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Stroke is the third most prolific killer of Americans and perhaps the most feared. Strokes can strike without warning, attacking and damaging the brain irrevocably. Strokes can be fatal, or they can leave their victims permanently disabled. Because of the sudden and mysterious nature of strokes, many people think there is nothing they can do to prevent them from happening. Mainstream medicine has largely remained silent about how strokes can be prevented, acting almost like they are acts of God that cannot possibly be stopped from happening.
But the truth is that like all serious diseases and health conditions, strokes are a symptom of unhealthy lifestyle choices. No one has to live with the threat of stroke hanging over their heads; and despite the relative silence of doctors, strokes can be prevented if people are willing to reject the unhealthy lifestyle that passes for normal in modern America.
Eye Strokes: The Unknown Threat
Most know about strokes that attack the brain, and the terrible effects that they can have on health. But there is another type of stroke that only attacks the eye. Known as Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (AION) , this kind of stroke can occur in the eye unexpectedly at any time, causing a sudden and immediate loss or deterioration of vision. The more serious type of eye stroke, called Arteritic AION, can leave its victims with permanent vision loss. The term “arteritic” refers to a particular disease of the arteries that can be fatal because of the severity of the blockage in blood flow it causes. The less serious kind of eye stroke is the Non-Arteritic AION, which is caused by a temporary loss of circulation in the blood vessels that feed and nourish the eye. In this case, loss of vision may or may not be permanent. While eye strokes start in one eye, they can eventually manifest in the other eye, leading to comprehensive visual impairment and disability.
Strokes of the brain get all the publicity, but eye strokes can be extremely frightening when they strike because of how quickly vision is lost. They are probably made even more frightening by the fact that most people don’t realize such a thing can happen, so when their vision suddenly disappears in one eye they have no idea what is actually happening to them
Poor Arterial Health and Strokes
Regardless of what kind of stroke someone suffers, they are all caused by problems in the arteries that lead to a serious reduction in or blockage of blood flow. The key to avoiding strokes is to take steps to prevent problems from occurring in the arteries in the first place, which means rejecting the American lifestyle that is accepted as normal by so many. Poor diet, constant stress, and inactivity – these are the real reasons why stroke can bring apparently strong people to their knees in the matter of an instant.
These three lifestyle factors can ultimately lead to stroke, it is true; but we should perhaps refer to a stroke as a “second generation” health problem. Before stroke comes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and it is these three conditions that damage the arteries so badly that strokes can become all but inevitable in some people. These three health plagues, along with cancer and heart disease, are end products of the American addiction to processed junk food, refined sugar, and working sixty hours a week for corporate masters who always demand more.
The off-the-grid lifestyle is the perfect antidote to the cycle of premature illness and death, as long as people are truly committed to doing what is necessary at each step of the way to get off the metaphorical grid as well as the actual one. In other words, the rejection of dysfunctional mainstream societal habits must be thorough and complete, not just partial or half-hearted.
Practical Tips for Getting Off the Grid Lifestyle
It is common to complain about the stress that is unavoidable in today’s world, but this is just a convenient excuse for people who have chosen to allow others to control their lives. When you live self-sufficiently, you can live independently, and this means that things like working hours and deadlines are entirely up to you. Being your own boss, and taking responsibility for your own economic fate will go a long way to helping replace stress – which is really just another word for helplessness – with a sense of self-mastery.
Some kind of meditative activity should also be mandatory for anyone who wants to take control of their own emotional health. One of the best ways to honor God  and show appreciation for His magnificent creation is to take the time for silent moments of contemplation and solitude. Combining meditation with daily prayer is an excellent way to help reduce stress by getting back into contact with what is real and true. Stress is a leading cause of high blood pressure, which damages the arteries and increases the likelihood that they can malfunction or become blocked in the future, leading to strokes in the brain or in the eye – or both.
The off-the-grid diet means rejecting nutritionally empty processed foods, trans fats, saturated fats, refined sugars, and salt. Despite the propaganda that says otherwise, healthy foods are not always expensive, hard to find, or lacking in taste. It is a bald-faced lie that all good-tasting foods are bad for you, and vice versa – it is just a matter of experimenting a little so you can find some good recipes  that take healthy fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and beans and turn them into delicious culinary treats. There are plenty of places to find good foods out there; and anyone who is willing to put in the effort can grow or raise their own food, guaranteeing that it will be healthy and safe. The kind of junk foods that predominate in the “normal” American diet almost inevitably lead to high cholesterol and diabetes, which block, narrow, and overstress arteries throughout the body and dramatically increase the possibility of stroke.
Exercise does it all – lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure by reducing obesity, while making the body strong and resilient so it does not collapse into chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Of course, if you live off-the-grid you will really not need to “exercise,” because that is a lifestyle that by its very nature forces you to become physically self-reliant and active. Hard work and stimulating physical activity go hand-in-hand with off-the-grid living – and getting out and playing with your children as you teach them the benefits of healthy lifestyle is also one of the best forms of “exercise” that you will ever hope to get.
Taking Control of Your Health
Strokes of the brain and the eye generally happen most frequently, but not exclusively, to older adults. But it is the lifestyle choices that people make in their 30s and 40s that determine what happens to them later in life, as the damage done to the body through too much stress, too much inactivity, and poor diets filled with junk foods accumulates over time. Strokes are one of the many frightening diseases and health conditions that can strike people in their later years, and virtually all of these disorders are related to lifestyle.
We should all feel great sympathy and compassion for stroke victims, including those who are members of our own families. But we have it in our power to avoid joining their ranks, if we are willing to take responsibility for our own health – because if we don’t, no one else will.
©2011 Off the Grid News