Dec 08

From our book Bypassing Bypass, published in 2002

[A stroke is] brain damage caused by a lack of blood flow to part of the brain. In order to perform its many functions and direct activities throughout the body—from walking to seeing to reasoning—the brain requires a constant supply of energy, provided by the oxygen and nutrients that are delivered by the flowing blood. If blood flow is restricted or cut off at any point between the heart and the brain, portions of the brain relying on blood from the obstructed blood vessel become deprived of oxygen. Brain cells are extremely sensitive to such oxygen deprivation. If they are deprived of oxygen and nutrients for more than several minutes, they, in effect, starve to death. A stroke results in permanent damage to the brain tissue—and in many cases, permanent disability for the patient. For example, a patient who has had a stroke may develop paralysis on one or both sides of the body; have difficulty with walking, eating, or other daily activities; or lose the ability to speak or understand speech. [“Stroke.”Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2001. © 1993-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.]

We began this section with a paragraph from Microsoft’s Encarta®, but must refer you back to our original discussion on the hypercoagulability of the blood as being the main cause of most (85%) strokes. We will let you in on a few more stroke related facts, but keep in mind that care of your arteries and capillaries through proper nutrition is what will keep you stroke free and alive longer, not some sort of medicine.

We don’t get strokes because we don’t have the right medicine coursing through our blood vessels. And there’s a wonderful Chinese proverb:

“He who lives by medical prescriptions lives miserably.”

Finally, in our discussion on strokes, we are going to reprint an article by the famous stroke doctor from California, Dr Steenblock, whose lectures I’ve had the pleasure to hear and whose help I’ll never need if I follow his and our other advisors’ advice.

It seems that people who snore have a higher risk factor of strokes than those who don’t. If you also have sleep apnea (you stop breathing in your sleep), you are at an even higher risk for stroke, retinal infarction, and even high blood pressure and heart disease. Not all snorers have sleep apnea. [Lancet 89:1(8630):143-146]

Sleep apnea can be diagnosed best in a sleep laboratory, though a pretty good diagnosis can be made by one’s sleeping partner keeping track of your sleep habits: leg jerks during sleep, cessation of breathing, awakening tired or with a headache, a choking feeling, and needing water. Oftentimes, an apnea sufferer has trouble staying awake during the day.

Snoring can be prevented. Most snoring occurs while on one’s back. Sewing a golf ball to one’s night clothing is one simple measure to keep you off your back.

Or you can have your dentist fit you with a Snore Guard. The American Review of Respiratory Disorders reported that 40% of users stopped snoring entirely with Snore Guard, while 60% significantly decreased their snoring and sleep apnea episodes were cut more than 50%.

Another device, prescribed only by a physician after a complete sleep study, is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. A CPAP machine supplies a steady flow of air that stops the airway from closing up (which allows the musculomembranous sac—a big word for pharynx) to vibrate. The air pressure setting on the CPAP machine is prescribed by your doctor and set by the therapist. You cannot adjust this up, though you can lower it for a short time at the start of your bedtime. The newer machines are very quiet and can be fitted with a humidifier if you find yourself drying out during the night. This little device will increase your oxygen levels during the night, and you will find yourself rested and relaxed in the morning. And you’ll cut your risk of strokes and heart problems at the same time.

Another machine, I have one of these, is a BiPap, or bilevel positive airway pressure as opposed to “continuous.” This simply means the machine has a computer in it and it learns to breath with you. Some people just cannot use a CPAP because they feel they are being suffocated. When I discovered the BiPap, my life changed. (If you need a laugh or two, here’s a piece I wrote about this gadget: Big Brother BiPAP.)

Researchers at the Southern California School of Medicine discovered that one third of a group of patients who had suffered a stroke had had some form of infection in a thirty-day period preceding the stroke. (Ah ha! Infections in the blood again? Must readThe Real Cause of Most (85%) Heart Attacks and Strokes.

Stroke patients have a higher than normal level of fibrin in their blood. Fibrin is the protein that makes blood clot. Vitamin E, 400 to 800 IU per day inhibits thrombin, the enzyme that converts fibrinogen to fibrin. Do not forget the systemic enzymes. Wobenzym® (Rutozym® for vegetarians) has fifty years of research behind it.

A presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (2000) revealed that they had found that taking a minimal amount of vitamin E (typically just 50 IU) significantly lowered (53%) their chances of a stroke.

Now, always keep in mind that illness is often a sign of a poor immune system, and at the same time, illness will stress the immune system even further. In our culture, we do not worry about disease until symptoms show up. However, symptoms are seven or eight steps away from the original start of any problem. We, as Americans, are famous for trying to fix problems only after they have gotten out of hand. Ben Franklin told us a stitch in time saves nine. It is true. If you take care of yourself on a regular basis, feed your immune system as well as your body, mind, and spirit, you’ll stay healthy rather than fight the occasional disease.

One final note. Within 30 minutes of a stroke, have the patient drink at least two ounces of DMSO. We found this piece of advice at a Naturopath’s website, and less than a month later, as I was writing this section, your author banged his head good. It was one hell of a concussion. I’d lost vision in my left eye and my right eye wasn’t all that clear either. I immediately drank down eight ounces of DMSO (mixed with some strong grape juice—it was still nasty) and within five minutes I got my vision back. An interesting point here is that we’ve recently learned that DMSO works best if drunk with a sweet/sugary drink. I chose concentrated grape juice (mixed with less water than usual) to cut the taste, and it turns out, that was the right choice.

Further Reading on DMSO (those in bold type are at this site)

Hyperbaric Oxygen

For years it was thought that following a stroke, the brain tissues deprived of blood and oxygen were dead. Today, we’re beginning to think that just maybe, they’re not dead, but “knocked out” or stunned.

We get this from the people who are reversing much of the damage caused by strokes using Hyperbaric Oxygen.

Russia has more than 3000 hyperbaric oxygen chambers and Italian medical schools make it a part of their curriculum. In America, we have approximately 330 chambers and our medical schools, for the most part, don’t even mention this therapy. Our medical schools are financed by the pharmaceutical industry, if you haven’t caught on yet.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has successfully established its safety and efficacy for over 200 diverse conditions in more than 30,000 scientific studies conducted over the past 50 years.

Doctors in America know very little about hyperbaric oxygen and hospitals limit access, as there are only 14 Medicare-approved uses, such as skin grafts, gangrene, peripheral artery disease, carbon monoxide poisoning, skin and bone infections, and decompression illness in divers often called the bends.

In strokes, people who receive hyperbaric oxygen within a year of the stroke get the most benefit and find improvement in all lost functions. While interviewing therapists at site in California that uses hyperbaric oxygen for our second edition, the cancer/immune system edition, we learned that patients with cancer who’d suffered strokes improved so well that the site no long treats cancer patients but focuses strictly on stroke victims.

For more information on hyperbaric oxygen go to to find a hyperbaric therapy near you.

If you are local to Minnesota, here are two centers to check out.

Hennepin County Medical Center
Hyperbaric Medicine MC #980
701 Park Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415
[email protected]

St. Elizabeth Hospital, HBO and Wound Care Service
1506 S. Oneida St.
Appleton, WI 54915
[email protected]

Stroke Rehabilitation

Recently released from the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama are the results of a study in which stroke patients with unilateral stroke problems (one side of the body is affected) were going back to normal lives in just two weeks. But they were the most grueling two weeks of their lives!

The good arm or good leg is restrained completely and the affected limb is exercised for eight hours a day for two weeks. The theory is that the brain will re-wire itself, and sure enough, it works. The brain is an amazing organ. Those parts of the brain that are damaged are bypassed by all this activity and new centers of the brain take over.

For more information, write to the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Birmingham, AL 35223 or go on the web to

Meet Dr David Steenblock

We’ve been blessed to get permission to reprint the following article. Our research on strokes revealed many of the therapies this physician, referred to by all as the Stroke Doctor, has been using in his practice for years. We first ran across him during our research on cancer and oxygen therapies.