7 Ways You Can Prevent Putting on Pounds During This Pandemic

Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/7-ways-you-can-prevent-putting-on-pounds-during-this-pandemic?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-ways-you-can-prevent-putting-on-pounds-during-this-pandemic

One casual observation I’ve seen during countless Zoom and FaceTime sessions with old friends and acquaintances is that many seem to have gained significant weight. I admit that just by seeing their faces onscreen is not an objective way of documenting weight gain. But from what I’m seeing and hearing from patients during our video sessions, many are telling me that they have gained significant weight in the past 4 to 6 weeks. Some of the reasons why people are putting on pounds are pretty obvious, but some are not.

Here are 7 reasons why you may be gaining weight during the pandemic and what you can do about it.

1. Less Physical Activity

This is the most obvious change for everyone. Since I’ve been doing more video teleconferencing for meetings and patient encounters, I’ve been sitting dramatically for longer periods of time. When I’m seeing patients, I’m often getting up, walking around, greeting patients, walking over to my secretary or another staff member to ask a question. Now, everything is done in front of a computer. 

Sitting for long periods without regular breaks has been found to lead to less productivity and creativity. Regular 5 to 10 minute breaks every 45 to 60 minutes is important not only to increase productivity but also to create a sense of time-limited urgency, like catching up on all your work and loose ends before going on vacation. Everyone has different needs regarding how long to work in-between breaks. The important point is that you need to take the time for regular breaks. 

One new routine (and now ritual) that our family started is a short walk outside along with our dog, Louie. We’ve been doing it after every dinner, as well as after lunch if I can join them. This was a custom I remember doing while growing up in South Korea. It brings back fond memories of my childhood. If you Google health benefits of walking after dinner, you’ll see countless articles and studies supporting this activity, especially with glucose control. 

2. Less Sun Exposure

Many people have jobs that already requires working indoors, but now it’s even a greater proportion, especially with the pandemic lockdowns. Sunlight is a crucial component of your internal circadian clock. It resets the daily 24 hour rhythms of the body, optimizing all body functions, as well as to prepare you for optimal sleep at night. In fact, it’s been recently discovered that every cell in your body has genes for a 24-hour clock.

In addition, sunlight is a major factor in your body’s ability to make vitamin D, which is a hormone …

Sleep Talk: Episode 54 – Sleep in Healthcare Workers

Originally at: https://sleephub.com.au/podcast-54/

Episode 54: Sleep in Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers often have to work shifts that can incorporate long hours and working at times they would normally be sleeping. This can lead to fatigue, sleep difficulties and impact health and performance. To understand these factors and how research is working towards finding solutions we interview Dr Julia Stone of Monash University.

Dr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk – Talking all things sleep.

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Audio Timeline / Chapters:

  • 00:00 – 04:15 Introduction
  • 04:15 – 21:30 Theme – Sleep in Healthcare Workers
  • 21:30 – 22:11 Clinical Tip
  • 22:11 – 23:55 Pick of the Month
  • 23:55 – 25:25 What’s Coming Up?

Next episode: Sleep Medications in Pregnancy

Links mentioned in the podcast: 

Presenters:

Guest interview:

Dr Julia Stone is a Research Fellow in the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University. Her research interests include individual variability in circadian rhythms and sleep, the role of circadian disruption on health and performance, and computational modeling approaches for circadian phase estimation in applied field settings. Julia completed her PhD at Monash University and Alertness CRC investigating modelling sleep and circadian factors in healthcare workers. Julia’s recent research papers are available via her Monash University profile.

Connect with Julia on Twitter – @JStone_247

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira JungeDr Moira Junge is a health psychologist working in the sleep field, who has considerable experience working with people with sleeping difficulties in a multidisciplinary practice using a team-based approach. Moira is actively involved with the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) and a board member of the Sleep Health Foundation. She has presented numerous workshops for psychologists and is involved with Monash University with teaching and supervision commitments. She is one of the founders and clinic directors at Yarraville Health Group which was established in 1998. 

Connect with Moira on Twitter – @MoiraJunge

Dr David CunningtonDr David Cunnington is a sleep physician and director of Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, and co-founder and contributor to SleepHub. David trained in sleep medicine both in Australia and in the United States, at Harvard …

Can Coronavirus Cause You to Gain Weight?

Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/can-coronavirus-cause-you-to-gain-weight?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-coronavirus-cause-you-to-gain-weight

I have to admit that the title is a head fake. There are no studies that I’m aware of that suggests that catching the coronavirus may lead to weight gain. However, I will make a strong argument that for many people, it can promote weight gain indirectly through these 5 possible scenarios:

  1. Altered Eating Patterns

Sheltering in place definitely changed everyone’s eating habits, timing, as well as food quality. There’s no doubt that many more people have to order their meals, which in general tends to be less healthy. Even if you wanted to cook more often at home, everything has changed. Grocery shopping can be an ordeal, with long lines, empty store inventories, and stressful environments. This change in your cooking/eating/purchasing patterns is sure to alter what you eat, when you eat, as well as how much you eat. Watching more online movies at night can also promote snacking later into the evening times. This goes against my most important health recommendation to improve sleep—don’t eat or snack within 3-4 hours of bedtime. 

  1. Altered Exercise Patterns

For those of you who rely on regular gym facilities, your exercise patterns are severely disrupted. Many of you are resorting to online courses or live-streams, but it’s not the same as physically working out at the gym with others or even on your own. It’s likely that the duration or intensity of your exercise routine is now much lower. This can contribute to challenges in losing weight.

  1. Altered Sleep Patterns

Although you may think that you have more time to sleep due to the shelter in place regulations, it’s not necessarily true. Many people are watching more movies or television programs. Oftentimes, it can go later into the night, leading to sleep deprivation. Furthermore, whether you watch on your widescreen TV or computer, extra blue lights from the LED screen will lower an important sleep hormone, melatonin. This will delay the time you want to fall asleep. As mentioned before, watching TV late at night is associated with snacking. It’s proven that lack of sleep significantly promotes weight gain.

  1. Less Sunlight/Lower Vitamin D

Even with the onset of spring and warmer temperatures, sheltering in place lessens time spent outdoors. This means less time for sun exposure, leading to lower levels of vitamin D. In general, most Americans have low levels of vitamin D, and what we ingest in our food supply is not nearly enough. A healthy gut biome (with optimal sleep and healthy diet) is needed for proper vitamin D absorption, as well as conversion to the active form of vitamin D that the body uses as a …

Special Online Event: Presenting My Narcolepsy Story & Book Reading

Originally at: http://julieflygare.com/special-online-event-presenting-my-narcolepsy-story-book-reading/

Join me for a very special FREE ONLINE EVENT!

This Sunday, May 10th at 8:00 p.m. EDT, tune in to Project Sleep’s Facebook Page to hear my inspiring narcolepsy presentation and to read a few favorite passages from my memoir. Full details about the broadcast.

I’ve presented this around the world in Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom, but never live online like this. 

About the Talk:

In this unique broadcast, I will share her journey—from wanting to push narcolepsy out of my life to finding self-acceptance, writing Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy and founding Project Sleep. I will read a few favorite passages from my book. In addition, I will share what’s helped me to “live well” with narcolepsy, offer tips to get started in advocacy and awareness, and answer questions from live viewers.

Spread the Word

Please share this opportunity with friends and family – I promise the broadcast will be fun, thought-provoking and moving — because that’s how I roll!  

Giving this online presentation is honestly a special moment for me so thank you for your support –  I cannot wait! Thank you for your support.

Full Event Details: https://project-sleep.com/special-broadcast-julie-flygares-narcolepsy-story-book-reading-live/

from Blog – Julie Flygare http://julieflygare.com/special-online-event-presenting-my-narcolepsy-story-book-reading/…

How Mouth Breathing May Put You At Risk for Viral Infections

Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/how-mouth-breathing-may-put-you-at-risk-for-viral-infections?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-mouth-breathing-may-put-you-at-risk-for-viral-infections

In his classic book, Shut Your Mouth and Save Your Life (1870), American painter George Catlin described a correlation between pre-civil war Native Americans who were mouth breathers and various chronic illnesses. In a 30 year span (1830 to 1860), he visited over 150 Native tribes in North, Central, and South America. 

Catlin observed that tribes with no Western influences had zero infant mortality, and no childhood deformities or diseases. He noted that Native American nose breathers tended to be much healthier compared to white “civilized” people who were more prone to mouth breathing and tended to be much more sickly in general. He also commented on how beautiful the natives’ smiles were with beautiful teeth.

An interesting story illustrates Catlin’s observation: Two Native Americans were in an argument and knives were drawn. Catlin and others were successful in calming the two men down and eventually, they were reconciled. Catlin later took aside one of the two men and asked if he was afraid of his opponent, who was much bigger and stronger. The man reportedly responded, “No, not in the least; I never fear harm from a man who can’t shut his mouth, no matter how large or how strong he maybe.”

Beautiful smiles and no cavities, but 100 years ago?

Almost 60 years later, Catlin’s observations were mirrored and expanded on in his classic book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (1939) by Dr. Weston Price. An active researcher in the Canadian and American Dental community, Price traveled to numerous remote areas of the world finding that cultures that ate completely off the land had broad faces, beautiful, full smiles, and minimal to no cavities. Only after the adoption of Western diets did their children’s teeth come in crooked with many more cavities and more chronic medical illnesses. 

Why mouth breathing may make you sick

So what does mouth breathing have to do with viral infections? I’ve written before that our nose and sinuses make a gas called nitric oxide. This gas has two important features: proven antimicrobial properties and the ability to increase oxygen uptake in your lungs. There have been many studies showing nitric oxide’s ability to kill viruses, bacteria, fungi and even parasites. In particular, nitric oxide was also found to lower SARS Coronavirus replication by 82% in this study from 2005. The study authors showed that nitric oxide inhibits viral protein and RNA synthesis. 

How nose breathing can increase oxygen in your lungs

This study found that blood oxygen levels were 10% higher in healthy volunteers who were nose breathing compared to mouth breathers. In ICU patients who were intubated, …

The Consequences of Sleep deprivation in the ICU

Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/the-consequences-of-sleep-deprivation-in-the-icu?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-consequences-of-sleep-deprivation-in-the-icu

Imagine if you went to sleep at your normal bedtime, but 5 minutes later, the lights went on. You hear multiple peoples’ conversations right next to your bed. The TV turns on and stays on. A car alarm goes off just opposite your window,  and a siren-screeching ambulance drives by your house every few minutes. 

This may sound a bit far fetched, but this is essentially what most patients who are in the intensive care unit (ICU) experience. It’s not just at night, but 24/7. 

This is what I saw during my recent time spent in a COVID-19 ICU. Fluorescent lights are on constantly. Doctors, nurses, technicians, and various other staff members are repeatedly going in and out of the room. You’re being poked for blood samples on a regular basis. Invasive and noninvasive procedures are performed on a regular basis. You may even  have to be on a ventilator with a tube in your windpipe. 

This experience brought back memories of articles I read many years ago on the consequences of sleep deprivation in the ICU. In particular, there are many papers on delirium during or after time spent in the ICU. A good overview of this subject can be found in this review article in 2014. It’s highly technical in nature, but you can get an idea of the basic concepts just by looking at the figures and tables. 

In general, sleep studies on patients in the ICU generally have much higher  durations of light sleep and arousals, and much lower time spent in deep and REM sleep.

What all these review articles show is that you’re not really getting any quality or good quality of sleep in the ICU. Here are 6 main areas of concern:

Noise

This is the most obvious factor that prevents good sleep quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends average background noise in hospitals not be higher than 30 decibels, with nighttime peaks not higher than 40 decibels. As you can see from this paper, average noise levels range from 55 to 70 decibels and can peak as high as 120 decibels. (A chainsaw or motorcycle reaches 100 decibels.) These levels stay the same at night as well as during the daytime. Staff conversations can reach 85 decibels and were found to be the most disruptive for ICU patients. Sleep studies in ICU patients have found that about 11% of all brain wave arousals and 17% of all awakenings are due to noise.

Light

Most ICU rooms are separated and closed off with a door, but with glass doors and walls. Even if the lights are off inside …

My Coronavirus ICU Experience: Good & Bad [Podcast 90]

Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/covidicu?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covidicu

In this episode, I will reveal my positive and negative insights during the time I spent in our hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). 

Download mp3  |  Subscribe


Shownotes:

Alicia Keys Empire State of Mind Youtube video

 

The post My Coronavirus ICU Experience: Good & Bad [Podcast 90] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

from Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and SnoringBlog – Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring https://doctorstevenpark.com/covidicu?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covidicu…

No Excuses: Get Your Sleep Study Done Now

Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/no-excuses-get-your-sleep-study-done-now?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=no-excuses-get-your-sleep-study-done-now

During this COVID-19 pandemic, most “elective” medical care has come to a standstill. Sleep testing and various surgical options are also included.

Jennifer is a 53-year-old woman who made an appointment to see me this July. This was the earliest appointment she could get with me since my schedule is booked completely for many months. She recently called me to say that her snoring and apneas are getting worse and that her husband is complaining. 

The first good news is that due to the pandemic, our state (NY) changed the requirements to allow doctors to diagnose and treat new patients over the phone or by video. Insurers are now required to pay for this service. Now that our elective operative cases are canceled, I’m doing a lot of video telehealth sessions for new and follow-up patients. For the first time in years, patients are able to “see” me within 1-2 weeks.

The second good news is that the vast majority of testing for obstructive sleep apnea can be done at home using validated home sleep units. In most cases, this still involves going into a sleep lab to see a sleep physician and to physically take home the testing unit. You also have to bring back the unit to the sleep lab. If there’s a concern for other sleep conditions besides obstructive sleep apnea, then you may have to wait for an in-lab study.

The third good news is that there are a number of home sleep testing companies that will mail patients the home sleep testing equipment. The patient sleep with it as directed and mails it back the next day. This is definitely much more convenient, but a doctor still has to order the test. 

In the US, many of the common insurance carriers are requiring home sleep testing as the first-line test to see if you have obstructive sleep apnea. Numerous studies have validated home testing to be relatively reliable compared to in-lab testing. In general, home testing is equivalent to in-lab testing for people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, but may underestimate sleep apnea severity in patients with mild sleep apnea. So if your home sleep test is positive, it’s reliable. If it’s negative, it’s not as reliable, especially if you still can’t sleep. 

Once you’ve been officially diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea through an in-lab study, then the next step in the traditional model is to go back to the sleep lab for a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) titration study. This is another sleep study using a mask with different levels of air pressure to calibrate the exact pressure …

The Link Between Zinc and COVID-19

Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/the-link-between-zinc-and-covid-19?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-link-between-zinc-and-covid-19

One disturbing thing that I noticed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is the main focus on mitigation and finding the cure, whether through a vaccine, hydroxychloroquine, or convalescent plasma. To date, not too many doctors in the media are talking about natural ways of preventing or treating COVID-19 infections. In many cases, they tend to be disdainful of natural remedies, including Dr. Fauci, Director of the CDC. Not too surprisingly, Dr. Mercola has lots to say about this issue, with a number of common-sense recommendations.

The Science Behind Zinc

Let’s start with zinc, which is a common essential mineral that we see in our vitamin tablets. It turns to that it’s vital when it comes to fighting viral infections. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews is one of the most respected evidence-based reviewers of medical literature. In 2013, they reviewed 18 studies combining 1781 subjects comparing zinc vs. placebo. They found that taking zinc reduces the average duration of the average cold in healthy individuals by up to 2 days, depending on how it was taken and total dosage. They also concluded that prophylactic supplementation can significantly lower rates of common viral infections, school absences, and need for antibiotic use. 

Zinc Helpers

Zinc is an important messenger for immune cells and free zinc inside the cells is needed for signaling. It’s also known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The problem is that zinc has a hard time passing through the cell’s wall which is made of fat. To help zinc pass through the cell wall, substances called zinc ionophores are needed. Quercitin and epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG). Quercitin is is a flavonoid antioxidant that’s found in plants, such as foods such as tomatoes, berries, leafy greens and broccoli. EGCG is found in green tea and various fruits and nuts. Both quercetin and EGCG have properties that inhibits the viral 3CL protease enzyme, which the SARS coronavirus  uses to infect cells. (Mercola 8-10). 

In 2010, researchers from Leiden, Netherlands and Chapel Hill, North Carolina showed that zinc plus and a zinc-ionophore (pyrithione) can effectively block viral replication, including polio, influenza, and SARS-corona viruses in cell cultures. The same researchers used MgEDTA (a zinc binding agent), to reverse the anti-viral effects of zinc + pyrithione.

How Hydroxychloroquine May Work

What else is a zinc ionophore? Hydroxychloroquine. Although still controversial for treating COVID-19, this anti-malaria drug has known zinc transporter properties, improving zinc uptake in your body’s cells. Although not verified, a NY physician claims to have successfully treated 699 COVID-19 positive patients with a cocktail of chloroquine, zinc, and azythromycin (an antibiotic).

I’m not recommending that everyone go …

The Fallacy of Test Results [Podcast 89]

Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/tests?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tests Medical tests

In this episode, Kathy and I will discuss an issue that everyone who sees a doctor will have to deal with. With any test, you have to take it with a grain of salt, and this episode will help you place test results in the right context.

Download mp3  |  Subscribe


Show Notes:

  1. Sleep study
  2. Vitamin D – Gominak Interviews (2015 Part 1, 2015 Part 2, 2015 Part 3, 2018 Part 1, 2018 Part 2) Supplements podcast link
  3. Thyroid testing (TSH) Mary Shomon
  4. Ferritin Glyphosate podcast
  5. Hormones podcast
  6. Gluten/Celiac
  7. Radiology

The post The Fallacy of Test Results [Podcast 89] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

from Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and SnoringBlog – Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring https://doctorstevenpark.com/tests?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tests…