Don’t Let Sleep Issues Keep You Up At Night!

 

How well are you sleeping?  Your sleep is an important health indicator so it’s important to determine if a disruption in sleep patterns is an isolated incident or a symptom of something more serious.

 

In today’s busy world, most people believe that feeling tired is just part of life and something they have to deal with.   After all, there are lots of reasons to be tired; sick kids, challenging job, late-night television, holiday demands, and we all know that the list goes on.  But if you are constantly in need of coffee or find yourself falling asleep the moment you sit down, you may need something as simple as a few more hour of sleep to recover.  However, it’s important to rule out a more serious condition as the offender.

 

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2009 Sleep in America Poll, we get only about six hours of shut-eye on weeknights.  This increases to seven hours on weekends.  However, most adults need seven to nine hours nightly to ensure good health.  So before you blame your busy life for lack of sleep, take a careful look at these typical “Sleep Offenders”.

 

Offender:  Vitamin and/or Mineral Deficiency

Having low levels of B vitamins will cause anxiousness, fatigue and weakness since it helps nourish the nerves and tissue.  Vitamin D deficiency will also cause fatigue and lowered immune function.  Low levels of Calcium and Magnesium can cause leg and muscle cramping that will make it difficult to relax and go to sleep.

Solution:

Our complete Vitamin and Mineral testing will give us all the information we need to develop a supplement regimen to address your needs.

 

Offender:  Your Adrenal Glands

Many of us live in a constant state of stress resulting in what is known as the fight or flight response.  This response should last only seconds to a couple of minutes.  However, if this response continues, the adrenal gland that sits above your kidney will get over-worked and the hormone levels will drop putting you into a constant state of adrenal fatigue. The adrenal hormone, known as Cortisol, becomes so low that you feel tired constantly or wake in the morning only to feel un-refreshed.  If you wake at 3 a.m., +/- an hour, at least every other night and get sleepy or cranky if you don’t eat regular meals, this could be the culprit.

Solution:

We are able to treat this very successfully with a combination of supplements and stress reduction techniques. A simple saliva test can determine your cortisol levels as well as your hormone levels.  The test is done at four different times during the day so that we can see your rhythm over the whole daily cycle.

 

Offender:  The Blues

People with depression may be more likely to experience fatigue.  If your blues occur more in the wintertime you may have Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD).

 

 

Solution:

Using a full spectrum bulb and turning it on each morning can be very helpful.  In many cases getting 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise can minimize the blues and get your sleep patterns back on track.  If neither of these solutions is effective, we can refer you to the appropriate professional.

 

Offender:  Food

Food-sensitivity isn’t just a trendy buzzword.  Many people are suffering significant symptoms from eating foods that their body reacts to.  This means by simply avoiding certain foods you can bring the body back into harmony and feel better.

Solution:

Testing is done with a simple blood test that is often covered by insurance.

 

Offender: Caffeine

Kicking the caffeine habit is your first line of defense. That afternoon pick-me-up may actually make you sleepier as it dehydrates cells and tissue causing fatigue.

Solution:

Increase your water intake. Sample the wonderful selection of herbal teas that are now available. Our favorites are peppermint or pomegranate to give you the pick-me-up you may need in the mid afternoon.

 

Offender:  Underlining illness

Viral illnesses that basic blood work may not pick up, such as Lyme’s disease, can cause chronic fatigue.  Estrogen dominance, otherwise known as low progesterone, can also result in fatigue. Sleep apnea may be something that is going undiagnosed and can easily be determined with a sleep study.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be a combination of multiple health issues.

Solution:

If you have tried all the above techniques we can refer you to the appropriate health care professional to help you determine your exact condition.

Osteoporosis & Men: What You Need to Know

Most people think that osteoporosis is strictly a woman’s health concern. However, more than 2 million men suffer from this condition that causes bones to be brittle and prone to fracture. Men develop osteoporosis about a decade later in life than women, and though men have fewer osteoporosis-related fractures than women (one-third of all hip fractures occurs in men), they are more likely to suffer serious complications or death as a result.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:

  • Up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
  • Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.
  • Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip.
  • Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip.
  • Men can break bones in the spine or break a hip, but this usually happens at a later age than women.

What puts a man at risk?

In men, wrist fractures have been shown to be an important risk factor for having hip fractures later in life, whereas in women, a previous spine fracture is predictive of subsequent hip fractures. Other risk factors include:

 

  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Use of steroid medications
  • Unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, alcohol use, lack of exercise)
  • Low testosterone or estrogen levels
  • Prostate cancer and its treatment
  • Immobility due to stroke or heart disease
  • Kidney, lung, gastrointestinal or autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic Disease such as Rhuematoid arthritis, colitis and chron’s disease
  • Medications like Dilantin, Blood thinners and corticosteroids

What should men do to prevent osteoporosis?

For men, maintaining good bone health starts with regular doctor visits to screen for bone mineral density and prostate cancer. Other essentials are:

 

  • Regularly scheduled weight-bearing exercise
  • Healthy, moderate-protein diets
  • Supplements including vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and isoflavones to help prevent bone mineral losses

Men at risk for hormone-dependent cancers should always discuss supplementation plans with their doctor to ensure that the supplements and medications are working together for best effect.

 

Current Osteoporosis Medications and how they work.

 

Most medications are antiresorptive agents, which decrease the removal of calcium from the bone, it works by suppressing parathyroid hormone which is what takes calcium out of the bone.  Bone is a living dynamic tissue that brings in and takes out calcium and this is where we get calcium if our blood levels or muscle levels are to low.  Extreme athletes may actually harvest calcium from there bone so that their muscles will function more appropriately during extreme events like ultra-marathon’s.

 

The current medications that are in use are:

  • Alendronate (Fosamax)
  • Risedronate (Actonel)
  • Raloxifene (Evista)
  • Ibandronate (Boniva)
  • Calcitonin (Calcimar)
  • Zoledronate (Reclast)
  • Denosumab (prolia)

 

Some of the above medications are associated with increases in hip fracture so there are some types of medication doctors will use over others to prevent hip fracture call bisphosphates.  The following are bisphosphates; Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and reclast.  This doesn’t mean they are completely immune to fracture but are less than other prescriptions.

 

It is still recommended that you do supplementation and lifestyle changes long before you have to seek the help of prescription medications due to side-effects that are present.

 

Eating your Calcium in foods?

 

Many foods we eat contain calcium and milk is one of them, however it is not the most bio-available source and can often pass straight through the system without ever being absorbed into the body itself.  Consider some of these foods instead for adding into your diet:

  • Dates
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beets
  • Bok-choy
  • Spinach, collard greens
  • Black eye peas
  • Quinoa flour, Amaranath flour

Click here to download the Man’s Guide to Osteoporosis from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

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