No Magic Bullets

I’ve stated before that the vast majority of conditions that patients come to see me for (over 90%) are directly a result of the person’s diet, lifestyle, and stress factors. A broken nose, a foreign body or an abscess are acute conditions that can be treated quickly, but many symptoms that I see such as nasal congestion, chronic sinus complaints, ear fullness, chronic fatigue, throat pain and hoarseness, are all conditions that are aggravated by, if not caused by the person’s lifestyle choices. For most people, when I point this out, are grateful that they don’t have to use a medication, and are willing to make the changes so they can start to feel better. Many of these patients do improve.

But there is a small minority that are adamant that there must be pill they can take to get rid of their throat pain or cough or sinus pressure. They are typically younger, and refuse to give up their social lives, and continue to stay up late, eating and drinking, especially on the weekends. If this were you, you may argue: others seem to get by just fine—why am I the only one with this problem?

My answer is that your anatomy is different. They are perfectly happy sleeping on their backs, and are able to breathe properly, even during deep sleep, when their throat muscles relax. In your case, because of smaller jaw anatomy, your tongue falls back easier when on your back, and whenever you go into deep sleep, your tongue relaxes during deep sleep, which causes obstruction and a vacuum effect is created, sucking up stomach juices into your throat, This causes more throat inflammation and swelling, aggravating this vicious cycle.

This is why it’s important that if you’re susceptible to this condition, you shouldn’t eat late or drink alcohol close to bedtime. This is one mechanism that explains why you can gain weight if you eat late. Inefficient sleep promotes weight gain. In addition, alcohol relaxes your muscles and only aggravates this problem.

How many of you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to improve your health?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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