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Depression and Supplements to Add to your day to fight depression symptoms

Depression  – 5 Supplements to Fight Depression

 

Parts one and two of my articles on depression dealt with the basics of how to control depression symptoms.  As I stated already when symptoms become severe, when they last more than a couple of weeks, when you can’t even get out of bed or function then you need to get professional help.  If your feelings of depression are mild or if they are improving, in addition to the tips mentioned in articles one and two you can add in the following natural supplements to help increase mood.  For many of these supplements I have written individual and more substantiate articles previously and I have included those links after each supplement.

The following are 5 basic tips to help with depression:

  1. Omega 3 – Decreases Anxiety and Depression and acts as a mood stabilizer– Studies suggest that those patients that took Omega 3 Fish oils showed a marked improvement in their depression symptoms. In one study alone 64% of patients who took 10 Gms of Omega 3 over 4 months showed significant improvement in symptoms. In addition, fish oils help play a role in brain function and include both EPA and DHA which many who suffer from depression are deficient in. For more info on the benefits of Omega 3 please check here. https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/omega-3-5-benefits-decrease-depression-anxiety-and-even-pms/                     Unknown
  2. Vitamin D – Recent studies have shown a strong link between depression, fibromyalgia, bipolar and low levels of Vitamin D with symptoms improving with supplementation.  Seasonal affective disorder, commonly seen in Northern countries such as Norway, Sweden, Ireland probably have higher levels of hypovitaminosis than countries located on the equator.  Sadly, according to Dr James Greenblatt Vitamin D deficiency (levels less than <20 ng/ml) are regularly seen in schizophrenia, psychosis, elective mutism and anxiety.  The take away from this is have your Vitamin D25 Level Checked and supplement accordingly with between 600 -800 IU Daily this is assuming that you are getting 450 IU of Vitamin D from food sources (not often easy to do).  Good Vitamin D Food Sources are Salmon, Fish, Mushrooms, Eggs, Fermented Milks, Vitamin D3 Only Capsule 600 – 800 IU daily but please consult with your health care profession.  https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/the-imp ortance-of-vitamin-d-the-dangers-of-vitamin-d-deficiency/

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  1. B12 – Low levels of vitamin b12 and other b vitamins have been implicated in depression and these vitamins have been shown to affect brain chemicals, mood and other brain functions. Reasons for low levels of vitamin b12 can stem from poor diet, mal-absorbtion, celiac or Crohn’s disease.  Correcting B12 deficiency starts with correcting diet imbalances. Eating a diet that is rich in b12 plentiful in animal products such as fish, lean meat, poultry, eggs, and low-fat and fat-free milk. Additionally, there are foods that are fortified such as cereals.  If you need to be supplemented 500 mcg by mouth daily is a suggested recommended dose.

 

  1. Theanine – L- Theanine is an amino acid found in Green Tea. Recently L-theanine has been extracted from green tea and is being used to treat both anxiety and depression. L-Theanine works by increasing the synthesis of GABA which in turn leads to increased brain levels of dopamine while decreasing serotonin thereby increasing feelings of calm and wellbeing.

 

  1. Turmeric – Turmeric a beautiful vibrant orange Indian and middle eastern spice has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for its healing properties and health benefits.  Treating everything from infections to inflammation to calming and stabilizing mood its no wonder that western medicine is now paying attention. Fights depression – Some studies have shown that Turmeric worked more effectively than Prozac in tests. Chronic inflammation can decrease serotonin and dopamine levels.  Turmeric is a powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant agent which can help restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood.https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/5-benefits-of-turmeric-anti-inflammatory-anti-bacterial-and-fights-depression/
  1. Maca – Last but not least one of my personal favorite supplements especially for its all round benefits. In recent studies Maca was shown to decrease depressive symptoms I postmenopausal women.  The Fatty acids in maca root support brain function, which may be responsible for stabilizing analytical skills, cognitive function, and rational thinking and depression. Many doctors focused on holistic wellness often recommended omega-3 fatty acids (like the ones found in maca) as a first step toward alleviating certain symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/maca-decrease-hot-flashes-and-mood-swings

 

Bonus Turmeric Tea Recipe

I’m Irish so Tea to me is a magical elixir with healing properties.  All the problems of the world , all the ailments could be solved with a cup of tea, the thing your Mum would rush to make for you if you had a bad day, had broken up with a boyfriend, had a fight with a best friend.  While I often reach for a cup of Barrys Gold Tea I do make this healing, anti-inflammatory, calming Turmeric tea and actually drink it daily.  I don’t know whether it’s the ritual of boiling the water or steeping the turmeric blend, the aromatic smells and tastes but I always feel an air of calm come over me when I drink it.

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Turmeric Tea – Blend Turmeric Root, Ginger, Lemon Juice into a Paste (I make enough for 1 week and store in Fridge).  Add Cayenne pepper to the paste and add boiling water and natural white honey.  Steep and then strain.

 

 

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Depression – 5 Basic things to do !

Depression  5 Tips

IMG_4995[1]5 Tangible or Proactive Basics to Fight Depression

In part one of my Depression series I discussed some strategies to undertake when you initially recognize that you are suffering from depression.  Some people suffer so badly from depression that even seemingly minor and simple tasks such as getting out of bed, dressing, showering or even eating become insurmountable.  These symptoms warrant professional help and the first 5 tips are for those people who are unable to do even the smallest of tasks.

For those who recognize that they are probable suffering from depression I often recommend that they start with very basic yet essentials strategies to help improve symptoms. So many people really want to try to treat their symptoms without medication so I often say do the following 5 things, with 100% commitment to see do your symptoms improve.  Bad diet, lack of exercise and more frequently contribute to the symptoms of depression and how great it is to see symptoms improve or even completely resolve by just changing things in our every day lives.

The following are 5 basic tips to help with depression:

  1. Diet – Simply put, keep it clean. Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed carbs.  “Clean Foods” tend to be higher in the right vitamins and minerals that aid to decrease depressive symptoms, vitamins  such as B12 and folic acid for example.  For depression with anxiety, try to increase foods that also contain magnesium such as spinach, almonds and kefir.   Avoid sugars and processed foods and alcohol which in itself is a depressant.  In terms of simulants cut out sodas, caffeine’s, even trans fats and hydrogenated oils 52559fbc45c3c.image
  2. Exercise – Increases your endorphins, acts as a distractor taking your mind off depressive thoughts, can get you outside and provides socialization. You can start small just by walking around the block and work up to a 5K, class at the gym, boot camp and more.  Exercise is proven to improve mood and decrease anxiety.  The key to exercise is to start small and build up from there.  Unknown
  3. Hydration – Dehydration can be a major contributor to depression. Production of serotonin in the brain (which determines mood) decreases when there is a water shortage i.e. dehydration leading to depression, stress and anxiety.  In addition, dehydration also depletes other essential amino acids.  Dehydration also places the body under stress and when stressed the body increases production of leading to adrenal fatigue.  So make sure you are drinking enough water to hydrate your body.
  4. Stress Reduction – Meditation, Yoga, or anything that helps you relieve stress , for some that may even be knitting, dancing or getting a massage. Stress reduction techniques don’t need to be expensive nor do they need to take an inordinate amount of time.  Meditation for 5 minutes, 20 minutes gently stretching or 30 minutes listening to music or reading may be all it takes.  Find something that works for you.
  5. Sleep – Is hugely important and good quality, uninterrupted sleep is crucial. Unfortunately lack of sleep contributes to depression and depression contributes to alterations in sleep patterns.  So where to start? Firstly, rule out anything physical that may contribute to poor sleep such as obstructive sleep apnea.  Decrease alcohol and coffee at night and remove all electronics from your room.  For more on sleep see my previous article here http://bit.ly/2dE7N45 images

Basic Behaviors to change, improve on or incorporate: Diet, Exercise, Hydration, Stress Relief, Sleep.

Up next

5 Supplements

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores


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How to halt and even reverse aging ! The Telomere Effect.

How to halt and reverse aging!

1329410057_kim-richards-sandra-bullock-lgDo you ever look at someone and wonder what age they are?  Are you often surprised how some of your high school friends have aged terribly and how others appear to have found the fountain of youth?  We often blame it on our genes, on the hand we were dealt but an amazing new book, The Telomere Effect explains to us how we can maximize the hand we are dealt and minimize the aging process (the crow’s feet, aching joints and sagging skin)

I am always researching and reading the latest and greatest health news.  I have a responsibility as a Nurse Practitioner to stay abreast of the latest research and knowledge as it pertains to my practice.

I have just finished reading The Telomere Effect by Elissa Epel and Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn.  Dr Blackburn discovered telomerase and the role that it plays along with telomeres themselves in not only halting but also reversing the aging process.  Dr Epel is a lifestyle psychologist who specializes in showing how specific lifestyle and psychological habits can improve quality of life slowing down the aging process by direct protection of telomeres.

There is so much crammed into this book that it is hard to pick just 5 Top Tips to halt and reverse aging but here are 5 Snippets and hopefully many of you will buy the book or stay tuned for the Synergy Health and Wellness Seminar Dates!   The premise of the book is that shorter telomeres are an indication of premature cellular aging and what we do or don’t do in terms of diet, exercise, stress, depression and even environmental toxins have a direct effect on telomere length.

Stress:

imagesI love the observation that “Cells are listening to your thoughts”.  According to Epel and Blackburn a small dose of stress does not damage or shorten telomere length but subject the individual to chronic long term stress, stress that is not resolved and these individuals have noticeably shorter telomere length.  Those people who are caretakers or suffering from job burnout or going through a protracted divorce, for example are all subject to severe and prolonged stress.  We all know that inflammation is bad for us but did you know that shorter telomeres promote inflammation.

Recommendation:  Try stress reduction exercises such as meditation, yoga, journaling to reduce the amount of stress in your life.  Even better identify stress triggers and try to negate or minimize them.

Depression & Anxiety:

Like stress depression and anxiety wreak havoc on telomeres and studies show that they shorten telomeres.  The more severe the disorder (think mild versus major depressive disorder MDD) the shorter the telomeres.  More than 350 Million people worldwide suffer from depression and studies show that telomeres are shortened in those with depression and there is also a link to the duration of the depression or anxiety episode.  Telomerase, an enzyme that is secreted in response to shortening telomeres is increased in depressed individuals in an attempt to counteract telomere shortening.

Recommendation:  Early identification and treatment for depression and anxiety is essential.  Treatment modalities such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy and mindfulness itself can also be used in treatment and again modalities such as yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in the treatment of both depression and anxiety.

Exercise:

images-4Its well known that exercise helps with stress reduction, improves symptoms of anxiety and depression and aids in weight loss – so it’s a no brainer to exercise daily.  What The Telomere Effect reports is that HIIT type exercise programs (think of all the programs available at Synergy Fitness Boca) increase telomerase activity helping to increase telomere length.

Recommendation:  HIIT exercise programs 5 times a week for 30-45 minutes a time will help protect telomeres.  Add in resistance training to your program as well.

 

Diet:

images-3What’s the best diet to protect your telomeres, increase their length slow or reverse the aging process?  Easy!  Fruit, vegetables, wholegrain, fish, chicken, Omega 3 rich foods, alcohol, fat, processed food avoidance.  Also avoid those foods that cause inflammation (these may differ from individual to individual) but cow’s dairy, fatty red meats, cheese, soda, processed and cured meats.

Recommendations: Follow a clean diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Mediterranean and Okinawa diets are good examples.  Limit alcohol, processed and refined foods!

Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements:

Epel and Blackburn would rather that we get the majority of our Vitamins and minerals from our foods eating those foods high in antioxidants.  But we may not get enough of certain vitamins and minerals from our diets and they suggest that adequate amounts of Vitamins D, B (folate) C, E and Omega 3’s promote telomere length and telomerase.

Recommendations:  Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain, legumes and low fat proteins such as chicken and fish.  Eat Omega 3 rich food and reduce foods that cause insulin resistance and inflammation.

Sleep:

images-1Lack of sleep, insomnia and sleep deprivation all lead to shorter telomeres.  If you are tired during the day you are not getting enough sleep – Simple as!  But lack of sleep is implicated in depression, anxiety and so much more.  Sleep should be of good quality, the same time each day and for an adequate amount.

Recommendations:  Go to bed at the same time each night, if you tired during the day go to bed earlier.  Avoid alcohol and drugs and for more sleep information check out my previous article on sleep. (http://bit.ly/2dE7N45)

There is so much more in this book than mentioned above and I urge you all to buy it and implement the strategies included.  Stay tuned as we will be doing a more comprehensive lecture on how to halt and even reverse aging by promoting telomere friendly strategies in all areas of our lives.

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel is published by Orion Spring unknown-1

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores


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5 Drugs we’re seeing in ED & Psych right now and what you need to know.

5 Drugs we’re seeing a lot of right now!  What you need to know!

Images of parents and grandparents passed out from Heroin overdoses and their child (grand child) in the back seat flooded Facebook and social media platforms in the past few weeks.  This drug epidemic is not isolated to the northeast, California or far removed areas – this drug epidemic is seen in all locales, countries and cities and is absolutely non-discriminatory affecting all races, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, ages and sexes.  The following is a list (in no order) of the 5 most common drugs we are currently seeing in Emergency Departments and Psychiatric facilities, especially here in Palm Beach County.

  1. Heroin – We have seen an explosion in the number of heroin addicts in recent months and years some of which can be attributed to the closure of pill mills but truly many of my patients were introduced to heroin through “friends” in school and college. Sadly, much heroin today is being “cut” with dangerous fillers such as Fentanyl, Dibutylone, Carfentanil and even Flakka which is why we are seeing so many overdoses.   These added substances directly affect the patients breathing so much that patients cannot support their own breath.
    1. Class Opioid
    2. How is it used: Snorted, Smoked, Injected, Inhaled?
    3. Signs/Symptoms: Overdose, “nodding” excessive sleepiness,
    4. Additional Problems: Hep C, HIV, Abscesses, Septicemia, Endocarditis, physical dependence – many of these life threatening.
    5. Treatment: Buprenorphine (now also implantable), Detox and Rehab, Methadone
  1. Cannabis – While medical marijuana can be extremely beneficial for certain conditions we are seeing a rise in patients being seen in psychiatric facilities more for the side effects of excessive use than sheer numbers of those addicted. For example, of all substances addicted to cannabis patients have the lowest level of encounters in Emergency Departments or Psychiatric facilities.
    1. Class: Cannabinoids
    2. How is it Used: Smoked, Dabbed, Inhaled (Vape), Ingest (edibles)?
    3. Signs/Symptoms: Extreme Paranoia, hallucinations, depression, Dry mouth, dizziness, coughing
    4. Additional Problems: Has been linked to increased schizophrenic breaks, Tachycardia (sustained heart rate at 120 beats per minute).
    5. Treatment: Abstinence! and treat the symptoms hydration, possible arrhythmic if elevated heart rate persists, watchful monitoring.  Patients can return to normal in most cases by refraining from use.
  1. Synthetics – Remember the face eating patient in Miami a couple of years ago and most recently the cannibal patient in Jupiter, both patients had apparently used “synthetic” drugs, drugs mostly manufactured in China, in large commercial factories. This is a really hard class of drugs to detect initially as drug developers stay one step ahead of drug tests. But the behavior we see is unforgettable. Patients often arrive combative, with superhuman strength, paranoid with dangerously elevated temperatures and its not unusual for them to remain in this state for 2-4 days and more. Unfortunately, some patients do not recover!
    1. Class: Synthetics
    2. Common Names: K2, Spice, Flakka, Gravel
    3. How is it Used: Smoked, Injected, Inhaled, Ingested, Snorted?
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Extreme Paranoia, hallucinations (visual and auditory), delusions, superhuman strength, elevated body temperature (remember the pictures of patients running in traffic and stripping off their clothing) aggression, violence, seizures, chest pain.
    5. Additional Problems: Rhabdomyolysis, a dangerous condition affecting the kidneys and often requiring the patient to have to undergo dialysis.  Chest pain leading to heart attack, self harm and suicide, Hyperthermia
    6. Treatment:  Initially our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient.  Treat the rhabdo, hyperthermia and other medical issues such as trauma and then treat the addiction with inpatient detox and rehabilitation
  1. Prescribed Medications This is a huge category and everyday we see patients addicted to prescription medications that include Opiates such as Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Dilaudid.  Benzos such as Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax.  Anti-Epileptics such as Gabapentin and Neurontin and while these medications are supposedly not “addictive” we do see misuse and signs of withdrawal with psychoactive effects.  Patients will increase dosages to get better effects, can seize if they miss a dose and will purchase medications on the street (Yes, Gabapentin does have a street value). Miscellaneous Analgesics – Tramadol (non narcotic with narcotic like properties) but now a scheduled drug.
    1. Class: Multiple Opiates, Benzodiazepine, Anti-Seizure, Analgesics
    2. Common Names: OxyContin, Klonopin, Gabapentin, Tramadol
    3. How is it Used: Oh yes we have seen Smoked, Injected, Inhaled, Ingested, Snorted, insertion (rectal and vaginal)
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Depending on drug type Opiates will mimic the signs and symptoms of heroin such as drowsiness, sleep, decreased respirations.  Benzos are much like opiates we also see slurred speech and lack of coordination.  Anti-Epileptics – weakness, loss of balance, headaches, slurred speech and seizures/   Analgesics – headache, nervousness, anxiety
    5. Additional Problems: Liver toxicity, Seizures, end organ damage.
    6. Treatment:  Our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient as there are so many side affects associated with withdrawal not least of which is seizures and falls.  We will treat all medical problems and in addition try and make the patient more comfortable throughout the detox process.  Nausea and vomiting will be treated with antiemetic’s such as Zofran.  Persistent Diarrhea with antidiarrheal such as Imodium and withdrawal symptoms with Librium and Clonidine, a blood pressure medication with anxiolytic properties.  In some cases, we will actually use a taper benzo schedule so that patients do not seize.  Following medical stabilization inpatient detox and rehabilitation programs guide the patient through out the rehab process but that is only if this is an option for the patient due to expense.  Outpatient programs are great options too, but again they can be costly and NA and AA are available free of charge and in my personal opinion offer great hope to all addicts.
  2. Alcohol Last, but by no means least, along with Heroin abuse this drug is one of the most abused on the planet. Many of the alcoholics we see in psych facilities are there because they have been Baker Acted in the ED.  Many of the patients we see in the ED are there due to traumatic injury, because they have been found passed out or because they are suicidal (therefore they are Baker Acted).
    1. Class: Alcohol
    2. Common Names: Beer, Liquor, Wine, Hand Sanitizer, Mouth Wash
    3. How is it Used: Ingested?
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Slurred Speech, lack of coordination, poor judgment, loss of memory, loss of consciousness
    5. Additional Problems: Liver toxicity, Seizures, end organ damage.
    6. Treatment:  Our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient.  As stated in the ED we see a lot of alcoholics as trauma patients who have been hit by a car while walking in traffic, head injuries, assaults on the street.  Also alcohol withdrawal related seizures are probably the most violent seizures I have ever had to treat, usually occurring 6-72 hours after drinking has stopped.  We will treat all medical problems and in addition try and make the patient more comfortable throughout the detox process.  Nausea and vomiting will be treated with anti-emetics such as Zofran.  Persistent Diarrhea with antidiarrheal such as Imodium and withdrawal symptoms with Librium and Clonidine, a blood pressure medication with anxiolytic properties.  In some cases, we will actually use a taper Librium schedule so that patients do not seize.  Following medical stabilization inpatient detox and rehabilitation programs guide the patient through out the rehab process but that is only if this is an option for the patient due to expense.  Outpatient programs are great options too, but again they can be costly and NA and AA are available free of charge and in my personal opinion offer great hope to all addicts.

Picture of a Drug Addict  This could be your brother, sister, mother, father, friend.  It’s the banker, the nurse, the student, the teacher, the rich socialite, the impoverished homeless person.

Treatment  

  1. Recognition
  2. Intervention
  3. Stabilization

Treatment facilities with Inpatient, PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) or IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), Half Way House.  The draw back with these programs, especially in the US is expense and in other areas of the world sheer lack of availability.

AA:  Alcoholics Anonymous – Free Program with like minded members addicted to Alcohol.  http://www.aa.org  find meetings here.

NA:  Narcotics Anonymous – Free Program with like minded members addicted to Narcotics.  https://www.na.org find meetings here.

Outlook:

From a personal stand point, we are losing the “war on drugs”.  Is our current strategy working? Are we seeing less patients?   With a continued lack of connection to each other this problem is only going to persist. For a different perspective on the war on drugs http://chasingthescream.com.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

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5 Signs You may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

5 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

At the beginning of the week we discussed the importance of sleep and one of the sleep disorders that severely disrupts sleep is Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is experienced by nearly 42 Million Americans with 1 in 5 having mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and 1 in 15 having moderate to severe OSA There are three types of Sleep Apnea; the most common OSA which is caused when throat muscles relax and two less common types, Central Sleep Apnea and Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. In this article we will discuss the more common OSA.

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The following are some signs and symptoms:

1. Snoring – Often loud snoring followed by gasping, stops in breathing or choking are usually reported by significant others
2. Morning Headaches – Sleep apnea usually causes an increase in carbon dioxide and reduction in oxygen levels in the blood both of which can cause morning headaches which are usually resolved within 30 minutes of waking (as oxygen levels increase and carbon dioxide is expelled). Increasing carbon dioxide levels cause blood vessels to dilate resulting in throbbing and pounding headaches. If you get morning headaches as a result of sleep apnea it usually means that the sleep apnea is moderate to severe.
3. Inability to Concentrate – Due to the lack of restful and restorative sleep. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea often wake up more than 6 times per hour therefore they do not obtain enough restorative sleep leading to brain fog and lack of concentration
4. Fatigue Again, like number 3 patients do not get restorative sleep, wake multiple times per hour and spend many hours with decreased oxygen levels and increased carbon dioxide levels, all lend to fatigue.
5. Dry Mouth or Sore Throat when Waking – due to sleeping with mouth open and dehydration of mucus membranes
6. Irritability, Depression, Mood Swings Due to fatigue, lack of sleep, decreased oxygenation and increased carbon dioxide

Picture of Sleep Apnea Unfortunately the following are increased risk factors for OSA. Male, overweight, BMI >30, Waist Circumference >40, Alcohol, Smoking, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome

Treatment
To definitively diagnose OSA patients will need Polysomnography testing. This may not be available to many populations. In the absence of testing a good clinical history, physical and assessment can be completed. Patients are encouraged to :

A. Lose weight (if appropriate)
B. Encourage to sleep on side
C. Refrain from Alcohol and Smoking
D. Exercise
E. Allergy Medications to decrease inflammation and mucus production which may help open airway passages

For those who do have a PSG, CPAP or a Mandibular Repositioning device may be recommended or Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy.

Outlook:
Left untreated OSA is debilitating and can lead to depression, anxiety, decreased libido, increased accidents. Patients who employ positive lifestyle changes often see improvement in energy levels and mood. In addition there are interventions such as CPap and Mandible Repositioning Devices that will help the patient obtain better more restorative sleep.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.
Thanks Dolores
Synergy Health and Wellness
Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net
http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net


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The Importance of Sleep – Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together – Thomas Dekker

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The Importance of Sleep

A lot of people don’t realize the importance of sleep, and good quality sleep,  until they are deprived of it.  Lack of sleep increases moodiness, grumpiness and depression, it is essential for an individual’s ability to function and causes problems in decision making, concentration and just the ability to function.  Poor sleep quality has been associated with a reduction in productivity, increase in weight and increase in accidental behavior.

  1. How Much do I need – This is a tough question and it varies for everyone but the consensus is that most individuals need between 6-10 hours with 8 hours being the average.  Having said that some people can function on 6 hours high quality sleep while babies to 12 year olds often need more sleep.

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  1. What about Quality – Some people get 8-10 hours of sleep yet they awaken tired and fatigued and unable to function at peak performance throughout the day this is because they are not getting enough deep, restorative sleep. For these patients I ask them to keep a diary that notes food, alcohol consumption, exercise and more throughout the day and prior to going to bed.  In addition, patients are asked to rate their day in terms of level of stress and anxiety, the time they go to bed and the time they wake up.   We often find that individuals are drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol close to bed time and it’s a matter of educating the individual to reduce stimulating drinks and behaviors (exercise) prior to bedtime.  Also patients are going to bed too late, while having to get up early and their sleep quality is interrupted by noise, lights and electronics.  By evaluating sleep environment and patterns we can often easily improve sleep quality.
  1. Alcohol and Drugs, Stimulants Big No No – Sorry!  Alcohol, drugs, caffeine, heavy meals all affect the ability to sleep and are best limited before bedtime.  Also limit excessive exercise before bedtime and try to decompress from job requirements as much before bedtime as possible
  1. Improving Sleep – Create a sleep ritual. Designate a time to go to bed and start preparing about 30 minutes before that time.  A warm bath or shower can relax you, add lavender and even drink cherry juice (high in melatonin) or Sleepy Time tea with Chamomile.  Make sure your room is cool and dark and that your bed is comfortable.  Switch off all electronics or at least place them on vibrate (for all of you that have to take call).  Meditate before bedtime if this helps to relax you.  Studies have also shown that if you mentally think of one thing to be grateful for it can improve your sleep quality.
  1. Environment and Sleep Disruptors:   TV’s, Computers, Tablets all have no place in the bedroom so switch them off or keep them out of the bedroom.  Also make sure that your room is dark, cool and quiet; particularly important for those people who work shift work such as nurses, pilots, doctors etc.
  1. Sleep Testing and Sleep Disorders       True insomnia and sleep apnea are two sleep disorders that need to be throurogly evaluated by a medical professional and because they are so important they will actually be evaluated separately this week.  Patients who complain of fatigue should also be evaluated for psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and bipolar.  Most major medical centers in the US have sleep study clinics and patients can be referred for testing (polysomnography) by Nurse Practitioners, PA’s and Doctors.  Locally Broward Health has a sleep study clinic that can be contacted.  http://app.browardhealth.org/bhmcsleep

Sleep Apps    Sleep Cycle     iPhone and Android Usability: Sleep Cycle is rated number one in the United States and around the world. Easy-to-read graphs help you make sense of your sleep patterns. The alarms and snooze functions are also very user-friendly.

Favorite thing: While you sleep, Sleep Cycle rests under your pillow and works to gather data. The app then uses that information to wake you up when you’ll feel the least groggy

Pandora:  Dean Evenson but also you can select restful music and program your own play list.

Bonus Vanilla, Chai, Almond Milk and Chamomile tea – Warm almond milk add tsp vanilla and chai concentrate with chamomile tea.

Later this week – Insomnia and Sleep Apnea – Signs, Symptoms, Treatment and more !

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

http://www.Synergyehealthandwellness.net