Good nursing care is of utmost importance, especially during the acute stage. The patient should be made to rest in bed, and he should be turned frequently from side to side to prevent development of pressure sores. Cold compresses may be applied to the head to relieve pain. The patient should be protected from visitors and all forms of excitement. He should not return to work for several months.
The most important factor in treating this disease is fasting. The patient should fast for the first few days and he should be given only water to drink, if he can take it. Thereafter, he may be given orange juice and water. The fast should be continued till the severity of the stroke has passed off. He can then be allowed to take fresh fruits such as orange, apple, pineapple, pear, grapes, peach and papaya. The diet can be extended to include fresh and unboiled milk, and as convalescence progresses, the fruit and milk diet can be gradually followed by a well-balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, fruits and vegetables. The emphasis should be on fresh fruits and raw vegetable salads and fruit and vegetable juices.
The patient should be encouraged to use the paralyzed limbs and move all the joints several times daily. The paralyzed muscles should be gently massaged. As soon as possible, the patient should come out of bed and walk around the room.
When he is able to move about, he should take Epsom salt baths twice weekly. He should also take breathing and other exercises daily, together with the daily friction and sponge as explained in the appendix. Regular habits of living should be encouraged from then onwards. The consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking, wherever habitual, should be completely given up.
The liberal use of fruits and vegetables has been found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of stroke. Researches carried out more than a decade ago, indicated that consuming fruits and vegetables prevented strokes and reduced the damage if they occurred. British scientists at Cambridge University discovered that older persons who consumed large quantities of fresh green vegetables and fresh fruits were less likely to die of strokes.