STROKE PREVENTION: LATEST GUIDELINES
1. Any patient who has had a stroke or TIA (mini-stroke) should be screened for diabetes and obesity.
2. All stroke patients should be screened for sleep apnea. (This is an easy test that can be done in your own bed. You DO NOT have to be obese to have sleep apnea)
3. Patients should be seen by a registered dietitian and follow a Mediterranean diet. (Consults are available through our Kaizen Total Wellness program and may be covered by insurance)
4. If the cause of the stroke is unknown, ATRIA FIBRILLATION (irregular, irregular heart beat) should be considered.
5. If Atrial Fibrillation is found, the patient needs to be on a blood thinner. The newer medications for NON-VALVULAR A-FIB are safer and more effective than Coumadin
6. Most stroke patients need to be on cholesterol lowering drugs, namely STATINS. Regular readers of my blogs are quite aware that NIACINS and FIBRATES may raise HDL Cholesterol, but DO NOT REDUCE STROKE RISK!
Sometimes the source of the stroke resides in the carotid arteries. Plaques can break away from the lining of the artery and travel to the brain. Unfortunately, no insurance company will pay for screening. In our practice, we recognize that some patients like to be more proactive with their health, so we offer both CAROTID and ABDOMINAL AORTA screening via sonography for only $99.