Post-Thanksgiving Sleep-Breathing Disturbances

Just as I predicted in my 11/28/09 post, many more people will experience various ear, nose, throat and sleep-breathing disturbances in the immediate days just following Thanksgiving. Just today, I saw a number of patients that developed sinus pain and congestion or throat pain along with ear pain. Of course, they all indulged in seconds helpings during Thanksgiving dinner, and many stayed up later than usual.


Since my sleep-breathing paradigm predicts that all modern humans are susceptible to various degrees of disturbed breathing while sleeping, any massive amounts of late-night food will by definition promote increased swelling in the throat, which aggravates more frequent obstructions and arousals.


Intense vacuum forces created in the throat can literally suction up normal stomach juices into the throat. It’s not only acid that comes up, but also includes bile, digestive enzymes, and bacteria. This can lead to the classic throat reflux symptoms, which include throat clearing, throat pain, post-nasal drip, chronic cough, hoarseness, lump sensation, or even difficulty swallowing. These materials can then migrate into the lungs, causing or aggravating asthma, bronchitis, and chronic cough. If these juices go up into the ears or the nose, then you’ll get ear fullness or pain, nasal congestion and sinus headaches.


Are you suffering from any of the above symptoms in the days following your Thanksgiving dinner? If so, are you more tired than usual? Please enter your responses in the comments box below.

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

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