Brain on Fire – Bill Gasiamis is the founder of the Recovery After Stroke community which is a resource for stroke survivors and their carers. He also hosts the Recovery after Stroke Podcast.
Bill was inspired to set up the Recovery After Stroke community because of the lack of support for stroke survivors when they leave hospital and having had personal experience of 3 strokes himself. Today he provides personal coaching to stroke survivors and provides resources, support and a community to help those who have suffered a stroke.
Bill had his first stroke at 37 years old (a brain haemorrhage), with a second a few weeks later. On the road to recovery he then sustained a third stroke 3 years later which necessitated surgery. However in those intervening 3 years, Bill radically changed his lifestyle and outlook on life which meant that when he had to undergo surgery he was in the best shape he could possibly be.
Not only is Bills story astonishing in itself but the fact that he recovered from brain surgery in half the time than his Doctors predicted is testament to the extensive work Bill did on himself to change his mindset, belief systems and lifestyle. His curious nature and thirst for knowledge around the brain, mind body connection and lifestyles of stroke victims makes him an excellent advocate for a more healthy, balanced and sustainable life.
Strokes – they are one of those things that somebody close to us has had, or at the very least we know someone, or a relative of someone who has had a stroke at some point. Maybe our parents or grandparents suffered strokes. But what does this mean for us? What’s amazing is that most of us associate strokes with old age even though many people who have strokes are young!! In the UK strokes are the 4th biggest killer and there are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK. More than 400 children have a stroke in the UK each year, and almost 2/3rds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability.
My conversation with Bill gives a practical insight into what suffering a stroke feels like, the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent another stroke and some practical suggestions you can take away and apply to your own life!!
In this interview Brain on Fire Bill and I discuss:
- The effect of carbohydrate on insulin spikes and inflammation and how this directly effects the brains ability to recover from a stroke. How this also causes fatigue during recovery from a stroke.
- Bills 3 year research journey to healing his body and mind.
- The current split in the medical community over heart disease, chronic illness and low fat.
- How flour based products spike your insulin response, causing your body to go into fight or flight mode and a high cortisol state which in turn stresses the adrenal glands and puts the body into a state of acidity and inflammation.
- How avoiding carbohydrate when recovering from a brain injury and favouring high quality good quality fats like avocados, olive oil, fish oils and plenty of water can aid recovery.
- Why the medical community is so slow to respond and how the low fat message from the 80s has not seen a decrease in chronic disease. How new school Doctors are taking a new view in 2019 by embracing anecdotal reversal of chronic conditions in patients.
- The growing evidence that type 3 diabetes from taking statins could be causing dementia in later life.
- How people are finding information online about nutrition which is leading to reductions in chronic illness and reversal of some conditions simply through the reduction of carbohydrate alone.
- The case of the South African Doctor – Tim Noakes https://www.diabetes.co.uk/blog/2017/04/breaking-low-carb-specialist-professor-tim-noakes-found-not-guilty-misconduct/
- Whether strength training or cardio is best for longevity and how low level weight training removes excess carbs and sugars from your blood stream.
- How changing your lifestyle and being selective with situations and clients that create stress, minimising travel and creating rest times can pay big dividends.
- The importance of outside time and being flexible with how you make money to keep stress levels at a minimum.
- How you can create a new version of yourself through changing your mindset, lifestyle and diet.
- The FAST acroym in case you think someone is having a stroke. Face, Arms, Speech, Time
- How the quicker you can get yourself or someone else to hospital following a stroke, the better your chances of survival and recovery are.
- Why stupidity is hereditary and 85% of strokes are preventable
- If you have a family history of heart disease it pays to look at the lifestyles your parents and grandparents had, and try to live your life the opposite, instead focussing on supporting the brain and body for longevity.
- Why you should shift away from teenage habits like smoking, drinking and sugars for a healthy and long life.
- How food is medicine and medicine is food when it comes to stroke recovery and overall health.
- The baby boomer legacy of letting the good times roll, and how people lived longer during the great depression and other times of austerity.
Stuff we discussed during our conversation
Professor Jill Bolte Taylor
Dr Michael Merzenich
Dr Norman Doidge
MBraining – Grant Soosalu & Marvin Oka
UK Stroke Facts
How you can link up with Bill and the Recovery After Stroke Community
Check out the Positive Impact Community Here