Tag Archives: Obesity Epidemic

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.

How To Prevent Diabetes

In many instances, diabetes is an inherited disorder. People who have first degree relatives with this disease are more prone to developing this disease than people with no genetic disposition. People who have a first degree relative with diabetes can avoid contacting the illness by having themselves tested by their physician. The physician can do a series of blood tests that will determine whether or not the patient is pre disposed to this condition. If a person has a pre diabetic condition, there are many things they can do to avoid getting this disease.

However, Type II Diabetes has become nearly an epidemic in this country. Many in the medical community believe that one of the reasons many people acquire this potentially life threatening condition is from obesity. The diabetes epidemic has mirrored the obesity epidemic currently overtaking the United States as well as other countries. People consume foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars and low in nutrients at an alarming rate. We often think of diabetics as being people with a sweet tooth who crave sugar. This is not the case. More often, a person who is obese has more of a chance of getting diabetes than a person who maintains his or her weight.

One way how to prevent diabetes is by managing your weight. Although there is little you can do about having a genetic disposition to the disease, there are ways you can prevent becoming one of the millions of Americans who develop diabetes each year.

When seeking how to prevent diabetes, the first thing a person can do is watch your weight. Studies indicate that people who are overweight are more prone to developing diabetes. How to prevent diabetes. Rule number one is manage your weight. One way to manage your weight is to stay way from foods laden with saturated fats, and sugars. Stay away from fast food, which is usually high in fats, carbohydrates and sugars. Most fast food offer little in the way of nutrition but are high in fat and carbohydrates.

Another way how to prevent diabetes is to exercise. Exercising regularly improves blood sugar control. Because active muscles dispel glucose from blood quicker than non-exercised muscles, regular exercise can do wonders in staving off or preventing diabetes. In addition, regular exercise also helps to maintain stable weight, another factor in preventing obesity.

Again, the misconception that people contract diabetes through excessive consumption of sugars is inaccurate. It is not only sugar that contributes to the disease. While it is good to eliminate the use of excessive sugar in your diet, carbohydrates are also contributory to the onset of diabetes. One way on how to prevent diabetes is becoming aware of the Glycemic Index. The Glycemic Index was developed in 1981 and rates which carbohydrates are more difficult to eliminate glucose from the blood.

When asking yourself how to prevent diabetes, focus your attention on your weight, exercise and diet. In many cases, simple lifestyle changes can prevent someone from getting this potentially life threatening disease.