The most common type of stroke (at approximately 80 percent) are ischemic strokes, where blood flow to the brain tissue becomes severely reduced. This usually occurs due to a vessel becoming blocked - either through constriction of a cerebral blood vessel on site or by a blood clot from the heart.
A hemorrhagic stroke - also known as a cerebral hemorrhage – happens when a blood vessel is ruptured or torn. This type is common among people with long-term, pre-existing hypertension. The symptoms are similar to those of an ischemic stroke.
Risks and risk factors
The consequences of a stroke vary greatly in severity and can have effects on an array of bodily functions. In many cases, the patient is left with hemiplegia- in other words, a unilateral paralysis affecting the face, arm or leg muscles on opposite half of the body from the brain hemisphere affected by the stroke.
If the left hemisphere is damaged, it often results in difficulties with speech. Depending on the extent of the damage, these difficulties can range from trouble finding words to a complete loss of speech.
In addition, a stroke often leads to a temporary to long-term decrease in cognitive abilities which are associated with the damaged brain region. Among these affected abilities are impaired concentration and memory deficits.
Often times there are early warning signs associated with a stroke. Typical symptoms include:
Paralysis and numbness
Speech or vision impairment
Vertigo or dizziness
Sudden and particularly severe headache
In the case of a stroke, every minute counts. The damage can be limited if the signs are recognized in time and the patient is able to quickly receive medical care at a hospital.
Recognizing a stroke quickly
In the case of a stroke, every minute counts! If you suspect that something is wrong with someone, you can find out quickly and simply if they have suffered a stroke:
Ask the person to smile.
Ask the person to say a sentence.
Ask the person to raise their arms at the same time.
If the corners of the person’s mouth appear to be drooping (1), they present impaired speech (2) or paralysis (3), then they are likely having a stroke. In this case, call an ambulance immediately.
Source: University Hospital Heidelberg
Among the main causes of stroke are an unhealthy diet, which lacks a sufficient supply of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, combined with lack of exercise, obesity, and hypertension. This promotes what is known as arteriosclerosis. This condition occurs when plaques develop on the insides of blood vessels through the accumulation of fat, blood cells, and calcium deposits. These deposits are formed as the usually elastic vessel walls become increasingly rigid and their inner sides increasingly rough. A severe narrowing of a vessel through the accumulation of plaques allows less oxygen-rich blood to enter the tissue which is supplied by that particular blood vessel. As time goes on, plaques can tear. This drastically increases the risk for thrombus, which can act as a plug clogging the cerebral artery. The tissue behind the plug can no longer be supplied with blood (ischemia), which results in a stroke.
Natural remedies and their effects
An adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in high-quality, natural flax seed oil is recommended for the timely, targeted prevention of a (further) stroke. In this context, Dr. Johanna Budwig referred to the "breathable fats". They contribute to healthy cells and maintaining good cell metabolism and may reduce or mitigate the risk of stroke.
During her lifetime, Dr. Johanna Budwig tirelessly reiterated that she knew of no other oil capable of having the same beneficial effects on health as flax seed oil. For this reason, she set strict quality standards for the production of flax seed oil. It is paramount to ensure that the electron richness of the flax seed oil is preserved, thus, conserving its intense beneficial effects for the human organism.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
Alpha-linolenic acid is a long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found exclusively in the plant world. It is, therefore, also known as vegetable omega-3. Flax seeds are rich in ALA - with a content of over 50%.
ALA is able counter two typical risk factors for stroke - atherosclerosis and hypertension- because adequate intake of alpha-linolenic acid improves the fluidity of cell membranes. This gives the blood vessels their necessary flexibility. This significantly lowers the risk of atherosclerotic plaques rupturing. Moreover, the increased flexibility of the inner vessel walls leads to a reduction in blood pressure. This comes as a result of an increased incorporation of omega-3 fatty acids in the cell membranes of vascular cells.
Through the formation of so-called eicosanoids from ALA blood flow is improved, resulting in significantly better blood circulation and, thus, a better supply of oxygen to the brain. Moreover, eicosanoids exhibit an anti-inflammatory effect on the plaques, which leads them to heal faster.
American researchers have shown in a scientific study that people who consumed a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids were about 30 percent less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke. *
Dr. Johanna Budwig already recognized the relationship between good health and adequate care of the body at the cellular level with essential fatty acids as early as the 1950s:
„The absence of these highly unsaturated fatty acids leads to the paralysis of many vital functions“,
was a statement made many times the scientist.**
* Iso, H./Sato, S./Umemura, U. et al.: Linoleic Acid, Other Fatty Acids, and the Risk of Stroke, Stroke, 2002, 33: 2086-93; online verfügbar unter stroke.ahajournals.org/content/33/8/2086.full** Budwig, J.: Fette als wahre Hilfe. Hyperion-Verlag, 1959: 10
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Docosahexaenoic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid and an important component of cell membranes, especially those of nerve and brain cells. It contributes to the healthy function of all membranes. Supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid is recommended after a stroke, because- similarly to ALA - it is capable of:
reducing the risk of thrombosis
slowing the growth of atherosclerotic plaques
reducing blood pressure
improving blood flow
In nature, docosahexaenoic acid is found, for example, in fatty fish, but also in the diet of these fish- algae. However, the frequent consumption of fish does not go without risk. Considering things such as overfishing and the high heavy metal contamination of fish makes consuming DHA obtained from algae an herbal alternative - especially for vegetarians and vegans- for providing a daily source of omega-3 fatty acid.
Nutrition & Co.
A balanced, nutritious diet is an excellent way to prevent a (further) stroke. It is primarily a question of ensuring the proper balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. An excess of omega-6 fatty acids, e.g. from sunflower or safflower oil, impairs the conversion of ALA to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA and leads to an excess of eicosanoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Too much omega-6 fatty acid impairs the flow of blood, which can lead to stroke-promoting thrombosis in the vascular system.
Overall, a lacto-vegetarian diet, which includes a sufficient supply of the healthy fatty acids ALA and DHA, as well as fruits and vegetables, and, thus, the required nutrients is recommended. The oil-protein diet developed by Dr. Johanna Budwig makes a good foundation. Particularly special attention should be paid to the quality in the selection of fatty suppliers. Only in this way- as Dr. Johanna Budwig pointed out again and again- are the cells able to receive the full benefit of the electron richness of the oils. For the production of flax seed oil, great importance must be attached to the selection of the seeds, their crop rotation, the extraction, and any further processing. Therefore, Dr. Johanna Budwig clearly defined and documented quality standards. For the extraction of oil, she developed a very gentle process, the "Original Dr. Budwig pressing method" – which is still known under that name today.
Regular exercise, stress management, and a normal weight on the body mass index (BMI) also contribute to reducing the risk of a stroke.
In the case of a stroke, any existing dietary deficiency – especially one pertaining to essential, polyunsaturated fatty acids - should be compensated. It is important to integrate beneficial fatty acids into a varied, balanced, lacto-vegetarian wholefood diet. Just as Dr. Johanna Budwig’s designed her concept of the oil-protein diet. People in poor health should follow the regulatory guidelines of the oil-protein. Only then can their cells and, thus, the person as a whole restore order in vital cellular processes and become healthy again. If you have any questions about the implementation of the oil-protein diet, please do not hesitate to call to the Dr. Budwig Foundation’s helpline or contact an experienced Dr. Budwig consultant.
Dr. Budwig consultant
The Dr. Johanna Budwig Foundation is committed to supporting those in suffering from ailments to their health. In the spirit of this commitment, we are happy to recommend qualified "Dr. recommend "Budwig consultants, who have been trained in the implementation of the oil-protein diet. Currently, we are working on setting up a corresponding nationwide network.
Important note: Dr. Johanna Budwig had no doubt that many modern ailments could be treated with her oil-protein diet. The Dr. Johanna Budwig Foundation has made it its mission to supplement her work with modern, intensively reviewed scientific findings. These are vital issues too serious for false hopes. Therefore, we find it very important to emphasize: While there are primary scientific findings which indicate that the oil-protein diet may support- under certain circumstances – medical treatments, diet alone cannot replace proper medical treatment. We distance ourselves from promises of false miracles.