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Sleep disorders is a condition which affects how much and how well one sleeps. The causes for sleep disorder are many and include poor daily habits and some medical problems that disrupt the sleep cycle. The first thing you notice when you have sleep disorder is that you feel fatigued when you get up in the morning. If you don’t feel rested then there is a serious problem for which you should consult your doctor.

Dangers of sleep disorder

Dangers of sleep disorder include lack of sleep and the subsequent effect on your life. Sleep deprivation leads to accidents, relationship problems, poor performance at job, and injuries at work-place, memory problems, mood swings, weight gain and many other medical problems.  It is also known that sleep disorders lead to heart diseases, obesity and diabetes.

Symptoms of Sleep disorders

  • Sleep disorders are of many types and the symptoms depend on the type or disorder.
  • Feel fatigued and sleepy during day time
  • Difficulty in falling asleep or staying awake or disturbed sleep.
  • Chronic snoring
  • Stopping the breath in-between sleep (apnea)
  • The restless leg syndrome where you feel uncomfortable in the legs

How much sleep is needed?

The amount of sleep one requires is determined by our age. Infants need anywhere between 12-15 hours, toddlers need from 11-14 hours, preschoolers between 10-13 hours, school children 9-11 hours, teens 8-10 hours and adults require anywhere between 7-8 hours.

What is Insomnia?

If you lie awake at night for hours together and wake up early, while not being able to drift into sleep again or do you wake up repeatedly at night? Then you may be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia is a common disorder that grips most adults.

What is sleep hygiene?

If you drink coffee in the afternoon or in the evenings or if you smoke or eat heavy food before going to bed, it has an example of  bad sleep hygiene. Some people go to bed at different time each night or fall asleep with the television on these are also counted as bad sleep hygiene. So keep your sleep habits clean and sleep inducing.

Health problems due to sleep disorders

Sleep disorder leads to many health problems and some are life taking, so you have to keep yourself sleep healthy to avoid such ailments. Sleep disorders can lead to arthritis, heartburn, chronic pain, asthma, heart failure, thyroid problems, weight gain, work performance, neurological disorders like stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Other causes of sleep disorders

Insomnia is a common problem among pregnant women especially in the first and third trimesters. Another reason for sleep disorders could be menopause in women. Age is another factor where men and women get sleep disorder after the age of 65. Yet another cause of sleep problem is frequent flying and shift work where the circadian rhythm is disrupted. Where the internal body clock malfunctions there you have sleep problems. Also insomnia can be a presenting symptoms of an underlying psychiatric disorder. Eg. Depression, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, etc.

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When the body’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, insect venom, pet hairs or a food substance then it causes a reaction which is called as allergy. When there is an allergy the body’s immune system produces antibodies. The antibodies identify the allergen as harmful even when it actually is not that harmful; the reaction that follows causes inflammation of the skin, sinuses or digestive system and results in allergies or allergic reaction.

The severity of allergies varies and can range from minor irritation to potentially life-threatening emergencies. Though allergies as such cannot be cured the symptoms can be treated and the patient can obtain some relief.

What are the symptoms of allergy?

The symptoms often depend on the substance involved. For food allergy the reaction can be tingling in the mouth, swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat, hives and at time breathing trouble; for insect sting a large area of swelling or edema will be seen, there will be itching or hives, cough, chest tightness or wheezing are also seen; for drug allergies symptoms include hives, itchy skin, rashes, face swelling, wheezing and anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency which causes a patient to go into shock and its symptoms include loss of consciousness, drop in BP, shortness of breath, rapid weak pulse, nausea or vomiting.

What are the causes of allergy?

As discussed earlier an allergy occurs when the immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a harmful invader. When a patient is exposed to an allergen then antibodies can release a number of immune system chemicals or histamine that causes the symptoms. The common allergy triggers include airborne allergens like pollen, animal hair, dust mites and mold. Some foods like peanuts, wheat, soy and fish or shellfish, eggs and milk also are triggers. Insect bites from bee and wasp and also medication like penicillin and antibiotics can cause allergy. Certain substances like latex can cause allergy.

What are the risk factors?

The risk factors include a family history of allergy, children are more vulnerable and if there is already an existing disease like asthma it will cause the allergy to aggravate. If there is already some sickness, fever or infection the allergic reaction can be quicker and severe.

How to prevent allergies?

Allergies can be prevented by avoiding the triggers, identify the substances and causes for the allergy and write it down to know what substance is causing it. Today you have alert bracelets or necklaces that let’s others know that you are allergic to something and helps them find medical help for you in case of emergencies.

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Blood sugar is an extensive subject because anything and everything can play havoc with your blood sugar levels. Sometimes just the time of the day can spike the blood sugar and add to this a diet that does not control sugar and you are in for trouble. Yet there are certain things that you may never think of, which can actually cause the increase in blood sugar levels. In this article you can find out some of the more surprising things that contribute to that shooting up of blood sugar.


People on weight loss diet don’t eat breakfast and this is said to actually spike insulin levels and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later. Another study showed that men who regularly skipped breakfast have more chance of developing diabetes than those who did not. A morning meal is thus important and one that is rich in protein and healthy fat can help stabilize blood sugar levels the entire day.


We use artificial sweeteners thinking that they will actually help control our sugar levels. A recent study though shows on the contrary artificial sweeteners were seems to increase the blood sugar levels. The researchers were able to bring down the sugar levels in the mice which were used for the experiment by administering antibiotics to them. This shows that some fake sweeteners actually affect the stomach bacteria, which ultimately affects the body processing glucose. That is why all beverages using artificial sugar should be used only in moderation.


Though there are many claims that coffee can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it is confirmed that for people who already are diabetic, caffeine can be dangerous. There are many instances where people with diabetes under control drink a cup of coffee and after an hour or two their blood sugar shows a spike. This shows that some people will have blood sugar that is sensitive to caffeine and they should be careful while taking coffee even without any sugar or sweetener.


When you have diabetes or are prone to get it then a good night’s sleep can be a panacea. When people get less than 4 hours of sleep at night then their insulin sensitivity is seen to suffer. We all know sleep is restorative and if you get enough of it, you’ll wake up refreshed and with your blood sugar levels in control.


When you get a common cold, have a urinary infection or a wound then your immune system will release germ fighting chemicals that will affect the blood sugar level. The particular illness will cause unseen stress in the body and in turn spike the blood sugar. The stress hormones make the cells more insulin resistant. There should be strict rules for a sick day where the eating and drinking controls will keep the blood sugar level.

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When a person has difficulty in moving and seems to lose balance then it may be an indication of Parkinson’s disease. It is because of problem to certain nerve cells in the brain. Dopamine is the chemical that sends signals to the brain for movement. The signals lets your muscles move smoothly at the correct speed and the way you desire. When a person is afflicted with Parkinson’s then the nerve cells are damaged, which means dopamine is no longer available and thus you have trouble moving your limbs at desired speed  or they may tremble involuntarily.

Parkinson’s is a progressive disease and it slowly advances and gets severe over time. This happens over many years and today there are good therapies that can help a Parkinson’s patient lead a fuller life.

What Causes Parkinson’s?

It is yet to be found what exactly causes the nerve cells to break down. Researchers are investigating the causes which include aging and pollutants or poisons in the atmosphere. There is a probability of some abnormal genetic make-up or genes that leads to Parkinson’s disease in few people. So far there is no concrete proof that Parkinson’s disease can be inherited.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s?

There are certain marked symptoms of Parkinson’s disease like tremor or trembling of the arms, hands or legs, sometimes the patient may have stiff muscles, movements get slowed and there can be a problem with balancing while walking. Tremors are said to be the first symptom and the most common one but not everyone will have tremors to begin with. Parkinson’s also affects the muscles all through the body and cause trouble swallowing or later constipation. In advanced stages the patient will have a fixed gaze or blank expression and trouble speaking. Some people may show signs of dementia.

The symptoms usually appear between the ages of 50 and 60, though there are several cases where the disease symptoms manifested earlier than that.

How to treat and manage Parkinson’s?

Your doctor can detect Parkinson’s by observing your movement asking for some brain scans etc. At present there is no definite cure for the disease but there are several medicines that can control the symptoms which affect your daily life. Certain specialised treatments like deep brain stimulation may also be used depending on the nature of the individual’s disease.

The patient is usually advised to get good diet, enough of rest, conserve energy and sometimes given physical and occupational therapy.

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For ages salt or sodium has been pointed out as the villain who causes the life harming hypertension. Though recent studies which took a deeper look into the issue shows that the story is more complex. The latest study results actually take the blame away from sodium being the sole cause of hypertension.

New angle to Sodium and Hypertension

In a focused study recently the team found out those research participants who consumed less than 2500 milligrams of sodium every day had much higher blood pressure than those who consumed sodium in higher quantities. The results were counterintuitive as the dietary sodium intake which was positively associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure proved to be the opposite.

In fact the researchers came to the conclusion that there was a relationship between cardiovascular risk and sodium which means that low-sodium diets and very high sodium diets both carry a higher risk of heart disease. When a person consumes sodium moderately then you sit in the middle of the curve and your risk for cardiovascular disease is on the lowest side.

Importance of Potassium

The importance of potassium in our daily diet is highly emphasised. The research studies proved that the individuals with the lowest blood pressure were those who had the optimum intake of sodium and potassium. On the other hand those with very low consumption of dietary sodium and potassium had the highest blood pressure. Similarly magnesium and calcium intake was also of prime importance and found that higher intakes meant lower blood pressure.

The study recommended not below 2.3 milligrams sodium intake per day for healthy adults. This shows that there is definitely an inverse association between sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and blood pressure.

Dietary Adjustments

There is no denying the importance of increasing the intake of foods rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium which will help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Certain people may be sensitive to sodium and they should reduce the amount of salt in their diets. Not too long in the future there will be systems to screen the salt sensitivity which will help in finding out which person has to curtail salt in the diet.

Thus the association of salt or sodium to high blood pressure is now not so vital but depends on a lot of associated things and dietary habits.

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