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The Suburbanite
  • Reduce risk of stroke with proper prevention

  • With a whopping 700,000 new strokes suffered every year in the United States, Dr. Lawrence M. Saltis works with patients every day to decrease this number. In doing so, he informs people about stroke prevention.

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  • With a whopping 700,000 new strokes suffered every year in the United States, Dr. Lawrence M. Saltis works with patients every day to decrease this number. In doing so, he informs people about stroke prevention.
    “The first three ways of treating a stroke are prevention, prevention, prevention,” said Saltis, who has more than 35 years of experience in Neurology .
    Saltis’ goal is to help people understand the importance of taking care of their bodies by eating right, exercising, and keeping any sort of tobacco off limits, while also limiting alcoholic substances.
    “For the most part, the population right now is very steeped towards obesity, diabetes and untreated hypertension. People are not taking care of themselves. They may drink too much and they may smoke. All of these factors are involved,” Saltis said. “And, unfortunately, most people overindulge.”
    When it comes to eating, he advocates the Mediterranean diet which emphasizes eating abundant amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and white meat. He thinks people are eating too much protein in the form of fatty meat, and this is what is causing the problem.
    “What imparts a lot of the taste of red meat that people like is the fat. Like a steak is 50 percent fat. That’s a load of fat.” Saltis said. “That fat can build up over years and finally that artery blocks and whatever side of the brain the artery feeds on will result in stroke from thrombosis (which is) blockage of the vessel and cessation of blood flow.”  
    Most of the time, stroke can be healed, but people have to understand the warning signs and act fast. Family members and friends need to be aware of these early signs in order to prevent permanent damage.
    “We try to teach people about a sudden change in a person and somehow recognizing it whether its change in speech or dysfunction of one side of the face, arm, leg, and the whole idea is to get people to react quickly to that,” Dr. Saltis said.  “(Stroke warning signs) can be just as subtle as like, you get up and walk and drag your foot. The idea is to look for asymmetry in one side of the body (like) facial droop, one arm or the other being clumsy, the important thing is a sudden new change in that persons neurological condition. That’s when you dial 9-1-1, even if they get better, 9-1-1.”
    Usually, people who are about to experience a stroke will receive these warning signs. But, since they will only last a few minutes, people are likely to ignore them.
    “I have people tell me about (these warning signs) after I’ve seen them for a stroke analogy. I say ‘have you ever had any problems with your vision?’ and they’ll say ‘nah, I didn't, and then somebody will say in the room ‘yes you did, a week ago you complained your glasses were like dirty for 10-15 minutes,’” Dr. Saltis said.
    Page 2 of 2 - The important thing about stroke is prevention and early treatment because this is the only way a stroke can be stopped aside from diet and exercise. If a family member can get that person to a hospital, they could potentially save that person’s life.
    “What’s a better place for (a stroke) to happen than in a hospital where we can really treat it quick?” Dr. Saltis said. “Don’t smoke, don’t drink too much, don’t gorge yourself with fatty foods and stuff like that, if you have diabetes get it treated, if you’re overweight get down to a BMI that’s appropriate and try to eat as much fruits and vegetables as possible.”
    Dr. Lawrence M. Saltis is a private practitioner. He works at the Neuroscience center in Hudson, Ohio. Visit StrokeAwareness.com for more information about strokes and their warning signs.