The importance of sleep

Sleep

Sleep is as important as breathing and eating! If sleep is compromised the human body will be affected in many ways, one being possible health issues that could have been prevented. An individual should get at least 8 hours of sleep each night to be healthy and balanced. Someone who is ill or healing should get as much sleep as their bodies need. Sleep allows your body to rejuvenate and restore so that you are not pushing your body beyond it’s limits. Looking back I know I pushed myself beyond my limits for far too long which made my already existing health issues exacerbated.

When I quit my job I was sleeping 14 hours each night and that lasted for over 5 months.  I obviously needed it and I slept as much as I could because I couldn’t stay awake or wake to an alarm, I viewed it as my body was telling me that this much sleep is important during this healing process. I still on occasion will sleep 14 hours a night but mostly 10 hours a night and wake on my own and need a nap during the day sometimes for up to 3 hours. Not sure if 3 hours is considered a nap but I’m going to go with it.

It’s a proven fact that women need more sleep than men and I do notice this in many of the husband and wife relationships I hear about. Whether this pertains to you or not it is something to think about and consider a factor in your lifestyle that you may not have thought of before.  There are so many factors that can affect your nightly REM sleep and there are many factors that can aid in getting to sleep and staying asleep for those well deserved rejuvenating hours.

Beneficial:

  • biofeedback
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • bath
  • read
  • certain teas
  • deep breathing
  • diet ~ healthy
  • exercise
  • consistency/schedule
  • temperature
  • mattress/pillow
  • etc

Hindrances:

  • electronics
  • tv
  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • brain injuries
  • worrying
  • stress
  • children (babies)
  • caffeine/alcohol
  • sleep apnea
  • diet ~ unhealthy
  • autoimmune diseases
  • sleep disorders
  • chronic pain
  • chronic illnesses
  • restless leg syndrome
  • etc

They are all self explanatory and loads of helpful information can be found online by professional sites for you to peruse to find which is best for your individual needs. WebMD and MayoClinic are my go to sites for trusted, accurate medical information provided by doctors only! There is always a solution to a problem, it is up to you to solve those issues because you know your body best! I knew I had to find the solution to my health issues but mine where complex, multi faceted and intertwined in a connected way that sleep or lack there of, was the least of my worries. When I quit my job, was when I found healing in sleep!

The body repairs itself while sleeping, the human body needs to restore and rejuvenate for proper brain function, hormone (cortisol), tissue and muscle repair, blood supply, and breathing are all affected in a healthy way when our bodies reach REM sleep.  It is important to reach all stages of the sleeping process in order to get the restorative benefits of sleep and it is just as important to avoid interrupted sleep. Quality is just as important as quantity! Below are three good articles for further reading on how sleep and IBD have a connection.

How Sleep Affects Crohn’s Disease and Digestion

Sleep and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Exploring the Relationship Between Sleep Disturbances and Inflammation

Sleep disturbances and inflammatory bowel disease: a potential trigger for disease flare?

Autoimmune Disorders and Sleep Problems

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10 Signs You Have Histamine Intolerance

Do you have a really odd mix of symptoms? Wondering whether you might have histamine intolerance or a mast cell disorder? While it’s certainly true that histamine issues manifest differently from person to person, there are certain signs of histamine issues that show up time and time again. Here are 10 signs to watch for.

#1 SKIN PROBLEMS

Skin issues are probably one of the most common ways people discover they have histamine issues. Hives after eating too many strawberries or other high histamine foods are a quick indicator that histamine levels are high. Flushing is another common symptom — say, after a glass of wine. A histamine response can be either acute or chronic. Dealing with chronic itching, skin lesions or sores (mastocytosis), overreaction to insect bites, and slow healing can be some chronic skin-related histamine symptoms.

#2 INFLAMMATION

Any type of inflammation can potentially have a histamine connection. This can show up in the form of redness and swelling (with or without pain) and may show up as an enlarged liver or spleen, or liver/spleen/bladder/kidney pain that just doesn’t seem to go away.  The 5 classical signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. When these occur together, you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with inflammation.

#3 CARDIOVASCULAR SYMPTOMS

Histamine intolerance can also cause weird and random cardiovascular symptoms. You could have tachycardia (racing heart), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), palpitations, sudden drops in blood pressure, and even chest pain. You may also find you have unexplained bruises on your body and bleed easily. Learn more about how histamine affects your heart here.

#4 DIFFICULTY REGULATING BODY TEMP

Histamine can also make it difficult for your body to self-regulate and stay in a state of homeostasis. This can lead to episodes of low body temperature, overheating with severe sweating, and an overall sensitivity to heat and cold. Read more about how histamine affects body temperature on this post.

#5 CHRONIC PAIN & MIGRAINES

Thanks to the chronic inflammation that goes with histamine intolerance, you may also deal with chronic pain. This could come in the form of bone or joint pain, general all-over body pain, specific tissue pain, headaches, and migraines. Here are some histamine migraine fixes and here’s a recipe for a painkiller in a glass.

#6 FOOD & ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITIES

Do you deal with gluten intolerance? Are you sensitive to scented candles, perfume, gasoline? Those of us with histamine intolerance don’t do well with a lot of foods or scents/odors. It’s as though anything that stimulates our senses puts us over the top. You can have sensitivities that impact any or all of the five senses: sensitivity to sunlight (eyes), scents (nose), sounds (ears), foods or medications (mouth), and even overreaction to touch. You might swell up like crazy in reaction to an insect bite/sting, and even go into anaphylaxis. You may have an intolerance to medications and even have weird, unexplained reactions to pharmaceutical drugs. You can find a selection of histamine lists here.

#7 DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS

This is a big one. The ways histamine can affect your digestive system are seemingly endless: gastrointestinal pain, bloating, persistent diarrhea, chronic constipation, GERD/acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores/canker sores, IBS, leaky gut, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, malabsorption contributing to vitamin and mineral deficiencies (for example, iron deficiency or B12 deficiency — anemia), and more. Here are 4 Top Gut Histamine Digestion Tips.

#8 FATIGUE

Complete exhaustion. Persistent fatigue, unexplained weakness, shortness of breath, fainting… All these can accompany histamine intolerance and can make it difficult to exercise or even just walk up one flight of stairs. Brain fatigue can also go along with histamine issues causing a general feeling of cognitive impairment/brain fog.

#9 NERVE ISSUES

Some of the weirdest symptoms of histamine intolerance have a nerve connection. You could have numbness or tingling in your face, hands, or feet. Your skin may feel like it’s literally on fire. You could have neuropathic pain without being a diabetic. You might have unexplained anxiety… or all these other symptoms could cause you anxiety!

#10 HORMONE ISSUES & IMBALANCES

Histamine can really mess with your hormones. Thyroid issues are common. Read this post to find out about the oxalic acid connection. Estrogen dominance plays a huge role in histamine issues. Women may have difficult periods with lots of pain and bleeding. Menopause may even bring on histamine intolerance.

AND MORE….

You could have immune system problems, enlarged lymph nodes, recurrent infections, vertigo, tinnitus or hearing problems, eye problems, hair loss…  The list behind this post comes from Mastocytosis Canada’s website. You can also check out http://www.mastcellmaster.com for more information.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defense system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. Among the triggers are a variety of different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. Many sufferers struggle to identify their triggers and continue to discover new triggers for many years after diagnosis.

MCAS forms part of a spectrum of mast cell disorders involving proliferation and/or excessive sensitivity of mast cells, it has been identified since 2007. It features inappropriate mast cell activation with little or no increase in the number of mast cells, unlike in Mastocytosis*. MCAS causes a wide range of unpleasant, sometimes debilitating, symptoms in any of the different systems of the body, frequently affecting several systems at the same time. The onset of MCAS is often sudden, affecting both children and adults, sometimes in family groups, mimicking many other conditions and presenting a wide-range of different symptoms that can be baffling for both the patient and their physician. Often there are no obvious clinical signs since MCAS confounds the anatomy-based structure underpinning the traditional diagnostic approach. Very often Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is hiding in plain sight.

MCAS presents through a wide range of symptoms in multiple body systems, ranging from digestive discomfort to chronic pain, mental health issues and anaphylaxis.

Some key aspects of MCAS are:

  • The symptoms impact more than one body system.
  • People often experience a dramatic step change in symptoms after, perhaps, years of mild symptoms.
  • The symptoms are often episodic or cyclic and wax and wane with varying degrees of intensity, sometimes worsening over time.
  • There is often histamine involvement and will therefore include typical allergy symptoms such as itching, rashes, swelling, inflammation and vomiting.
  • The triggers are many and varied some easily recognized some not, among them environmental chemicals, foodstuffs, heat, cold and exercise.
  • MCAS can present simultaneously in patients who have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) a connective tissue disorder, and/or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

The available treatments for MCAS stabilize the mast cells and mitigate the effects of the chemicals they release, e.g. anti-histamines and mast cell stabilizers. Avoiding triggers is also a key part in coping with this illness. See Support and Resources for publications.

There is a wide range in the variety of patients’ response to treatment. It can often take some time to work out what the best medication and dosage are. An added complication is that many patients suffer adverse reactions to the drugs themselves or to the fillers, colouring and preservatives. With a trial and error approach many patients are successful in moderating their symptoms although quality of life can still be affected.

 

https://www.mastcellaction.org/

Black Friday until November 26th

Black Friday on for one more day!!

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