DEHYDRATION: THE CAUSE OF STROKES
You are going to read how this doctor rescue his own sister from permanent stroke.
(In his own words):"Talking about permanent pathology, let me tell you the story of my sister Shahla. We are a close family, and there is a particular bond between my sister and me. There is about thirteen years' different between us. When we were studying in England, away from home and parents, I was in charge. Even in later stages of her life, whenever she needed to make a serious decision, she would consult with me. As a family, we emigrated to America when living in our homeland, Iran, became hazardous after the mullahs took over in 1979 and Iran became a theocratic dictatorship. Most of us gravitated to northern Virginia, USA.
Shahla is a hard worker and a most reliable executive, and although she had a lot of upheaval in her life in exile she has not lost her cheerfulness and enthusiasm. She had recently started smoking cigarettes despite my contrary advice. She had also taken a liking to a glass of red wine now and then. She had come to Virginia to work with my younger brother, who had established himself as a developer in the area.
In the summer of 1989, Shahla wanted to relax after a lot of turmoil in her emotional life. She decided to spend some time beside the pool of her apartment complex. She was also trying to lose weight. She would spend most of her free time and the weekends at the poolside in the sun. She would also take the occasional drink of wine as she was relaxing on her poolside mat - an ideal of many people who wish to have a quiet, relaxing holiday.
On a Monday morning after a weekend by the pool, when she was working at her office, she notice tingling sensations in her left arm. Gradually the left side of her body became heavy and not sufficiently responsive. She got scared and called me. She left the office and was driven home. By the time I arrive, her left leg and left arm were in a state of partial paralysis. She could hardly move them. She was now dead scared. After a quick examination and a call to a doctor friend, I started to force into her. I managed to give her two jugs of water and one jug of orange juice with some salt, about six quarts of fluids. (1pint=16 oz. 1 quart=4pints) Her anxiety began to diminish. By the time the doctor had arrived, her arm weakness had perceptibly improved and she also had some movement in her leg muscles.
You might think that I should have called an ambulance and packed her off to the emergency room of a hospital. I did not do so because, other than receiving an intravenous drip to get some fluid into her, i believe she would have suffered other damage in the time she awaited medical attention. Anyway, she improved and improved and improved. By the late afternoon, she was well in her way to recovery. However, we needed to find out if there was any underlying local pathology in the brain that might have signaled its presence by manifesting muscle weakness on one side of her body.
A consultation with one of the local neurologists was arranged, and we went to him for an in-depth evaluation. After his examination, he confirmed a slight remaining weakness in the left side. Shahla was admitted to the hospital. After all the blood tests and noninvasive procedures such as CT scans and MRIs showed nothing, it was decided to do a cerebral angiogram to rule out a leaking aneurysm in the brain arteries.
The procedure was conducted the next day. her brain arteries were as clean as a whistle. No aneurysm, no plague, no obstruction, nothing that would account for the temporary weakness on the left side of her body. They charged her thirteen thousand dollars (US$13,000) for three nights' stay in the hospital. She did not yet have insurance to cover such expenses. Needless to say, what rest she had at the poolside she paid for with her health and money. Why ? Because of a basically wrong understanding of the way the human body works.
She had severely dehydrated her brain by the intake of alcohol, heat of the sun, dieting without water intake, and the vicious cycle of the physiological events that are set in motion when there is severe dehydration. What her brain had done was to decommission a major part of its activity that would take her to the location where she could continue the damage-producing actions.
Even in genuine situations when there is a blockage of the arteries in a region of the brain, resulting in "rotting" brain tissue, adequate intravenous hydration has produced dramatic recoveries. In experiments in animals, if intravenous fluids are given within one(1)hour of blocking the main artery to a part of the brain that would permanently destroyed about 20 percent of the blood-deprived region, the rotting area will be reduced significantly. Such is the power of water in reviving even purposely oxygen- and circulation- deprived areas of the brain.
This was the reason why I forced water on Shahla as soon as I reached her. I thought that even if she had actually clotted one of the main arteries of her brain, the water would help open the surrounding capillaries and prevent expansion of the clot beyond its already formed areas. Equally, if the neurological manifestations were due to vascular spasm, then the water would relieve the constriction in the arteries -- and it did. There was no time to wait and see; a decision and an action were vital at the very moment that Shahla showed the onset of muscle weakness that was increasing. Today, she is well. She no longer smokes, and drinks wine only on festive occasion, but drinks plenty of water -- enough to give her lots of bubbly energy.
Edmund, the husband of my office manager, a very young man, had exactly the same type of paralysis and was taken to the hospital. His wife, Joy, was informed of the devastating crisis in their family. I was nearby when she received the information. I asked her if Edmund drank enough. Apparently he would seldom drink water. I asked her to get him to drink lots of water straightaway to prevent the damage from continuing. She did, and he recovered completely. It is now four(4) years since that episode.
The moral of these stories : Give stroke candidates lots of water -- if possible, before they actually develop clots and then neurological symptoms."
Careful investigations upon all stroke patients revealed that they had unintentional caused prolonged dehydration in their bodies prior to the attack.
Our human body need water -- nothing substitutes for water. Coffee, tea, sodas, alcohol, and even cow-milk and juices are not the same as water. In fact, these beverages are adding insult to the injury(water-deficit) inside the body.
First-Aid for Stroke manifestation: If you are nearby anyone complaining about numbness or weakness of arms or legs suddenly, immediately "force" that person to drink lots of water. Never mistake motion for action. 'Motion' is busy-ing without direction whereas 'action' is right correction. First-aid is not the time to give swimming lesson or arguing about 'expert' version; it is about rescuing patient.
Observe the slimming of the hand/leg of stroke victims and we can see 'fluid-cannibalism' is going on inside the body cells. This is the body wisdom at work , survival in a dehydrated condition.