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Ways to reduce Sodium Chloride intake

Sodium Chloride and the Human Body

Sodium Chloride is a naturally occurring chemical element in many foods needed for the proper functioning of the body. Normal table salt is a mixture of Sodium Chloride and chlorine and consuming it is not necessarily a bad thing, the problem for most Americans is that they consume more than they actually need. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the average person should be consuming less than 2.4 grams of Sodium Chloride per day, which equates to 2,400 milligrams.

Some important facts about Sodium Chloride and its relation to the human body:

The kidneys are responsible for controlling the amount of Sodium Chloride in the body and it is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles. Sodium Chloride helps regulate the balance of fluid in our body and when consumed in excess the kidneys cannot process it. This leads to a build-up of Sodium Chloride within the blood, which can cause a host of medical issues including high blood pressure.

8 ways to reduce Sodium Chloride intake in your daily diet:

• Watch The Sodium Chloride In Your Vegetables

Whether the vegetables you buy are fresh, frozen or canned, it is important to check if any extra salt has been added. If possible, look specifically for produce items that feature a “no salt added” label or any other label along those lines.

• Drain And Rinse Canned Foods

Certain canned foods like Vienna sausage or tuna may contain excess Sodium Chloride from the liquid they are packaged in. Before using or consuming these and other similar products, make sure you drain the fluids completely before serving. You can even lightly rinse these canned foods to remove any residual Sodium Chloride.

• Be Careful When Consuming ‘Quick’ Foods

Quick foods include microwavable snacks and meals, canned soups and other ready-to-eat foods that require little to no preparation. Unlike a home cooked meal where you can control the amount of Sodium Chloride used in preparation, these foods often contain excessive Sodium Chloride. Avoid these types of foods if possible, or opt for lighter versions that have less Sodium Chloride.

• Read The Nutrition Labels Properly

Always read the nutrition labels properly, and make sure you are noting the serving size indicated in the nutritional information. Make sure you know how to properly read nutrition labels as certain foods are known for containing nearly an entire day’s worth of Sodium Chloride in one serving.

• Start Using A Variety Of Herbs And Spices

Salt and salt-based seasoning is one of the main reasons why people consume too much Sodium Chloride each day. While it is a simple and affordable way of making a meal tastier, it is not very healthy. Look into other herbs and spices you can use to give your meals more flavor, and shop specifically for salt-free seasoning.

• Try To Avoid Canned Or Processed Meats

When shopping for meats, fish, or poultry, the fresh variety is always the preferred choice when trying to reduce your Sodium Chloride intake. The processed and canned varieties tend to include excessive Sodium Chloride. Coupled with the salt that people tend to use while cooking, the Sodium Chloride content of the dish is nearly doubled.

• Look For Labels That Indicate ‘Reduced-Sodium Chloride’

When shopping for snacks or food items, look for any reduced-Sodium Chloride options. Key words and labels to scan on the packaging include:
*Low Sodium Chloride
*Reduced-Sodium Chloride
*Light
*Light Sodium Chloride
*Unsalted
Make sure you also read the nutritional information on the packaging to determine the amount of Sodium Chloride you are consuming per serving

• Sodium Chloride Does Not Mean ‘Salty’

People often consider salty as being synonymous with Sodium Chloride. However, there are certain foods, sauces, drinks and other consumables that contain Sodium Chloride and lack the salty taste. For example, a chocolate chip cookie may taste sweet, but can also have high Sodium Chloride content without being salty at all. Another example is the Sodium Chloride content in ketchup. Just be mindful that there could be Sodium Chloride in just about anything you consume, even if it lacks a salty taste.
‘♥Healthy Heart♥’

It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent yourself from having a heart attack; especially if you are at risk. Simple changes to your diet and activity level, managing other medical conditions and taking your prescribed medications are all good ways to be ‘♥Healthy Heart♥’

All you need to know about Insomnia

Insomnia comes from the Latin words “in” and “somnus” which translate to “no sleep”. It is a sleeping disorder defined by poor quality or quantity of sleep. A Reduced ability to perform daytime activities is one of the defining symptoms of insomnia and with as many as 30 to 35 percent adults complaining of insomnia, it is becoming an increasingly common sleep disorder. Treatment involves medical and non-medical therapies. It affects people of all ages, including children, but is mostly prevalent in adults and the elderly.

Types of Insomnia

• Temporary insomnia
• Persistent insomnia

Temporary Insomnia:

Most cases of insomnia are caused due to temporary or stress related issues, including:
• Jet lag
• Physical discomfort
• Working in different shifts (working late or early shifts can disrupt your circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock)
• Stressful life situations
• Recreational drug use
• Cigarette Smoking
• Caffeine intake prior to your bedtime
• Alcohol intoxication or withdrawal
• Eating too much food late in the evening

Persistent Insomnia:

Chronic medical or psychiatric conditions are often the underlying causes of persistent insomnia, and poor sleep habits are also known to significantly contribute to this disorder. An irregular sleep schedule, using the bedroom for other purposes, eating or exercising right before your bedtime, sleeping in a brightly light or noisy room and working in bed are all known to disrupt sleep, including:
• Breathing problems (e.g. asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
• Congestive heart failure
• Obesity
• Acid reflux
• Hyperthyroidism
• Urinary problems (e.g. urinary incontinence)
• Parkinson’s disease
• Dementia

Psychiatric conditions associated with insomnia, include:
• Depression
• Psychosis
• Mania
• Anxiety
• Post-traumatic stress disorder

Sleep related disorders than can cause insomnia, include:
• Sleep apnea
• Sleep walking
• Restless leg syndrome
• Circadian sleep disturbance

Symptoms:
Insomnia typically results in waking up feeling fatigued and lacking energy. It affects the ability to perform daily activities and it is the most obvious symptom of insomnia. Other symptoms include:
• Difficulty in falling asleep
• Waking up suddenly in night or early in the morning
• Not feeling well rested after a night’s sleep
• Daytime fatigue, sleepiness or tension headaches
• Poor attention and concentration
• Increasing errors and mistakes

Treatment for Insomnia
Improvements in lifestyle with regular exercise, good diet and sleep hygiene are essential to sleeping better.
Overcoming any habits negatively affecting your sleep is a must for a goodnight’s sleep.

Sleep Apnea: Incredible Facts about Sleep Disorder

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which an individual’s breathing is interrupted during his sleep. Sleep apnea diagnosis happens when a person unknowingly stops breathing several times during their sleep. When this happens, other vital organs of the body like the brain is not supplied with enough oxygen and this might turn out to be fatal. There are two types of this sleep disorder; the obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common one. It simply occurs when the air passage is blocked when the small mass of soft tissue that is found around the throat collapses when one is asleep.

The other type of this sleep disorder is known as central sleep apneas. This sleep disorder is characterized by the brain which fails to give the signal to the muscles to breath. Research shows that at least 80% of people who have sleep apnea symptoms do not know that they have it. Sleep apnea is mostly noticed by people who are around the person. Here are some amazing facts that you probably need to know about sleep apnea treatment, its diagnosis and symptoms.

SLEEP APNEA: INCREDIBLE FACTS ABOUT SLEEP DISORDER

The Crucial Role that Digital Technology Plays in Improving Sleep Study Scoring Services

Getting a good night’s sleep, from centuries, has been considered an essential part of wholesome well-being of an individual. Yet, an increasing number of people are facing difficulties in enjoying a long restful sleep owing to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Thankfully, sleep researchers and physicians have been making advancements in treating sleeping disorders, helping their patients live a long, healthy life. And the key to alleviating sleep disorders is sleep study scoring, a test that collects vital information such as nasal and oral airflow, heartbeat, eye movement, muscle movement and snoring, among other things, while the patient sleeps.

The Evolution of Sleep Study Scoring

Before the advent of digital technology, sleep study scoring was a ‘paper and pen’ game. Then, researchers or sleep physicians would manually track all essential information and write it on paper for later examination. The heap of papers with patients’ sleeping recording would then be mailed to a sleep technologist who would study, draw inferences and send his finding back to the patient / his doctor, via snail mail. Needless to say, it was a long process with a higher margin for error.

Today, thanks to the digital technology, all the necessary sleep data is automatically tracked and stored, and can easily be shared with the sleep technologist in a matter of seconds. Presently, patients with suspected sleep disorder can undergo Polysomnograph. Under Polysomnograph, patients visit a sleep centre where their sleeping patterns are studied in a lab environment. Although, digital technology has made it possible for sleep centres to record and share sleep data in a more accurate and faster manner, Polysomnograph tests are yet to fully optimize the boon of digital technology.

As sleep study centres face problems of scheduling, lack of health professionals and rising operational costs, outsourcing sleep study scoring is becoming immensely popular and successful. Outsourced agencies are now helping sleep centres perform off-site sleep studies, often from the home of the patient under HST (Home Sleep Test), a less detailed version of sleep study to test presence or exclusion of sleep apnea.

Outsourcing, together with digital technology, is shaping a brighter future for sleep study scoring. In coming years, wearable technology, AI and IoT will make it possible for patients to easily track their sleep patterns and automatically send the findings to their doctor / sleep technologist through intelligent mobile apps.

How Outsourcing Sleep Study Scoring Works?

Sleep study scoring services employ qualified techs who work with patients from remote locations to score their sleep data in facility approved conditions and protocols. The trained techs focus fully on collecting even the minutest of details and share the sleep data to the sleep technologist through a centralized system that allows all parties involved in the sleep study including the patient. Since the data is transferred via HIPPA compliant software and hardware, patients’ privacy is fully protected.

The Way Forward

With as many as 40 million people undiagnosed of sleep disorders in US alone, there is a huge requirement for qualified sleep study scoring professionals who could help sleep centres with a convenient and cost-effective alternative to sleep study scoring.

As more and more people around the globe are getting affected by the ill-effects of sleep disorders in their daily lives, there is a dire need for leveraging digital technology and offering a convenient and affordable sleep study scoring solution to patients from far corners of the world. Outsourcing sleep study scoring is just the right step in that direction.

Top 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Sleep Study Scoring

Today’s business models are heavily dependent on outsourcing considering the cost efficiency and efficacy it brings to a process. Even in the healthcare industry, several functions are increasingly being outsourced to reduce the burden on under staffed hospitals to improve efficiency and patient outcomes.

Sleep study is one such area where outsourcing sleep study scoring can have several benefits for both the patients and sleep labs including timely reporting, high quality and reduced workload. The process involves transferring patient data online in a HIPAA compliant fashion duly protecting patients’ privacy, scoring by sleep specialists hired by the offshore service provider and returning results to the sleep lab in a pre-established timeframe. Most sleep scoring companies only hire sleep scorers with prior experience, as quality assurance is a big differentiating factor for these companies.

Leveraging technology to improve patient outcomes is the only way forward for the healthcare industry. Here are top 5 benefits of outsourcing sleep study scoring:

Overcoming staff shortages – Sleep labs across the country are over burdened and understaffed, thanks to a shortage of trained staff and increasing awareness of sleep disorders amongst the population combined with an aging populace. Outsourcing sleep scoring can free up more staff for better patient care. By reducing the workload, it can be an effective measure against staffing issues by allowing employees to take time off and avoid extra shifts preventing employee burn out and improving performance as well as freeing up time for patient follow up.

Faster results – Outsourcing sleep scoring ensures faster turnaround time pivotal to patient health, as undue delays only prolong the treatment. Sleep scoring facilities have dedicated professionals only engaged in analyzing the transferred data resulting in faster assessments meeting strict quality criterion.

Cutting down operational costs – Outsourcing sleep scoring can cut down operational costs by alleviating staff shortages and reducing costs of training employees for sleep scoring. It also increases profitability by reducing overheads in terms of payouts and managing human resource. Outsourcing sleep scoring is also much more cost effective, as off-site service providers usually provide expert services at more affordable rates.

Clearing backlogs quickly – Sleep scoring facilities provide the convenience of high turn around time without compromising on quality. Outsourcing sleep scoring to a third party can help clear backlog quickly with most service providers delivering results in 24-48 hours. This helps physicians to timely diagnose patients resulting in improved care.

Improved patient outcomes – Outsourcing sleep scoring can lead to better patient outcomes in terms of improved care and patient satisfaction due to faster turn around time and freeing up time for sleep specialists at the lab to provide personalized support and follow up with patients.

With more than 80 different kinds of sleep disorders identified, the demand for sleep study is on the rise. As more and more people recognize the importance of a good night’s sleep, sleep labs will have to evolve to accommodate more patients in cost effective manner without compromising on quality and delivering timely results. Sleep scoring outsourcing can be an effective way to achieve these outcomes.

HOW TO PREVENT SLEEP DISORDERS AND MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?

Do you know that more than $15 billion are added to the National Health Care costs with more than 70% Americans suffering from some kind of sleep disorder?

If you look visibly tired on most days, have trouble waking up and cannot start the day without a pit stop at your nearest Starbucks, it is possible you are not getting enough sleep leading to low productivity and efficiency.

Tiredness, fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, and even obesity are common symptoms as well as triggers for sleep disorders.

What is a Sleep Disorder?

Good sleep is necessary for good health. A sleep disorder is a medical condition affecting your sleep patterns and quality of sleep adversely. A large population suffers from chronic sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.

Do you know there are more than 84 kinds of sleep disorders known in the medical world?

Types of Sleep Disorders

Insomnia – One of every three people in US suffers from insomnia or sleeplessness at some point in their life. The main culprits leading to this condition are stress, anxiety, too much caffeine or liquor and other lifestyle factors. The patient may not get restful sleep or find it difficult to sleep at night and feel sleepy at odd hours. Following tips can help prevent insomnia:

  • Maintain a routine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Cut down on caffeine
  • Avoid heavy meals at night
  • Relax your mind before sleeping with light music, light reading or deep breathing

Restless Legs Syndrome – This disorder is characterized by uncomfortable sensations felt in the limbs while sleeping. Most patients constantly move their legs while sleeping and may also wake up during night to move around as movement soothes the tingly, prickly or painful sensations they feel while sleeping. About 10% Americans suffer from this sleep disorder that may be alleviated with the following remedies:

  • Drink water and having bananas to keep your potassium level in check
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid too much sugar or starch in your meals before bedtime as it can cause blood-sugar fluctuations
  • It can also be a good idea to maintain a diary of triggers so that you can identify and avoid them

Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea is found in all age groups but more than half the cases are reported in patients 40 years or above in age. The patient feels obstruction in breathing that disrupts the sleep. The pause can last up to few seconds and normal breathing usually resumes with a gasp. As the airway becomes choked during sleeping, the condition can be serious if left undiagnosed. Over 10 million Americans suffer from this disorder and many cases remain undiagnosed. Here are some tips that can prevent or help with mild cases of sleep apnea:

  • Lose weight
  • Treat congestion and other breathing problems promptly
  • Stop smoking and limit the intake of alcohol
  • Consult a physician who can recommend a CPAP mask and other effective treatments

Conclusion:

Minimum 7-8 hours of restful sleep is essential for our bodies to function optimally. If you are not getting adequate sleep, have problem falling asleep or do not feel refreshed after a night’s sleep, it is time to analyze your sleep habits. It is probable you are suffering from a sleep disorder and small lifestyle changes can help in alleviating the symptoms. For chronic cases, your physician may refer you to a sleep center, where specialists can design effective treatments based on your sleep patterns.

THE OLDER YOU GET THE LESSER YOU SLEEP – IS NOT THE NORM.

Irregular sleep patterns are common as you grow older but, they can also be triggered due to medical and psychiatric illness, especially in conditions that cause pain or depression. A common misconception we hear a lot today is that you need lesser sleep as you grow older, when in fact you need the same amount of sleep that you got when you were younger.

You may not be able to sleep for 8 hours at a stretch as your sleep is easily interrupted by the usual disturbance that did not affect you before. This keeps your body from reaching deeper stages of sleep. Studies show that people over the age of 60 awaken close to 150 times a night when compared younger people waking up about 5 times a night. Although these interruption go unnoticed at the time they are a sign of inadequate sleep.

Insomnia is one of the most common complaints in people over the age of 65. Asthma, heart disease and arthritis are well known conditions along with pain, fever, coughing and itching to contribute to Insomnia. To make things worse drugs used to treat these conditions also disrupt sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques and keeping a close watch on your sleep can help in
such cases.

Many people get used going to bed early and rising early but some find it hard as they are ready to sleep earlier than desired. This “Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome (ASPS) can be quite disruptive to your social life as you wake up too early and are in bed before others. Exposure to outdoor light during late afternoons and early evenings can help as bright light is known to have an effect on the timing of the sleep/wake cycle and delays the feeling of sleepiness in the evenings and postpones morning awakenings.

SLEEP DISORDERS – A SILENT WARNING.

Are you sleeping a lot and still feeling sleepy during the day? Don’t take this too lightly as this could be a sign of a sleeping disorder which could cause cardiac problems.

A group of 70,000 people, evaluated by The Sleep Heart Healthy Study over 10 years revealed that the incidence of heart attacks was higher in people who slept for less than six hours. People who slept nine or more hours also had increased risk for heart attacks. Although it is unclear why, the study clearly suggested an association between sleep and heart problems.

Apart from cardiac problems, lack of sleep has also been associated with hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, obesity and stress all of which increase risk for heart disease. Research has confirmed a strong link between Sleep Apnea and Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and Heart Disease. Problems like Obesity and Hypertension are significantly under-diagnosed, both of which are also common symptoms of Sleep Apnea.

In more than 50-60% of patients with Sleep Apnea, hypertension is better controlled once Sleep Apnea is treated. Sleep Apnea can also lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and heart failure and it untreated can increase the risks by three times.