Can High Carb Diets Cause Stroke?

What is stroke?

It is a serious medical condition that results from the cutting off of oxygenated blood from the brain. It can result from hemorrhaging, thrombosis, ischemia, other medical conditions, and accidents.

U.S. Statistics:

  • According to a 2007 reports by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), stroke is the third biggest killer in the U.S.--second only to cancer and heart disease.
  • The U.S. is home to over 5 million survivors.
  • Around 700,000 people in the U.S. fall victim every year; most are "first-timers."
  • 7 out of 10 victims are above the age of 65.
  • If you have type 2 (diabetes mellitus), studies show that you're between 2 and 3 times more likely to develop the condition than if you don't have diabetes.

Global Statistics:

  • According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report released in 2007, 15 million people annually fall victim.
  • A third of these people die as a result.
  • A decline in cigarette smoking in some areas has led to a decline in new cases.

Risk Factors:

  • Use of methamphetamines and cocaine
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Long term cigarette smoking
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise

Treatments:

  • Drug therapies to help at-risk individuals avoid debilitating ischemia, embolisms, and hemorrhages.
  • Prophylactic surgeries, such as carotid endarterectomy, can be used in some patients to reduce risk.
  • Improvements in diet can mitigate risk.

Can low carb diets help?

Carb restriction may be helpful for some people. Studies suggest that low carb diets can help people lose weight and recover from type-2 diabetes. More research is obviously needed, but the evidence definitely merits more investigation.

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