Dr. Peter Michalos joined The Cats Roundtable to break down how to prevent and combat strokes in a post-Covid world. Routine medical visits, elective surgeries, and treatments of all kinds were put on the backburner by the pandemic, Dr. Michalos noted. But with the return to normal, he emphasized the need to educate people about the kinds of strokes, how to notice for them, and perhaps most important, how to prevent them.
There are three kinds of strokes: ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attacks, commonly known as a “mini-stroke.” A neglected aspect of health reporting in America after a year of Covid-19, strokes affect roughly 800,000 Americans every year.
Ischemic strokes, which make up the vast majority of stroke cases, is associated with blood flow and clotting, and commonly is associated with smoking and the bad blood pressure it can bring
“Smoking increases the thickness of our blood,” Michalos explained, comparing it to the difference between half and half and skim milk.
“That’s why high blood pressure is important, and they call it the ‘silent killer because you don’t really feel it,” he told The Cats Roundtable.
With record heat waves sweeping the west coast this summer, Michalos noted the correlation between heart attacks, strokes, dehydration, and the heat, noting many don’t drink enough fluids, leading to thicker blood and increased risk of stroke.
“It’s interesting that when people sometimes get a stroke, and they come to the emergency, room, they simply put an IV in, and suddenly, sometimes, people feel better,” Michalos said. “It’s because simple hydration is very important to keep your blood flowing thin, like 1030 motor oil as opposed to thick motor oil.”
But fortunately, there are ways to control and limit the risk for stroke, and as we turn the corner on Covid, Michalos advised listeners to check with their doctors to test their cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
“These are parameters you can control: your blood pressure, avoid smoking, avoid excess alcohol,” Michalos told The Cats Roundtable. “All these things will help reduce your chances of getting a stroke.”