Hello, and welcome to the Blood Detective Podcast. I’m Dr. Michael Wald, also known as the Blood Detective, and today we’ll be diving into the critical topic of thrombotic and hemorrhagic stroke management. As a doctor specializing in nutrition and holistic health, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating effects of strokes on individuals and their families. In this episode, we’ll explore the essential tests for stroke prevention and management, including lipid profiles, blood pressure monitoring, and coagulation studies. Understanding these tests is crucial for identifying risk factors and developing personalized strategies for stroke prevention.

We’ll also discuss the vital role of dietary interventions, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle management in reducing the risk of strokes. From optimizing nutrient intake to implementing targeted lifestyle modifications, there are numerous ways to support vascular health and minimize the likelihood of stroke occurrence. Additionally, we’ll touch on the importance of rehabilitation post-stroke and how a comprehensive approach to recovery can significantly impact long-term outcomes. Join me as we unravel the complexities of stroke management through a holistic lens on the Blood Detective Podcast.


A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. This can cause brain cells to die, leading to potentially severe and lasting complications. Strokes are a medical emergency and require prompt treatment to minimize brain damage and potential long-term effects.

There are two main types of strokes:

1. Ischemic Stroke: This type of stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks or narrows an artery leading to the brain. The most common cause of ischemic stroke is atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) in the arteries. When a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries, it can block blood flow to a part of the brain, causing an ischemic stroke.

2. Hemorrhagic Stroke: Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain tissue. The bleeding creates pressure on brain cells and damages them. The two main types of weakened blood vessels that usually cause hemorrhagic stroke are aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Both types of strokes require immediate medical attention, but their treatments differ based on the underlying cause.

Medical Treatments for the Two Major Forms of Strokes

Ischemic Stroke:

The primary goal of medical treatment for ischemic stroke is to restore blood flow to the affected area of the brain. The following are some of the main medical treatments for ischemic stroke:

  1. Clot-busting drugs (Thrombolytics): These medications, such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), are administered intravenously to dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow to the brain. They are most effective when given within a few hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.
  2. Antiplatelet drugs: Medications like aspirin or clopidogrel are often prescribed to prevent blood clots from forming or getting larger.
  3. Anticoagulants: These medications, such as heparin or warfarin, may be used to prevent the formation of new blood clots.
  4. Mechanical Thrombectomy: In cases where a large blood clot is causing the stroke, a procedure called mechanical thrombectomy may be performed. This involves using a catheter to remove the clot from the blocked blood vessel.
  5. Supportive Care: This includes measures to control blood pressure, reduce brain swelling, and prevent complications.

Hemorrhagic Stroke:

The medical treatments for hemorrhagic stroke focus on controlling bleeding and reducing pressure in the brain. Some of the main treatments include:

  1. Surgical Interventions: In cases where there is bleeding in the brain, surgery may be necessary to remove the accumulated blood and repair damaged blood vessels.
  2. Medication: Certain medications may be used to lower blood pressure and prevent further bleeding.
  3. Coiling or Clipping: For aneurysms that have caused hemorrhagic stroke, procedures like coiling (inserting a coil into the aneurysm to block it off) or clipping (placing a small metal clip at the base of the aneurysm) may be performed to prevent re-bleeding.
  4. Supportive Care: Similar to ischemic stroke, supportive care is essential in managing complications and promoting recovery.

It’s important to note that both forms of stroke require immediate medical attention, and treatment options may vary based on individual patient factors and the specific circumstances of the stroke.

Health Risks of Treatments for Hemorrhagic and Thrombotic Strokes

Hemorrhagic and thrombotic strokes are two different types of strokes, each requiring different treatments. The health risks associated with the treatments for these strokes can vary depending on the specific medications or procedures used. It’s important to note that the benefits of treatment often outweigh the potential risks, and decisions about treatment should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional.

Health Risks of Treatments for Hemorrhagic Strokes:

  1. Surgical Interventions: In cases of severe hemorrhagic stroke, surgical interventions such as craniotomy or endovascular coiling may be necessary to repair damaged blood vessels or reduce bleeding in the brain. These procedures carry inherent risks such as infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.
  2. Medication: Medications used to treat hemorrhagic strokes, such as anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs, can increase the risk of bleeding elsewhere in the body. This can lead to complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding or hemorrhagic transformation of an ischemic stroke.
  3. Rehabilitation Therapy: While not directly related to health risks, it’s important to consider that rehabilitation therapy following a hemorrhagic stroke can also pose challenges, including the risk of falls and overexertion during physical therapy.

Health Risks of Treatments for Thrombotic Strokes:

  1. Thrombolytic Therapy: Thrombolytic drugs, commonly known as clot-busting drugs, are used to dissolve blood clots in thrombotic strokes. However, these medications can increase the risk of bleeding, particularly in the brain, leading to potentially life-threatening complications such as intracerebral hemorrhage.
  2. Anticoagulant Therapy: Anticoagulant medications are often prescribed to prevent the formation of new blood clots in patients who have experienced a thrombotic stroke. However, these drugs also carry an increased risk of bleeding, which can be particularly concerning if a patient has other underlying health conditions or is at risk for falls.
  3. Endovascular Procedures: In some cases, endovascular procedures such as mechanical thrombectomy may be performed to remove a blood clot from a major artery in the brain. While these procedures can be highly effective, they also carry risks such as vessel perforation, embolization of clots to other parts of the brain, and reactions to contrast dye used during the procedure.

It’s crucial for individuals undergoing treatment for either type of stroke to be closely monitored by healthcare professionals to mitigate these potential health risks and ensure the best possible outcomes.

Hyperbaric Oxygen and Ambient Air Therapy for Post-Stroke Victims

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and ambient air therapy have been studied as potential treatments for post-stroke victims. These therapies aim to improve the recovery and outcomes of individuals who have experienced a stroke by providing increased oxygen levels to the brain and affected tissues. The benefits of these therapies for post-stroke victims include:

1. Enhanced Oxygen Delivery: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber, which increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. This elevated oxygen level can help deliver more oxygen to the brain and other affected areas, potentially aiding in the healing process after a stroke.

2. Neurological Recovery: Studies have suggested that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may contribute to neurological recovery in post-stroke patients. By increasing oxygen supply to damaged brain tissue, HBOT may support the repair and regeneration of neural pathways, potentially leading to improved motor function, cognition, and overall recovery.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which could be beneficial for post-stroke patients. Inflammation plays a significant role in the secondary damage following a stroke, and reducing inflammation through HBOT may help mitigate further injury and promote healing.

4. Angiogenesis and Tissue Repair: HBOT has been associated with promoting angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, and enhancing tissue repair processes. This could be particularly beneficial for post-stroke victims as it may aid in restoring blood flow to damaged areas and supporting overall tissue recovery.

5. Potential for Functional Improvement: Some research suggests that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may contribute to functional improvement in post-stroke patients. This could manifest as improved mobility, speech, cognitive function, and quality of life following a stroke.

6. Ambient Air Therapy Benefits: While hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a more targeted approach, ambient air therapy also offers benefits for post-stroke victims. Engaging in activities that involve exposure to fresh air and natural environments can contribute to overall well-being, mental health, and physical rehabilitation.

In conclusion, both hyperbaric oxygen therapy and ambient air therapy offer potential benefits for post-stroke victims by addressing various aspects of recovery including enhanced oxygen delivery, neurological recovery, anti-inflammatory effects, angiogenesis, tissue repair, and functional improvement.

Hemorragic and Thrombotic Strokes: Nutritional and Natural Treatments

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing bleeding in the brain. A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot forms in a blood vessel, blocking blood flow to the brain. Both types of strokes can cause permanent brain damage and can lead to death if not treated promptly. While medical treatment is essential, there are several nutritional and natural treatments that can help support recovery and prevent future strokes.

Nutritional Supplements

  1. Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the health of the nervous system and can help prevent homocysteine buildup, which is linked to an increased risk of stroke. Foods rich in vitamin B12 include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the risk of stroke. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
  3. Coenzyme Q10: Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Foods rich in coenzyme Q10 include meat, fish, nuts, and seeds.
  4. Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that can help prevent blood clots and improve blood flow. Foods rich in magnesium include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  5. Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte that can help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, avocados, spinach, and sweet potatoes.

Top 10 Nutritional Supplements for Promoting Repairative Neuroplasticity in Post-Stroke Victims

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. After a stroke, promoting repairative neuroplasticity is crucial for aiding recovery and improving cognitive function. Several nutritional supplements have been studied for their potential to support neuroplasticity in post-stroke patients, including medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Here are ten nutritional supplements that have shown promise in promoting repairative neuroplasticity:

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), have been associated with improved cognitive function and neuroplasticity. They are found in fish oil supplements and certain types of fish.
  2. Curcumin: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. It may support neuroplasticity by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.
  3. Vitamin D: Adequate levels of vitamin D have been linked to better cognitive function and may play a role in supporting neuroplasticity. Vitamin D supplements or exposure to sunlight can help maintain optimal levels.
  4. Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that has been studied for its potential neuroprotective effects. It may support neuroplasticity by reducing oxidative damage in the brain.
  5. Acetyl-L-Carnitine: This amino acid derivative has been investigated for its ability to enhance mitochondrial function and support neuronal health, potentially contributing to neuroplasticity.
  6. Resveratrol: Found in red grapes and wine, resveratrol is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may support brain health and neuroplasticity.
  7. Magnesium: Magnesium plays a crucial role in neuronal function and has been linked to neuroplasticity. Supplementing with magnesium may support synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.
  8. Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo biloba extract has been studied for its potential to improve blood flow to the brain and protect against neuronal damage, potentially supporting neuroplasticity.
  9. Phosphatidylserine: Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that plays a key role in cell membrane structure and function. It has been investigated for its potential to support cognitive function and neuroplasticity.
  10. B Vitamins: B vitamins, including B6, B12, and folate, are essential for brain health and cognitive function. They play a role in neurotransmitter synthesis and methylation processes that are important for neuroplasticity.

In addition to these supplements, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have also shown promise in supporting repairative neuroplasticity in post-stroke victims. MCTs are a type of fat that is rapidly metabolized into ketones, which can serve as an alternative energy source for the brain when glucose metabolism is impaired after a stroke.


  1. Low-sodium diet: Consuming too much sodium can increase blood pressure and contribute to the development of hypertension, which is a major risk factor for stroke. Aim to limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day.
  2. Mediterranean diet: The Mediterranean diet is characterized by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil and nuts. This diet has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
  3. DASH diet: The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a balanced eating plan that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. It has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

Stress Reduction

  1. Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  2. Yoga: Yoga combines physical movement with deep breathing and can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
  3. Tai chi: Tai chi is a form of slow, gentle exercise that can help reduce stress and improve balance and flexibility.


  1. Good sleep hygiene: Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent sleep routine to improve sleep quality.
  2. Avoid caffeine and electronics before bedtime: Both caffeine and electronic screens can disrupt sleep patterns and make it harder to fall asleep.
  3. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Engage in calming activities before bed, such as reading or listening to soothing music, to help prepare yourself for sleep.


  1. Aerobic exercise: Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, can help improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of stroke.
  2. Resistance training: Resistance training, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, can help improve muscle strength and mobility.
  3. Stretching and flexibility exercises: Stretching and flexibility exercises can help improve range of motion and reduce the risk of falls.


  1. Speech therapy: Speech therapy can help improve communication skills and address swallowing difficulties.
  2. Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve mobility, balance, and strength after a stroke.
  3. Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy can help restore daily living skills, such as dressing, grooming, and cooking.

Authoritative Reference Titles

  1. “Stroke: A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References” by James N. Parker: This reference provides a comprehensive overview of stroke, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
  2. “The Stroke Handbook” by John B. Crawford and Michael R. Frank: This handbook provides a practical guide to the diagnosis and management of stroke, including information on nutritional and natural treatments.
  3. “Stroke Prevention and Treatment: A Scientific Approach” by David W. M. Smith: This book provides a scientific approach to stroke prevention and treatment, including information on lifestyle modifications, medications, and surgical interventions.

Strokes are a leading cause of disability and death worldwide, making prevention and effective management crucial. Laboratory tests play a vital role in assessing risk factors, diagnosing stroke, and guiding treatment strategies. Here are the top ten laboratory tests essential for the prevention and management of strokes:

  1. Lipid Profile: This test measures levels of cholesterol, including high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides. Elevated LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, a major cause of ischemic strokes.
  2. Blood Pressure Measurement: Monitoring blood pressure is critical as hypertension is a significant risk factor for strokes. Regular blood pressure checks help in identifying individuals at risk and guiding treatment decisions.
  3. Complete Blood Count (CBC): A CBC provides valuable information about red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Anemia and abnormal platelet counts can contribute to stroke risk, while elevated white blood cell counts may indicate inflammation or infection associated with stroke.
  4. Coagulation Studies: Tests such as prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), and international normalized ratio (INR) assess the blood’s ability to clot. Abnormal coagulation profiles can indicate an increased risk of thrombotic or hemorrhagic strokes.
  5. Blood Glucose Levels: Monitoring blood glucose is essential as diabetes is a significant risk factor for strokes. Elevated blood sugar levels can contribute to vascular damage and increase the risk of stroke.
  6. Homocysteine Levels: Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked to an increased risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots, both of which can lead to strokes. Measuring homocysteine levels can help identify individuals at higher risk.
  7. Thyroid Function Tests: Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in cardiovascular health. Abnormal thyroid function can contribute to hypertension and atherosclerosis, increasing the risk of stroke.
  8. Renal Function Tests: Assessing kidney function through tests such as serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is important as chronic kidney disease is associated with an elevated risk of stroke.
  9. Inflammatory Markers: Measuring markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) can provide insights into systemic inflammation, which is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, including strokes.
  10. Genetic Testing: In some cases, genetic testing may be recommended to identify inherited conditions that predispose individuals to stroke, such as hereditary thrombophilias or genetic lipid disorders.

These laboratory tests are essential for assessing stroke risk factors, guiding preventive measures, diagnosing underlying conditions, and monitoring treatment responses in individuals at risk of strokes or those who have experienced a stroke.

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*DISCLAIMER: Dr. Michael Wald is a doctor of chiropractic with a masters degree in nutrition. He is also a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Nutritional Specialist and Sports Nutritionist. Dr. Wald is certified to provide acupuncture in several states, but not New York. Dr. Wald has two board certifications in nutrition. Dr. Michael Wald earned his MD diploma, but did not complete a residency and is thus not licensed to practice medicine. The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not to substitute for sound medical or health advice. Information contained within this website may change at any time without prior notice. The information on this website is under copyright, 2021.