January 14, 2010

A Simple Urine Test for Dangerous Snoring

Approximately 12 percent of all children snore. In a recent study, 90 children who were previously referred to a clinic for assessment in their breathing problems during slumber were observed and tested. The children who were eventually diagnosed with dangerous snoring had increased amounts of specific proteins in their urine. Although the research team who conducted the study thinks it would be more accurate if the study were repeated, diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea may lead to a simple test.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is caused by obstruction of the airway. Apnea literally means “without breath”, which is what happens during sleep, for those who suffer from the illness. Apneas are short occurrences during sleep when at least one breath is missed. This happens various times during the night. With OSA, the breathing is being blocked by a physical obstruction to the airflow. The sufferer of OSA rarely realizes they have any episodes of apnea, even when waking during an episode. Normally sleep apnea is discovered by others who witness the sufferer during episodes of apnea. OSA can lead to mental, cardiovascular, metabolic and behavioral problems in children. OSA is most common for children who are obese, or have larger than normal tonsils.

After the first night of the study, researchers collected a urine sample and used florescent dyes to distinguish and separate the proteins in the urine. Children who had OSA had 3 proteins with a higher concentration than children who did not have OSA. All the children diagnosed with OSA had a lower than usual level of another protein, kallikrien 1.

Although more research is needed to perfect the study, it is likely possible to develop a simple and reliable test (similar to a pregnancy test) to diagnose children with OSA.

June 22, 2009

3 Ways to Get More Energy

1. Get More Sleep: Well the most obvious way to gain more energy throughout your day is to get more sleep. Many people these days are too busy with work or school that they either forget to, or find it difficult to obtain the necessary amount of sleep required to fully “recharge” their bodies. Adults require about eight to nine hours of sleep a night, while children need ten to twelve hours a night. Teenagers should get around ten hours of sleep a night.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation: Sleep deprivation is much more harmful to our bodies than many people think. Sleep deprivation can result in minor side effects such as, irritability, headaches, aching muscles, and temper tantrums. The more severe effects caused by sleep deprivation are hand tremors, hallucination, memory loss, and many symptoms similar to that of Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and psychosis.

2. Get some exercise: When you’re tired you probably don’t want to go out and exercise, in fact it’s probably the last thing you want to do. However, exercise is an excellent way of waking your body up. Exercise makes your heart pump faster, providing your body with more oxygen, which in turn makes you feel more awake.

Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Schedule: Exercise is an excellent way to get some more energy, but many claim that they just can’t find the time to exercise. Most people who say this are just making excuses, and really are just lazy and don’t WANT to find the time. If you live close enough to work or school, walk home. You get some exercise incorporated into your day, plus by walking home you help reduce your impact on the environment, it’s a win, win situation. If you live far from work/school, try playing with your children when you get home (if you’ve got children), or when you are on lunch break or any break throughout the day take a ten minute walk outside. If you’re really committed to getting some exercise try biking to work.

3. Eat More Often and Stay Hydrated: While we all know that eating things like junk food is not good for us, eating healthy food fairly often will help keep energy levels up. Eating five or six small meals throughout the day ensures that your blood-sugar levels remain steady. Additionally, many people do not hydrate themselves properly, which is a major cause of fatigue. Since fluids are responsible for transporting nutrients and oxygen to our cells and organs it is vital to get the necessary amount of hydration. The human body needs at least two litres or eight cups of fluids a day to properly stay hydrated.

Eating and Drinking Tips: Try to space your meals out and eat every three or four hours. Attempt to eat foods that are high in energy to prevent that tired feeling many of us experience during the day. Some food suggestions are nuts and dried or fresh fruits. Additionally, try to bring a bottle of water to work instead of a cup of coffee. Water will keep you hydrated and won’t cause you to have a sugar crash.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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