Insomnia

60 million Americans cannot sleep every night. 60 million ! sounds like a pretty significant illness to me . However, we know precious little as to why insomnia occurs- except a few known causes like caffeine, Electronic Gadgets , alcohol & stress …
Sleep disruption affects life in more ways than we realize. Not only do we feel like we are dragging ourselves all day, it increases perception of pain, makes us more anxious & slightly more irritable than our usual selves. some of us are pushed towards feeling depressed & very unsatisfied with our lives.
Insomnia leaves a very obvious mark on our faces as well. One look at an insomniac and you can tell they have spent their night tossing in the bed. The dark circles, the bags under eyes give away the story of our nights….

Now , there are 2 kinds of sleep starved people. The first kind have trouble falling asleep…the ones who count sheep and then there are the ones who have trouble staying asleep. These people wake up early in the morning after 2-3 hrs of sleep and then toss for the rest of the night. The physiological effects of insomnia are present in both and no one kind is better than the other
Is there any relief ?
There is, but you have to have an open mind and experiment with different options available out there to find one that best suits your needs & lifestyle. Of course there are medications, but lets reflect upon some non medication options first .

Preferably, turn down your coffee intake after 3 pm. i know this sounds too early, but the effects of caffeine from coffee last a lot longer if u have one cuppa Joe at 3 pm , you still have 1/3rd of it in your system by 9 pm. Caffeine from tea is slightly kinder to us, so consider that instead. Even better, consider green tea !

Food Options to treat Insomnia

1.   Consuming a cup of Tart Cherry juice

2.   One ripe banana

3.   A cup of warm milk with a pinch of nutmeg

4.    A cup of warm milk with a quarter teaspoon of turmeric

These are all kitchen based remedies that work very well when consumed at bedtime.

Oil Therapy

  1. Massaging your eyelids with cold pressed castor oil,
  2. Putting a drop of castor oil in each eye,
  3. Massaging your feet or the crown of your head with slightly warmed sesame oil also work really wellThey act by relaxing the muscles and inducing sleep.

CBT audio tapes – These heard at bedtime also work well

Deep Breathing exercises – performed right on your bed work extremely well

Now lets consider some medication options

OTC medications

  1. Benadryl
  2. Melatonin
  3. Valerian Root
  4. Magnesium supplements

Prescription Medications

Several classes of medications are available these days for insomnia treatment

Some common drug names are ambien, sonata, lunesta, restoril, halcion,belsomra,seroquel, xanax, ativan, valium

All these drugs come with their own risks and side effects. They can also be induce addiction. Some of them can cause complex sleep related behaviors such as sleep walking, sleep eating,sleep driving. Patients often do not have any memory of these incidents next day. Also, these drugs should not be taken if you have consumed alcohol at night. Why ? because all these medications work to slow down your brain activity and along with alcohol intake that effect can be additive and potentially dangerous.

But that does not mean that you should not take them even if you are suffering due to prolonged insomnia. Because not everyone suffers from side effects ! this is the key thing to consider. If one has tried all non-medication options and nothing seems to bring them constant relief from the devastating fatigue that insomnia brings, then please do not suffer. consider medication options – you may have to go through some trial & error before figuring out what works for you, but its totally worth the effort

There are also some alternative treatments that can be considered albeit consideration has to be given if they interact with your current medications or not . There are several combinations available on the market consisting of valerian, melatonin, Theanine,Lemon Balm,Hops etc which may help with insomnia. Before you take these, please ensure if they are compatible with your current medications.

In conclusion, there is relief for insomnia , we just have to be patient and look for it . Happy Snoozing !

 

Coronary Angioplasty

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A coronary angioplasty is a procedure performed to improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart, by re-opening or enlarging blocked blood vessels. The blockages usually develop as a result of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque builds up on the inner walls of the arteries and causes them to harden and narrow, often leading to coronary artery disease. A coronary angioplasty involves the insertion of a tiny balloon that is inflated to open and widen the artery. It is often combined with the insertion of a small wire tube called a stent, that helps to keep the artery open, so it will not narrow again in the future.

Candidates For A Coronary Angioplasty

A coronary angioplasty may be recommended for people with with blockages in the arteries of their heart, especially if they are experiencing chest pain and discomfort. It may also be performed if lifestyle changes and medication have not been an effective form of treatment and after an individual has suffered from a heart attack.

The Coronary Angioplasty Procedure

Patients are often sedated but remain awake during the procedure. During the angioplasty procedure, an incision is made in the arm or groin, and a catheter is inserted. A contrast dye is injected through the catheter, to highlight the clogged areas during the procedure. A tube with a deflated balloon is inserted through the catheter to the blockage. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery, pushing the plaque aside allow the blood to flow through smoothly. To hold the artery open and prevent it from narrowing again, a wire mesh tube called a stent may be inserted. Some stents are coated with medication that is slowly released into the arteries to help prevent scar tissue from forming and blocking the artery. The coronary angioplasty takes approximately 1 to 2 hours to perform.

Recovery From Coronary Angioplasty

After the procedure, patients are required to stay in the hospital for a few hours so that their condition can be monitored. Some patients may stay in the hospital overnight for observation. The site where the catheter was inserted is checked for bleeding and patients may experience soreness or tenderness in the area. Medication is prescribed to to help prevent blood clots from forming. Patients are often able to return to work approximately one week after the angioplasty procedure. Cardiac rehabilitation may be recommended after a coronary angioplasty. Patients are encouraged to make certain lifestyle changes after this procedure to lower their risk of coronary artery disease. Life style modifications may include exercise, quitting smoking, losing weight and reducing stress.

Risks Of Coronary Angioplasty

While a coronary angioplasty is considered a common medical procedure, complications are rare, however they may include:

  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Allergic reaction to contrast dye
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

The risk of complications is higher in people over the age of 65, people with extensive heart disease and blockages in their coronary arteries, and individuals with chronic kidney disease.

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