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February 17, 2011

Does everyone need an “aspirin regimen”?

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:00 am

After I was hospitalized for a stoke last year, I was given prescriptions for blood pressure medication, statin drugs and coated baby aspirin.  I was told that this combination of medications was for prevention of future strokes, for which I had a high risk.

At the hospital, I was told that I had suffered a CVA which means Cerebral Vascular Accident.  I took great comfort in the term CVA because to me “stroke” is a bad word; calling it an “Accident” means that the patient is not to blame.  At no time did the doctors and nurses at the hospital blame me for what had happened; it was an accident that could have happened to anyone.  (Actually, I knew that I was to blame because I had been eating a lot of salty potato chips with sour cream dip and not exercising as much as I should have.)

A couple of days later, I went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor and asked for an acupuncture treatment to repair the damage caused by the stroke.  The first question he asked me was “Are you taking blood thinner medication?”  Actually, I had asked the Western doctors in the hospital for a blood thinner, but I was told that baby aspirin was all I needed. After over six months on an “aspirin regimen,” I learned that aspirin might do more harm than good and that aspirin can raise blood pressure.

My TCM Chinese doctor explained to me that blood thinner medication is bad because your blood needs to clot in case you have a stroke that is caused by bursting a blood vessel in your head.

The doctors at the hospital didn’t bother to tell me that there are two kinds of strokes.  I learned that from my Chinese doctor.  One kind of stroke is caused by a blood clot blocking the flow of blood in part of the brain. This is called an ischemic stoke. Another kind of stroke is called a hemorrhagic stroke; this is caused by bleeding from a burst blood vessel in the brain or on the surface of the brain. If you have a hemorrhagic stroke, you want your blood to clot as fast as possible before you have some serious damage to the brain.

If you have an ischemic stroke, as I did, an aspirin regimen may help prevent a second ischemic stroke, but aspirin will not prevent hemorrhagic strokes. In fact, aspirin use slightly increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.  My stroke was caused by a blood pressure spike; my blood pressure went up to 205/100 and this caused a piece of plaque in my carotid artery to shoot up into my brain.  At the hospital I was given medication to dissolve the clot; I was told when I was released that my carotid artery was now clear.

If you watch TV, you know that aspirin is highly advertised to prevent heart attacks and stroke.  But I have learned that a person who has weak kidneys should not do an “aspirin regimen.”  Blood pressure is controlled by the kidneys and weak kidneys can cause high blood pressure; aspirin can raise your blood pressure.

I keep a bottle of regular aspirin handy so that I can chew an aspirin in case of a heart attack, but after I stopped the “aspirin regimen,” I finally got my blood pressure under control.

My Chinese doctor even warned me not to eat too much garlic because garlic thins the blood.  I had been eating as many as 15 cloves of garlic a day in an effort to lower blood pressure.  Now I limit my garlic consumption to 3 cloves per day.

February 8, 2011

Acupuncture and tachycardia

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:43 am

Since having a stroke a little over six months ago, I have learned to pay attention to warning signs that something might be wrong.  That’s why I became very worried about a month ago, when I woke up in the middle of the night, experiencing rapid heart rate.  My heart was pounding out of my chest.  I didn’t know if I should immediately call 911 and go to the emergency room.  Was I having a heart attack?  I was not having chest pain and my left arm was not numb, so I decided that it was not a heart attack.   (more…)

January 28, 2011

How do you know when your kidneys are failing?

Filed under: Health, TV shows — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:57 am

A few nights ago, I was watching an old episode of the TV show “House” when the patient suddenly started having “rapid heart rate.”  The doctors, who were gathered around his bed, immediately started trying to bring down his heart rate by using some drug which they mentioned, but I didn’t catch the name of it.  Then I heard one of the doctors say that “rapid heart rate” was an indication of failing kidneys.   (more…)

September 24, 2010

Your life span is determined by your kidneys … and the kidneys are the first organs to fail

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:16 am

Yesterday I went to my Chinese doctor for another acupuncture treatment and this time, I asked him some questions.  Like, what causes “dry mouth”?  Ten weeks ago, I had a stroke, and for a couple of weeks before the stroke, I was experiencing “dry mouth” at night.  At the hospital, tests showed that I had high blood sugar, as well as high cholesterol and sky-high blood pressure.  I was a walking time bomb.     (more…)

August 3, 2010

Where can I get some turtle soup?

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:01 am

I have been going to a Chinese doctor and taking acupuncture treatments to overcome the effects of a stroke.  The treatments are working very well and I am feeling much better.  This morning I woke up feeling like my old self, and now I’m typing with both hands for the first time since the stroke two weeks ago.

Yesterday, I asked the doctor some questions for the first time.  I asked what he could tell from taking my pulse, and he told me that I had a weak kidney on the left side.  He said that weak kidneys are a precursor of diabetes, and that diabetes is one of the factors that can lead to a stroke.  So I asked the doctor how I could improve my weak kidney.

(more…)

July 21, 2010

Acupuncture — a miracle cure

Filed under: Health — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:31 am

As my regular readers might know by now, I recently suffered a mild stroke.  The stoke happened while I was asleep, and when I suddenly awoke at 4:25 in the morning, I had some damage to the left arm and left leg, and was having some blurred vision, besides feeling some nausea.  I rushed to an emergency hospital and got there within 15 minutes, but it was already too late.  The doctors at the hospital could do nothing but give me tests which determined that my self diagnosis was correct. I was admitted to the hospital, and as soon as I could get out, after passing numerous tests, I headed straight to a Chinese doctor for acupuncture.

(more…)

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