• Possible sudden loss of speech or the ability to move.
• Sudden heaviness or numbness of the limbs. Blurred vision.
• Confusion, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
A stroke may result from a thrombosis, an embolism, or a hemorrhage. Cerebral thrombosis may be due to atherosclerosis, when blood vessels are narrowed by fatty deposits. In an embolism, a small blood clot breaks off an artery wall somewhere in the body and lodges in an artery supplying the brain. A hemorrhage occurs when blood leaks out of a weak-walled artery in the brain. Other causes of stroke include atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), damaged heart valves, or a heart attack. All three may lead to the formation of clots in the heart. These may travel to the brain, causing an embolism. Strokes are more common in those with diabetes, smokers, women on oral contraceptives, and people with high cholesterol levels.
Conventional care
One in two first strokes is fatal. Recovery depends upon the severity of the stroke and rehabilitation. Scanning methods can establish the cause of a stroke and the extent of the damage. Thrombolytic drugs may be used to dissolve blood clots, and aspirin and anticoagulants to prevent further clots. Surgery may be needed to remove arterial obstructions. About half of those who survive a stroke recover to a greater or lesser degree. Those with disabilities may require physiotherapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy.
Homeopathic medicine
Constitutional treatment from an experienced homeopathic practitioner can play an important complementary role in recuperation after a stroke. The choice of constitutional remedy will be mainly influenced by the stroke victim’s specific symptoms, but remedies that have an affinity with the blood vessels include Arnica, which is indicated for shock and a hemorrhagic stroke; Hyoscyamus, which is effective for a paralytic stroke that is associated with confused and inappropriate behavior; and Opium, for a major stroke with total muscular relaxation and unconsciousness. Nux vomica and Rhus tox. may also be prescribed constitutionally.
Specific remedies to be taken during a stroke and to aid recovery include Aconite, if a patient is panicky and afraid of dying; and Opium, if they become unconscious, with a bluish, florid face and heavy, labored breathing. Arnica is good immediately after a stroke and Aurum met. if there is great depression. Baryta carb. is suitable for the very elderly and the physically and mentally weak.
Diet and the management of stress levels are important in stroke prevention and for those who have already suffered a stroke. The diet should be modified in order to reduce the amount of animal fats and proteins consumed—including dairy products—and to increase fiber intake. It is advisable to eat plenty of fruits and fresh vegetables every day, and to lose excess weight and exercise regularly. If the stroke is thrombotic, the herb ginkgo biloba may improve blood flow. Smoking is inadvisable. Relaxation and meditation are beneficial, especially for those with high blood pressure or who are under stress. Women who have had a stroke or thrombosis, focal migraine or who have a family history of heart disease, should avoid taking oral contraceptives.
Thomas was a 79-year-old former engineer. Nine months before his consultation, he had fallen in the bathtub. Three months later, he fell twice more. He had since been complaining of unsteadiness, difficulty in writing, frequent urination, general muzziness, and poor short-term memory. His doctor had diagnosed a minor stroke. Thomas’s blood pressure was high, and he showed all the signs of a right-sided stroke.
Thomas’s character had changed since the stroke. He was by nature a leader, and was used to being in control of his life. He was thorough to the point of fastidiousness. He now felt frustrated because he could no longer drive and had had to slow down generally. His wife claimed that he was more attentive to her, but that at times he appeared to look through her. Thomas slept fitfully.
Thomas liked sweets, and salty and acidic foods, but hated pork, milk, and pudding. He claimed that pork and alcohol upset his stomach.
Thomas tended to get hot at night and to feel as though there was a lump in his throat preventing him from swallowing. His stomach was tender and sensitive to touch.
Thomas was originally prescribed Anacardium or. because of his feeling of being detached from reality. This remedy improved his memory, and he felt more himself. His blood pressure came down, and he felt steadier on his feet. He was then given Baryta mur. and sent for physiotherapy. This improved his unsteady gait. His blood pressure was normal by now. He looked much better and was taking exercise, although he was still forgetful. Thomas then had a fall, after which he was prescribed Arnica followed by another dose of Baryta mur. He continued to pick up and even his memory started to improve. He is still making a slow and steady recovery, and to date has exhibited no further stroke symptoms.

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