September 23, 2013
Ear infections are almost a right of passage for young children these days. Ear tubes, along with tonsillectomy, are two of the most common procedures performed in the US every year. I’ve alluded to in the past that facial skeletal underdevelopment can predispose to middle ear and sinus problems. But how does vitamin D play a role in both ear infections and obstructive sleep apnea?
A recent study found that supplementing with vitamin D helped to reduce ear infections in children who were prone to recurrent infections. Another study found that adults with higher levels of obstructive sleep apnea were found to have significantly lower levels of vitamin D. While the first study didn’t explain the mechanism between higher levels of vitamin D and less frequent ear infections, it’s safe to assume that there may be a link between obstructive sleep apnea and middle ear infections. This would be consistent with what I describe in my sleep-breathing paradigm, where sleep-disturbed breathing can be directly or indirectly linked to a multitude of medical problems. There are anecdotal reports of vitamin D supplementation helping to treat obstructive sleep apnea, but I haven’t seen any randomized, prospective studies to date.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, do you know if you have low vitamin D levels?
September 19, 2013
Guest Post by Lisa Hunter
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for short periods during the night and can lead to exhaustion during the day. When the muscles in the throat relax, they can block the airway, leading to this potentially serious condition. Your quality of life can be compromised by Obstructive sleep apnea, which is most common in middle-aged overweight men but can be hereditary.
Research reveals that there are ways to alleviate this problem and lifestyle changes such as losing weight are believed to help sufferers manage their sleep apnea. A Mediterranean diet and exercise is now cited as being able to effectively reduce this disorder and this is good news for sufferers everywhere.
Nutrition and Health
The University of Maryland’s Medical Center stresses how diet is important in controlling your sleep apnea. They suggest reducing foods such as bananas, which produce mucus in the diet for a period of 2 weeks or so, to see if the absence of such food makes a difference to the way you feel during the day and your symptoms at night.
Eating a healthy diet and exercising to lose weight are viewed as the most favourable ways of controlling your sleep apnea. Dealing with eating disorders is challenging for many people, however, and if you struggle to manage your diet alone, there are a wealth of eating disorder treatment facilities throughout the U.S to help you, such as the New York anorexia and bulimia help centers. These are available to local and national patients and offer you the peace of mind of knowing you are being supported through your struggle to manage your weight effectively.
There are a few simple facts to remember when dieting. Try to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as whole grain food and low fat dairy products. Using olive oil in your diet is a healthier option to saturated fat, which is present in processed food, in meat and butter.
Chromium is suggested as a good supplement for building lean muscle mass and for improving blood sugar, with a doctor’s supervision.
Exercise is ideal if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. You should begin slowly, working up to a regular routine of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day such as walking or swimming.
A Mediterranean Diet Helps, Says Research
The Europe Respiratory Journal published a study showing that sufferers of sleep apnea can reduce symptoms by eating a Mediterranean diet and exercising.
In the study, 40 obese sufferers of Obstructive sleep apnea were given different diets to follow, with 20 eating a prudent diet and 20 following a Mediterranean diet. The patients were monitored during their sleep cycles at the beginning and the end of the study, through electrical brain activity, their eye movements and snoring patterns. The research took place over a period of 6 months.
The findings showed that the 20 patients following the Mediterranean diet experienced less apneas (disturbances) during the REM stage of their sleep. They enjoyed their diet and found it easier to adhere to over a period of time and they increased their physical activity, which, in turn, decreased their body fat content. The study was the first of its kind in terms of exploring this diet’s impact on OSAS. Christopher Papandreou, author of the research, explained how the findings are interesting because REM sleep is shown in recent reports to be related to the most disturbances of OSAS.
Mediterranean food is naturally low in saturated fat because it relies on healthy oils such as olive oil, as well as combining delicious fruit and vegetable ideas.
A Mediterranean sandwich is healthy because of its red peppers, olives, zucchini and olive oil as well as provolone cheese and you can swapmayo for Greek yoghurt to make it even lighter. There are mouth-watering recipes for paninis to try that will really make a difference to how you enjoy your food.
Mediterranean shrimp and pasta is a low calorie option for a delicious meal, with added feta cheese, which is a low fat alternative to most other cheeses. If you cook whole grain pasta, this will give you the necessary fiber boost to keep you feeling fuller.
Mediterranean salmon burgers make an ideal change from higher fat counterparts. You can add feta cheese and cucumbers for a delicious feast and know that your lunch or dinner is packed with omega 3 rich food.
By choosing a Mediterranean diet to help you control the symptoms of your obstructive sleep apnea disorder, you will be eating your way to good health and lowering your body fat content the proper way. By combining this diet with regular exercise, you could effectively control your OSAS permanently and enjoy a better quality of life.
September 16, 2013
You probably wouldn’t think about skin cancer being possibly related to obstructive sleep apnea, but here’s an interesting study that found that the aggressiveness of melanoma is related to the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. What was more surprising was that 60% of these patients with melanoma had obstructive sleep apnea, with 14% having severe levels.
There have been numerous studies in recent years showing higher rates of cancer from untreated obstructive sleep apnea or even sleep deprivation. Mice subjected to low oxygen concentrations were found to enhance tumor growth.
If you look at stress physiology research, any chronic, long-term sleep problems or repeated apneas can cause low oxygen levels in general. When you’re under stress, certain organs and systems need to shut down. These are called the end-organs, which most often describe the bowels, the reproductive system, hands and feet, and your skin. These areas are not needed if you happen to be running from a lion or in a fight. With less blood flow and nervous system innervation, low oxygen levels can promote cancer, especially if you are already geneticaly susceptible. The real test will occur if you can study patients with melanoma and sleep apnea, and see if treating with CPAP helps to lower aggressiveness or recurrence rates.
How man of you with obstructive sleep apnea also have a skin cancer diagnosis?
September 12, 2013
Symptoms of major depression and obstructive sleep apnea can overlap in many patients. The question that always arises is: Which comes first? Or are they two separate conditions that just happen to co-exist a lot? This interesting study looked 31 patients who had a formal depression diagnosis but were screened out for obstructive sleep apnea. Compared to healthy controls, these patients had significantly higher rates of flow limitation, which is a milder form of partial breathing obstruction that doesn’t qualify to be classified as an apnea or hypopnea. Flow limitation describes flattening of the nasal airflow tracings, which is associated with interrupted and poor quality sleep. Overall, patients with major depression were 5.86 times more likely to have a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. Interestingly, all the patients that were screened out for significant obstructive sleep apnea also had a depression diagnosis.
What this paper suggests is that milder forms of sleep-related breathing disorders may contribute to symptoms of major depression. The study authors didn’t treat these patents with flow limitations, but sleep doctors will tell you that by normalizing these flow limitations, sleep quality can be significantly improved. Clinically, I see depression symptoms improve often after using CPAP or dental appliances, even if they don’t have obstructive sleep apnea but have narrowed upper airway passageways.
September 5, 2013
Please join me on this special interview with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of the bestselling book, From Fatigued to Fantastic. His new book, Fatigue & Fibromyalgia Solution—Made Easy!, is an easy to read, updated and distilled version of of earlier bestseller.
Listen to his incredible personal story and how he overcame chronic fatigue syndrome, and how you can, too.
Click here to download the 10 minute MP3 audio interview.
September 3, 2013
The study published by the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine which was conducted by French researchers revealed that wearing compression stockings was an affordable option to improve the condition of OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The study was held among those who suffered from chronic venous insufficiency and the findings were revealed online much earlier than when they were published in the Journal. The medical condition known as Chronic Venous Insufficiency or VI occurs when the veins are not able to pump the required amount of oxygen depleted blood back to their heart which is usually a common condition in the veins present in the legs.
About the study:
The head of the Research and MD of the University of Brescia in Italy, Stefania Redolfi said that the 12 patients who had chronic venous conditions showed considerable improvement in the fluid accumulation in their legs during the daytime as they wore compression stockings that helped to minimize the accumulation of fluids. This would in turn diminish the amount of blood flowing to the neck at the nighttime and this would in turn reduce the number of patients who have apnea or hypo apnea by over a third.
Prevailing treatment for the condition:
Currently, the main treatment advised for those patients suffering from OSA is to make use of CPAP machine or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines. However, many patients do not favor this as they find it very uncomfortable and disturbing to have a mask on during the night. Therefore, when the compliance level is very minimum, it might mean more number of patients living with this untreated medical condition and its effects prevailing in their body. Therefore it is vital to find an effective way to treat this condition.
Fluid accumulation in the legs is a common occurrence in this condition, which is prevented by the contractions in the leg muscles, which pressurizes and squeezes the veins in the legs. This process can also be averted if the patient sits for longer periods of time, which forces the accumulation of the fluid in the legs to shift rostrally during the night time while sleeping. When this shift of fluids occurs, the fluid gets gathered around the neck region and accumulates in its tissues. When the tissue volume is on the rise, this series of apneic events would lead to the repeated collapse of the pharynx muscles when the patient is sleeping and breathing during the night time.
Findings of the study:
The amount of rostral fluid shift has a strong correlation with the degree of increase in the circumference of the neck overnight. This also showed an increase in the apneas and hypopneas per hour during the sleeping time of the patients who have heart diseases or hypertension. After the compression stocking was used, there was a 62 % reduction in the amount of leg fluid volume compared to the others. The patients also have a 60% reduction in the increase of neck circumference and a reduction of 36% in the apnea and hypoapnea events among the patients.
Rania Paula, Author of this article writes for www.themenshealthblog.com. The Mens Health blog provides you an exclusive information on men’s health fitness, health, relationships, nutrition, weight loss and muscle building. You can also find information on various men’s health topics like prostate cancer, men’s sexual health, etc..
August 28, 2013
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders are two commonly described childhood conditions that are generally thought to be two different conditions. However, a recent study published in Pediatrics found that children with ADHD were 20 times more likely to exhibit traits of autism compared with children without ADHD. Numerous recent studies also report that a significant number of children with ADHD have untreated obstructive sleep apnea, and that the vast majority of children with autism have various degrees of sleep disorders.
A frightening thought is that we’re defining obstructive sleep apnea based on the average number of apneas and hypopneas you have every hour. In children, apneas are complete pauses for two or more missed breaths and hypopneas are lesser degrees of obstruction, also for two or more missed breaths. You’ll need at least one to two apneas or hypopneas per hour to receive the sleep apnea diagnosis. But what if you stop breathing 10 times every hour but your breathing pauses last only 1.5 breaths? You’ll wake up from deep to light sleep 10 times every hour, but won’t officially get the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. Knowing what we already know about poor sleep quality and proper brain functioning, the above study results are not too surprising.
Do you have children with ADHD or autism? If so, do they have features of both conditions?
August 27, 2013
It seems when a person gets the treatment for sleep apnea, it is also improve the heart health. The researchers of the University of Sydney state that post treatment, the patients have shown lower blood cholesterol levels and reduced heart attack risks.
This sleep disorder, sleep apnea makes people suffer from momentary breathing while they are sleeping. This medical condition affects over 20% of the total population. The researchers have revealed that their study found that offering treatment with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device has reduced the levels of triglycerides in the body, which is also called as post meal blood fat. This study was performed at the University of Sydney’s NHMRC Centre for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep or CIRUS. The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical care medicine.
What is the study about?
The study involved investigating the levels of blood cholesterol among individuals over a period of 24 hours soon after the mealtime of those patients who had the sleep apnea conditions. The study was performed on the patients for a period of two months before and after using CPAP and then after two months they used the placebo CPAP device.
The leading researcher Dr. Craig Philips who works at CIRUS and Royal North Shore Hospital said that many of us know that the blood fat level in the body after the intake of meals is an essential indicator of a fatal disease like cardiovascular disease. He also added that this study aims at offering a reason, which explains why the patients suffering from sleep apnea are facing a high risk of heart attacks, strokes etc.
Dr. Craig Philips also added that though the results need to be confirmed through much bigger study. Their study revealed that making an improvement in the level of triglycerides with CPAP would actually diminish the risk of heart attack in these patients at least by 25% which is a relieving fact.
The relation between sleep apnea and triglycerides:
The senior author of this study, Professor Ron Grunstein from CIRUS said that one of the most interesting fact about the study was that the level of triglycerides among the sleep apnea patients who were involved with the study were increased during the middle of the night when the patient was asleep. This means a good amount of seven hours followed by their meal in the evening.
He also said that there might be an influence in the body clock in this issue as it has the tendency or the urge to push the blood fat levels during these times in the wee hours of midnight. He also said that the workers who have night shift jobs are more prone to such cardiovascular conditions. This is because they consume a meal with high fat content during the time when their body will not be able to control its blood fat levels. The researchers involved in the study are currently involved in making use of shift work simulation to find out the next possibility.
Rania Paula, Author of this article writes for www.ehealthyblog.com. E Healthy Blog provides you the complete information, latest news, and tips on Health. Also provides information on various diseases like Blood Disorders, Cancers, Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Allergies, Skin Diseases, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Child Health, and many more.
August 23, 2013
Guest blog by Rania Paula
According to a latest study, elderly women suffering from sleep apnea problems, which results in the disruptive breathing condition are highly prone to develop dementia within the next five years, when compared to those who do not have such condition within the next five years. In the recent study conducted with 298 women aged over 65, researchers have found that about 44.8% of women with this condition showed symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or dementia issues. But 31.1% of women had no signs of sleep apnea.
The study also revealed that there exist a biological connection between sleep, and cognition. It also suggested that when the elderly women, who undergo treatment sleep apnea would also help in preventing the onset of dementia among older adults. The findings of the study also revealed that sleep apnea can deprive the brain and other vital organs in the body from requiring oxygen levels and would also decrease the function of these organs rapidly over time.
Why does the breathing pauses in sleep?
People who suffer from sleep apnea have a problem with their airways that leads to the nose and mouth from the lungs. This airway collapses at night resulting in inability to inhale properly. This makes the people suffering with sleep apnea to snore and wake up unknowingly in the middle of the sleep leaving them gasping for air. This process repeats throughout the sleep resulting into pausing of breathing during sleep.
The previous research revealed that there is a relationship between sleep apnea and dementia. But according to the new study women with sleep are at higher risk when compared to men. The researchers of this study only picked those sleep apnea women who were not suffering from dementia or cognitive impairments were selected.
Sleep specialists personally visited the homes of each participant and monitored the process of their sleep. They were connected to various equipments while in sleep. These equipments were used to measure the activity of the brain, the air flow, breathing pattern and the level of oxygen content in the blood. They also undertook various tests to measure their verbal fluency, memory and cognitive abilities. About one third of the women who were tested had developed these two conditions of dementia and mild cognitive disorders.
The connection between oxygen and dementia:
According to the study leader, this is the first study, which revealed that there exists a connection between sleep apnea, and cognitive impairment. Findings of the study suggest that the key to decreased cognitive abilities displayed by the elderly women was due to the deprived levels of oxygen, which is known as hypoxia.
The women who experienced frequent occasions of low oxygen or spent most of their sleep time with this low oxygen levels are more likely to show the symptoms of cognitive impairment.
But interestingly, there were no relationship between the condition of dementia, and the number of times the patients gasped for air during their sleep time. The study also makes it clear that by providing oxygen therapy to the patients with sleep apnea has slowed down the process of losing their cognitive ability.
Rania Paula, author of this article writes for www.sleepwellblog.com. A weblog providing information about various sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, sleep deprivation, etc and there by helping you to have good night sleep.
August 21, 2013
Here’s another not too surprising study revealing that women with gestational diabetes during pregnancy have 7 times increased risk of having obstructive sleep apnea compared to women without gestational diabetes. There are also many other studies linking preeclampsia (dangerous high blood pressure during pregnancy) with obstructive sleep apnea. Gaining significant weight during pregnancy can tip you over the edge for sleep apnea, especially if you’re already at risk. I predict that there will be studies in the future that show that screening for and treating obstructive sleep apnea routinely during pregnancy can significantly lower pregnancy related complications. CPAP is already being used in Australia successfully to treat preeclampsia. It’s only a matter of time before we start doing the same here in the United States.
If you are a woman that had either gestational diabetes or preeclampsia during pregnancy, how many of you now have a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea?