18 Jul

Type 2 Diabetes and Sleep Apnea (i.e. I’m screwed)

There is a new, alarming (to me) study that suggests a link between Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea:

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention has warned that recent research demonstrates that type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are closely related…

The study is quick to point out that this is very preliminary, and requires a lot more testing and study. Of course, they easy link between the two is obesity: People who are over weight are prone to OSA, and those who eat enough sugar-rich foods to become over weight are on the track towards type 2 diabetes. I am assuming this study takes this into fact, but it is always dangerous to make assumptions.

The study also makes screening suggestions:

While people with OSA should be routinely screened for metabolic disease and type 2 diabetes as screening tests are inexpensive and easy to conduct, people with diabetes should be screened for OSA particularly when they present classical symptoms such as witnessed apneas, heavy snoring or daytime sleepiness and poor workplace performance.

I think that this is very responsible. And is directed right at medical insurance companies. Insurance companies are normally fast to pay for diabetes screening/treatment. But OSA is another matter. Sleep studies are expensive, as are CPAP machines and supplies. This study says up front that the insurance companies really should pay for these to avoid further complications. I think that is a very responsible tack to take.

As for me, I’m in trouble. I most definitely have OSA, and it went untreated for a long time. I am also pre-diabetic. The combination of the two could lead to big health problems in my future. 🙁

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15 Jul

Green tea + Mediterranean diet = happy heart?

I know, everyone is getting tired of my constant paranoid posts about heart disease. I am still terrified of heart disease, and am very worried about the health of my ticker. So any kind of news about heart health gets my interest (I even have a news alert set up on Yahoo about this topic). Last week, there was the story about how great the Mediterranean Diet is for a person’s health. This week, it is green tea:

A new study shows that [green tea]… can protect heart arteries by keeping them flexible and relaxed, and therefore better able to withstand the ups and downs of constant changes in blood pressure…. [The] scientists speculate, green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping cells there to secrete the substances needed to relax the vessels and allow blood to flow more freely. It’s the flavonoids in the tea, which work as antioxidants and help prevent inflammation in body tissue, that keep the vessels pliable. These substances may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause ofheart attacks. (via Time/Yahoo)

I used to drink a whole lot of green tea, but I had it sweetened. And I dropped this because of the sugar. Getting rid of those extra calories was a good idea, but apparently getting rid of the green tea was not. There’s more research to be done, of course. But the anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies sure point to green tea being a must-have part of a person’s diet.

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14 Jul

Holy crap! Sleep Apena causes brain damage!

Now, I don’t know why this surprises me as much as it does. After all, sleep apnea leads to a whole lot of medical issues. Heart problems, lung problems, high blood pressure…. sleep apnea is Bad Stuff. But I am totally and completely freaked out to find out that sleep apnea can lead to brain damage:

‘The findings make it all the more imperative that OSA be treated as soon as possible to prevent further injury,’ said Harper. ‘The long-term effects of OSA are terribly damaging to memory and thinking processes. Moreover, control of blood pressure is heavily impacted by the breathing condition, and if multiple areas, each connected with one another, are affected, regulation of blood pressure will be all the more difficult if OSA continues.’ (via Medical News Today)

All I can say is: HOLY CRAP!!!

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