Tag South Bend

A Helpful Video @ Insomnia

Over last 20 years of my practice, I have seen hundreds of patients frustrated by their inability to fall asleep or stay asleep or both. A brief video clip shared here explains insomnia and gives you a few tips to help you get started in the right direction. My sedating voice in this video is supposed to help you fall asleep!

Sleep Well, Live Well.

How Not to Hate CPAP

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the most effective therapy for a serious disease called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but it is feared by a significant percentage of my patients. Here is a brief video clip aimed at alleviating that fear and dislike so that you spend enough time in deeper stages of sleep, and you wake up with lasting energy and alertness.

Sleep Well, Lead Well

Tips for Tackling Winter Allergy Triggers

Tips for Tackling Winter Allergy Triggers.

Miller and Reisacher offered the following tips to help allergy sufferers through the winter:

  1. Turn on the exhaust fan when showering or cooking to remove excess humidity and odors from your home, and clean your carpets with a HEPA vacuum to decrease dust mites and pet allergen levels. Mopping your floors is also a good idea.
  2. Wash your hands often, especially after playing with pets and when coming home from public places.
  3. Wash your bed linens and pajamas in hot water (above 130 degrees) to kill dust mites.
  4. Consider your bedroom the allergy “safe haven” of your home. Keep pets, carpets, rugs and plants out of your bedroom to avoid dust mites and mold from decaying plants. It is a good idea to place an allergenic barrier around your pillows and mattress to create a barrier between dust mites and your nose.
  5. Before putting up your Christmas tree, spray it with a garden hose and remove all dust from your holiday decorations.
  6. Install high-efficiency furnace filters. They capture 30 times more allergens. Also make sure your furnace fan is always on.
  7. Keep your indoor humidity level between 30 percent and 40 percent — using a humidifier or dehumidifier — to prevent mold growth. Change humidifier water and filters according to manufacturer recommendations to avoid mold and bacteria contamination.
  8. Survey your house indoors and outdoors monthly to look for visible mold, and identify areas that are at high risk for mold formation. Examples include a pile of firewood close to the house or an area of the basement with a musty smell.

To read more, please click on the link above.

Treating Sleep Apnea May Lower Hard-to-Control Blood Pressure – US News and World Report

Treating Sleep Apnea May Lower Hard-to-Control Blood Pressure – US News and World Report.

“The prevalence of sleep apnea in patients with resistant [high blood pressure] is very high,” said lead researcher Dr. Miguel-Angel Martinez-Garcia, from the Polytechnic University Hospital in Valencia.

“This [sleep apnea] treatment increases the probability of recovering the normal nocturnal blood pressure pattern,” he said.

Patients with resistant high blood pressure should undergo a sleep study to rule out obstructive sleep apnea, Martinez-Garcia said. “If the patient has sleep apnea, he should be treated with CPAP and undergo blood pressure monitoring.”

The report, published in the Dec. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, was partly funded by Philips-Respironics, maker of the CPAP system used in the study.

The CPAP system consists of a motor that pushes air through a tube connected to a mask that fits over the patient’s mouth and nose. The device keeps the airway from closing, and thus allows continuous sleep.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder. The pauses in breathing that patients experience can last from a few seconds to minutes and they can occur 30 times or more an hour.

Click on the link above to read more.

Holidays pose problems to people with food allergies

Holidays pose problems to people with food allergies.

Follow these tips to minimize the risk of allergy and anaphylaxis. 

  1. When accepting an invitation, tell your host about your, or your child’s, dietary restrictions. To avoid a fuss at the table, make sure your child knows ahead of time which foods to stay away from.
  2. Ask how food — including desserts — will be prepared. Utensils used to prepare one dish can transfer traces of an allergen to other dishes.
  3. Offer to bring a dish that everyone can eat.
  4. Read all labels. Ingredients can change, so don’t assume a product that was once safe is still OK to eat.
  5. Time permitting, cook from scratch so you control all the ingredients. Freeze extra portions to save time later.
  6. Make a list available of each dish’s ingredients, especially if you’re serving a buffet and are too busy to answer every guest’s questions.

(by Patti Singer)

Read more about it by clicking the link above. Also, remember to take your Epipen with you if you are at risk for anaphylaxis.

Your Afternoon Coffee Habit Could Take A Toll On Sleep

Your Afternoon Coffee Habit Could Take A Toll On Sleep.

“Drinking a big cup of coffee on the way home from work can lead to negative effects on sleep just as if someone were to consume caffeine closer to bedtime,” study researcher Christopher Drake, Ph.D., an investigator at the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders and Research Center and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Wayne State University, said in a statement. “People tend to be less likely to detect the disruptive effects of caffeine on sleep when taken in the afternoon.”

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, included 12 healthy people with normal sleep patterns. For the four-day study, participants were instructed to maintain normal sleep schedules while taking three pills: one at six hours before bedtime, one at three hours before bedtime, and one right before bedtime. However, for three of the days, two of the pills were placebo pills and only one actually contained caffeine (400 milligrams’ worth, the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee). That way, researchers could see the effect taking the caffeine pill would have on sleep when taken six hours before bed, three hours before bed, and right before bed. On the fourth day, all three pills were placebo pills with no caffeine.

Read more on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/18/caffeine-sleep-late-afternoon_n_4276546.html


A Comfortable Little Mask for CPAP

My patients frequently complaint about the CPAP masks as to how big, bulky, and uncomfortable they are. Well, here is the latest; a small and comfortable mask called Wisp from Respironics.

Which one is your favorite?

What’s it like: To use a nasal irrigation system | News OK

Nasal irrigation helps patients suffering from intractable cough from the sticky postnasal drip. This article describes the technique of nasal irrigation. -Doc

What’s it like: To use a nasal irrigation system | News OK.

During nasal irrigation, a person runs a saline-type solution from one nostril to the other, clearing out the sinuses along the way. Using nasal irrigation can help some people relieve symptoms including congestion, nasal drainage, sinus pressure and excessive mucus production.

There are a lot of different apparatuses to deliver the saline to the nose. One of the more popular techniques is the Neti Pot, which resembles a teapot with a long spout.

What happens?

To begin, you\’ll need some type of nasal irrigation device. You can generally find these devices at pharmacies or drugstores, but you might also have something at home that could work, as long as it is clean. For example, you could use a soft rubber ear bulb syringe or an infant nasal bulb, again, as long as they\’re clean.

Before you start, you\’ll need to mix the solution that you\’ll use. You can use the solution mix that comes with commercially available apparatuses, or you could make your own.

For example, you could use pickling or canning salt that doesn\’t contain iodide, anti-caking agents or preservatives; baking soda; and one cup (8 ounces) of lukewarm distilled or boiled water. It\’s important not to use tap water. It\’s recommended you use distilled or boiled water to ensure safety — but make sure it\’s not too hot before you put it in your nose.

To perform nasal irrigation, you will flush your nasal cavity by pushing water through one nostril. The water will go behind the nasal septum and come out the other nostril. While performing nasal irrigation, you\’ll have to tip your head forward and away from the nostril where you\’re applying the solution. This directs the saline out the other nostril.

Clearing your nose beforehand can sometimes make the process easier. And your doctor might recommend you use a nasal spray before attempting to perform nasal irrigation.

Read more at http://newsok.com/whats-it-like-to-use-a-nasal-irrigation-system/article/3905613

What does Your Sleep Doc do When He Can’t Fall Asleep


Photo Credit: YogaSportDallas.com

Well, there are times even a sleep doc can’t fall asleep! This happens most commonly prior to a big trip or sometimes after a page from the hospital or a phone call from the sleep lab. I used to get frustrated and worried about the busy day next day, which in turn would make matters worse.

Now, I have learned to relax. I do progressive muscle relaxation starting from my scalp muscles all the way down to my toe muscles; I contract them one by one, and feel them relaxing while I breathe slow and deep. This whole process if done leisurely would take 10-15 minutes. After I am done with this, I just lay there limp, completely atonic.

Then I work on my racing mind. I practice complete detachment (Vairagya). I observe these thoughts as a third person. They arise and they subside. I do nothing with them. I give up all the worries, desires, expectations, and anger to Almighty, to the Higher Power, and I just lay there completely relaxed.

This is called Savasana, which literally means “corpse posture.” When I do this, I get the physical, mental, and spiritual rejuvenation despite being awake.

I may fall asleep; I may not fall asleep. I do not worry. I do not care. Sleep is a natural phenomenon. If it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I don’t care. I trust the Lord. I have been through tougher times with little sleep in the past. I can do that again with the help the Lord.

Well, I hope you don’t have difficulty falling asleep, but if you do, I urge you to try this. If you find it beneficial, share this post and spread the wealth!

Sleep Well, Live Well.

What is Food Allergy?

Photo Credit: northshorekids.com

Photo Credit: northshorekids.com

Food allergy is a reaction of the body’s immune system to something in a food or an ingredient in a food-usually a protein. It can be a serious condition and should be diagnosed by a board-certified allergist.

How many people have the food allergy?
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 5 million Americans, (5 to 8% of children and 1 to 2% of adults) have a true food allergy. Many people with any type of food sensitivity have food intolerances. Fewer people have true food allergy involving the immune system.

Which foods trigger allergic reactions?
There are eight major food allergens, including milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts and almonds), soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. These eight foods are the most common food allergens and cause more than 90 percent of all food allergic reactions. Among children, allergy to dairy and eggs are most common.

Do food additives cause allergic reactions?
No. Misconceptions abound regarding allergies to food additives. Many of these additives, including aspartame, monosodium glutamate and several food dyes have been studied extensively. Although sensitivities such as digestive problems or other temporary, localized reactions that do not involve the immune system have been associated with food additives, scientific evidence shows that food additives do not cause allergic reactions.

Are oils derived from foods that can cause food allergy, such as peanut oil, also allergenic? 
Not usually. Most commercial oils such as peanut oil are highly refined (hot solvent extracted), which removes the protein from the product. These types of oil are most commonly used in commercial food preparation. Since it is protein in allergenic foods that cause food allergy, highly refined oils are nonallergenic. Research has shown that individuals with severe peanut allergy have not had reactions to heat processed oils. However, people with food allergy should avoid “gourmet” or cold-pressed oils because they may contain allergenic proteins, which provide the flavor to the oil. For the same reason, oils that have been used to fry potentially allergenic foods should be avoided by allergic individuals.

Are peanut allergies increasing?
Research indicates that reported allergies are increasing. Peanut allergies are not a new phenomena; however, it is difficult to determine if the increased reports of food allergies in general and peanut allergy in particular are due to actual increases in incidence or a result of increased awareness among consumers and health professionals.

What are the symptoms of food allergy?
Symptoms of food allergy vary among individuals. Symptoms can also be different in the same person at different exposures to the same allergen. Common symptoms of food allergy include skin irritations (rashes, hives, and eczema), gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting), sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Some people experience a more severe reaction called anaphylaxis, which is a rare but potentially fatal condition in which several different parts of the body experience allergic reactions. Symptoms may include itching, hives, swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, lower blood pressure and unconsciousness. Anaphylactic reactions usually happen rapidly and can be life threatening. Immediate medical attention is necessary when anaphylaxis occurs. Emergency treatment usually includes an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) to open up the airway and blood vessels.

Is there a cure for food allergies?
Unfortunately, the only “cure” for food allergy, at present, is strict dietary avoidance of the allergen. However, scientists specializing in food allergy are addressing this question. Because of the severity of reactions in peanut allergy, scientists are working on developing a vaccine for this allergen first. They hope to help desensitize those with peanut allergy, and substantially decrease the severity of reactions. It should be noted that these experiments, which are being conducted on animals, are in the beginning phases. If the animal studies are successful, human trials may begin within three to four years.

What is the best way to manage food allergic children in schools?
The best way to deal with an allergic child in school is with education and management for all parties involved (parents, teachers and school administrators). Education and awareness of what a food allergy is, how to prevent a reaction and what to do in case an allergic reaction occurs are keys to successfully managing allergy in schools. Since most children do not outgrow peanut allergies, this approach will help the child learn techniques on how to cope in everyday situations that will be carried throughout life. The Food Allergy Network offers educational programs and materials aimed at food allergy education and management.

Should allergenic foods be banned from schools?
Banning allergenic foods from schools is not practical or effective. Allergenic food bans are counterproductive because they diminish the need to teach children with allergies to take care of themselves. If a school instituted a ban on food allergens, it would be very difficult to enforce. Bans do not render an allergic child’s environment absolutely safe. A ban in schools may create a false sense of security for the allergic child and school staff, which can potentially lead to serious injury or death. Better solutions include establishing lunch tables that are free of allergenic foods and prohibiting lunch swapping among students, for example.

The Food Allergy Network has a comprehensive School Food Allergy Program and other resources designed to educate and assist school personnel and parents with the effective management of children with food allergy.

Where can I go for more information? Many resources are available to obtain further information about food allergy. They include the Food Allergy Network (FAN), the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) and others.