Tag Archives: Dangerous Combination

Sleep Disorder – A Growing Concern in the United States

Sleep Disorder – A Growing Concern in the United States

In the United States alone, it is estimated that approximately 60 – 80 million people have some form of sleep disorder. This number continues to rise. Several of the reasons for the increasing numbers are the aging of the American population, the change in our lifestyle and the obesity epidemic. Of course there are other factors that can lead to a sleep disorder, such as, stress, shift work, illness or genetics.

There are more than 100 different types of sleep disorders. They range in severity from minor to life threatening. People of any age, from infants to the aged, can be affected by a sleep disorder at any time of their lives.

As sleep disorders increase in the United States, so do the dangers that are associated with them.
Tiredness can lead to slower mental alertness and a slower reaction time. This can be a very dangerous combination. Between 20 – 25% of all serious vehicular accidents involve a tired driver. Many of these drivers suffer from some form of sleep disorder and may not even be aware of it. A large number of accidents that occur at home or at work are also due to people with some type of sleeping problem. Sleep disorder, combined with the cost of the accidents and illnesses it causes, results in the American people and the government spending billions of dollars.

Lack of sleep is directly related to many physical ailments and conditions. People that do not get sufficient sleep generally suffer more form headaches, sore joints and stomach problems. Often a sleep disorder is an underlying cause of heart problems, lung conditions and diabetes. Sleep disorders can also affect the mental well being of people stricken with them. Mood changes, anxiety, eating disorders and depression can result.

Many people still do not think of a sleeping problem as a medical problem. Because of this, many never tell their physician that they are having a problem with sleep. Even if they see their doctor on a regular basis for an illness or condition, they never mention their difficulty sleeping.

As the American public and medical community become more educated and aware of the symptoms, effects and severity of various sleep disorders, more and more cases are being diagnosed. Sufferers are being treated with medication, oxygen, cpap machines and even surgery. There are better screening methods and diagnostic tests which find sleep disorder problems earlier. Overnight sleep centers no longer resemble a hospital room. They are now designed to look more like a hotel room, to make the patient feel more comfortable. In some cases, due to computerization and miniaturization, equipment can be so small that some testing can even be done at home.

Sleep is not an option or a luxury. It is a basic element of living and of good health. If you think you, your partner or your child may be suffering from a sleep disorder see your physician. A sleep disorder is a medical problem that can be helped.

Depression And Diabetes

Many people who are diagnosed with diabetes are overwhelmed with an onslaught of new information, medications, doctor visits and a feeling of helplessness. Diabetes can be frightening, particularly for anyone who is not familiar with the disease. We read about complications and insulin and medication and feel hopeless.

Many diabetics experience a period of denial when first diagnosed with diabetes. They refuse to believe there is anything wrong with them. While they remain in denial, the condition worsens. This can often lead to depression. Depression and diabetes often go hand in hand. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have a greater risk for developing depression than other individuals.

The stress of management of diabetes can take a toll on an individual. There are new medications to take, blood sugar must be monitored frequently and a record kept for your doctor. There are frequent doctor visits and there may be several different medication combinations needed before your blood sugar is kept under control.

On top of that, people who have diabetes are often faced with sudden lifestyle changes. Foods that they once enjoyed are now taboo. An exercise regime is often recommended, which can be good for depression, but people with depression often have little energy to begin an exercise regime. As the depression continues, people often lose interest in monitoring their blood sugar levels and may even skip their medication.

Symptoms of depression include a loss of pleasure in every day activities you used to enjoy as well as a change in appetite. You may have trouble concentrating and have trouble sleeping. Or you may even sleep too much. Many people suffer from depression, but for a diabetic, it can be life threatening. Depression and diabetes is a dangerous combination.

People who are diagnosed with diabetes can empower themselves by learning as much about the disease as possible from the beginning. This can alleviate the feeling of helplessness that often accompanies the diagnoses. Ask your physician questions. Do research. Find out how you can help manage you disease.

If you feel you are suffering from some of the signs of depression, ask your doctor to recommend a therapist who is familiar in dealing with people with chronic illness. Therapy can be crucial for a diabetic patient who feels isolated because of all of the extra work involved in treating their illness. Do not be afraid to discuss your illness with family and friends. Diabetes is a nothing to be ashamed of, it is a disease that affects millions of people.

If at all possible, join a support group for others who also have diabetes. Here you can not only find kindred spirits who are experiencing some of the same fears as yourself, but you can also learn new information.

Any time someone is diagnosed with an illness puts them at risk for depression. Their world has changed and no longer feels safe. Worse of all, they feel out of control. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, take back the control and learn how to manage your disease. By empowering yourself, you will not only be able to effectively manage your diabetes, you will eliminate the depression.