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Understanding Stroke -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Lifestyle and Stroke

Physical rehabilitation should include regular, gentle aerobic exercise. Swimming in a heated pool is particularly useful for restoring lost motor function and keeping muscles loose. Exercises are easier to perform in the water because of its natural buoyancy.

People at high risk for stroke should not smoke and should eat a heart-healthy diet. Women at high risk should not take birth-control pills.

Mind-Body Medicine

Techniques that teach the body to relax and the mind to focus on healing can help recovering stroke victims. Among other benefits, these techniques can increase tolerance to pain and also alleviate the depression or anger that is common in the wake of a stroke. Hypnotherapy, meditation, and yoga all can be useful. Some stroke victims working to restore lost muscle control and motor function benefit from biofeedback.

Nutrition and Diet

Proper diet has much to contribute to stroke prevention, but it can do little to reverse stroke damage. With prevention in mind, your diet should be rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Focus on a diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean protein sources. Avoid processed foods and those high in saturated fats.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on February 28, 2015
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