A stroke and sleep time

Oversleeping may cause a stroke. That’s what researchers found ay the University of Cambridge in England. Ironically, the USA National Institute of Health indicates lack of sleep can lead to a stroke. To what end? In most instances vascular plaque may cause a stroke as well as a heart attack. Research does offer a great deal of ambiguity. Often there are many things that are overlooked. Let’s consider possibilities of a stroke and sleep time.

Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? This may be an early symptom of a possible stroke. Like a heart attack, a stroke is a medical emergency. The difference is it affects the brain. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. While there ay be similar causes, a stroke is very different than a heart attack. New research appears to indicate that stroke possibilities may be associated with the amount you sleep.

Strokes might be related somehow to how long you sleep. Strokes often result from vascular conditions that block natural blood flow. Blockages in the arteries around your heart may lead to heart problems. Blockages in the carotid arteries (at the left and right sides of your neck) may be likely causes of possible strokes. The carotid arteries supply blood to the large, front part of the brain, where thinking, speech, personality and where sensory and motor functions reside. A stroke occurs when a blockage affects a certain part or parts of the brain.

There are different types of stroke occurrences. A transient ischemic attack (also called TIA or “mini-stroke”) is one of the most important warning signs of a stroke. A TIA occurs when a blood clot briefly blocks an artery that supplies blood to the brain. TIA are indicators of the likelihood of getting a stroke. The USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists three main types of stroke: ischemic stroke (caused by blood clots) hemorrhagic stroke (caused by ruptured blood vessels that cause brain bleeding) transient ischemic attack (TIA) (a “mini-stroke,” caused by a temporary blood clot). Fewer people with high cholesterol levels are monitored for brain vessel blockages than heart blockages. Can brain blood blocks be behind why some need to oversleep?

According to the National Sleep Foundation guidelines, there are specific ranges of sleep time that experts recommend for health and performance. We can surmise that interrupted or short sleeping can be unhealthy but what about sleeping too long?

Britain’s Cambridge University just released a study that sleeping too long may possibly increase the risk of having a stroke. Among older people, sleeping too long may double their risks. Based on raw scores, The absolute risk of stroke was 4.1% for less than six hours’ sleep, 3.1% for six to eight hours, and 5.3% for over eight hours, before isolating age, sex, and other differences within samples. During a 10-year study with 346 participants , researchers reported “After adjusting for various factors including age and sex, the researchers found that people who slept longer than eight hours a day were at a 46% greater risk of stroke than average.”

Considering those possibilities that consistent oversleeping beyond guidelines might result in possible brain damage makes a stroke and sleep time somewhat frightening.

According to the USA National Institute of Health, a lack of sleep can also be dangerous and may be the cause of some vehicular accidents. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. While some small sleep studies indicate that Sleep Apnea interrupted sleep may lead to a type of stroke, the correlations are based on small samples.

Yet there’s more than Sleep Apnea that can interrupt sleep. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes. On the reverse trend, some dieters may lose sleep due to low sugar levels during sleep.

Your body and brain require lots of energy during sleep. Rapid Eye Movements or REM are very active states when you dream and many neurocognitive processes are automatically performed. Abnormal sugar levels can result in hunger pains as you get up for a snack or hot chocolate (which may have caffeine to keep you awake).

During dream sleep, which occurs around 4 times per full sleep period, electrical brain signals are similar to those when you are awake. While your body is paralyzed, your active within your dreams. You have rapid eye movements or REM beneath closed eyelids when you dream. Dream sleep is very dynamic as chemicals help code memories and maintain cognitive mechanisms. They occur in your sleep pattern whether you sleep 6hours or eight hours. These are normal and healthy. There is no correlation with stroke.

The association of stroke incidence and long sleep is part of the EPIC-Norfolk program that provides funding to the University of Cambridge in England. Researchers from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge followed just under 10,000 people aged 42-81 years of age from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk cohort over 9.5 years. During 1998-2000 and then again four years later, they asked the cohort how many hours on average they slept in a day. Analysis associated oversleep with stroke incidence but exactly what the reason might be is unclear.

Many illnesses may disrupt normal sleep patterns and pain or discomforts may disturb sleep. While napping may offer considerable health benefits, it depends when and how efficiently you sleep and at what levels of sleep patterns. Napping at the wrong times may each day may chronically disrupt normal circadian patterns of habitual sleep.

The Cambridge study used cancer patients as part of the sample. Irregular and long sleep are likely cohorts as patients advance through the stages. Can stroke occur? Possibly but how do you correlate it with normal over sleeping?

Chronic Circadian disruptions have been shown to help elevate certain cancer and cardiovascular diseases. There are many circadian disruptions that can significantly alter how briefly or how long you sleep. Making up on lost sleep may be difficult.

Sleeping longer on weekends may disrupt your weekday patterns so that, when you return to work, you feel tired. NREM sleep and REM sleep continue to alternate through the night in a cyclical fashion. On weekends you are likely to sleep and awaken naturally. On work days, many use an alarm. If you awaken from your last REM you are likely to feel more refreshed than awakening from an NREM cycle. An alarm doesn’t always synch with your sleep patterns.

Try to sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation guidelines. Good habitual sleep is as healthy as activities and sleeping too briefly or too long as habits may result in some type of problem. My perspective is not to lose sleep over it. There are dozens of more plausible issues that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. There are many sleep specialists that perform sleep studies to help you find your normal sleep pattern and how to get there.

If you have high LDL cholesterol levels, it might be wise to investigate blockages in your carotid arteries. Elevated cholesterol isn’t just a cardiology issue. The test is a painless sonogram. Try to correlate the results. Obstructive sleep apnea may result in sleepiness through the day and carotid artery disease. Ergo, the possibility of a stroke.

New 2015 cholesterol diet guidelines

Where there is certainty, there are equal measures of uncertainty. Any true statement may prove to be false.

Diet is a four-letter word to many but perceived as one of the more significant dirty words. Diet or maintaining a diet is a hard thing to do and there’s no certainty of achieving goals. Yet, USA has been publishing diet guidelines since 1980 and a rumor has begun that the 2015 cholesterol diet guidelines may allow broader choices. Is that good or is that bad?

The media is abuzz that reports that the federal government is poised to drop its decades-long warning about eating foods high in cholesterol as ways to manage cholesterol and heart disease. Every five years, the United States government updates a set of Dietary Guidelines intended to help its citizens make healthier food choices. This year is the year it’ll happen. The report has yet to be released. It is due around Fall 2015. HHS and USDA jointly publish and release the 8thedition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The linear truths that dietary cholesterol increases cardiovascular plaque has become myth as more see high cholesterol levels as part of corrupted genetic lines. Cholesterol is naturally manufactured by your body. Some generate more, many less. The forms of good or bad cholesterol lie in the mix. We’ve been told for decades to limit cholesterol-rich foods, but now, that advice may be changing. A panel of top experts appointed by the federal government is expected to update cholesterol diet guidelines on what we should be eating. Eggs may be the vogue food again for cholesterol management.

For the past 45 years, the rule was to limit cholesterol dietary intake to no more than 300 milligrams per day. That’s just about 2 eggs. The USA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee or DGAC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) meet every five years to determine what Americans should eat to maintain healthy lives.

2010 was the last report and that will remain in effect until the 2015 report is released. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released on January 31, 2011, emphasize three major goals for Americans:
•Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight
•Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood
•Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains

The 2015 guidelines have not as yet been published and already media experts are speculating on clues that new dietary cholesterol diet guidelines may be the deal breaker or maker for cholesterol healthfulness.

Anyway, the central focus of these USA dietary guidelines targets what’s considered healthy for the average American. For those people struggling to keep cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and weight at normal levels, the advisement of physicians still takes precedent. They require management from diet to activity to medications. While genetics may play significant roles, these indicators are still considered potential risks for cardiovascular diseases. What’s good for the gander may not be good for this smaller group of geese.

Redefining dietary cholesterol is an attractive things and makes for great news stories and viewers. Clues from December 2014 until possible release of the 2015 cholesterol diet guidelines by the end of 2015 are mere speculation.

News of broader cholesterol diet guidelines is encouraging for promotion of dairy, meats, and eggs. It drives our economy. Does it drive overall health? Should the media think more thoroughly at conveying truths amidst consequences?

I honor freedom of the press but there are many uneducated consumers that view reports as gospel. Simply, the new 2015 cholesterol diet guidelines are (at this point) not released. Truths may be falsehoods and nothing is certain until those guidelines are published.

Before ordering those egg sandwiches, get your blood tested. See if you’re in the normal range. If you aren’t, pursue it further for your own personal benefits and wellness.

Britain debates 3-parent babies and mitochondria

When we talk about nature and nurture in child rearing, nature meant mom and dad’s genes. What happens when a third party is introduced? That is what Britain is beginning to debate. It can stir a lot of feelings about traditional and progressive marriages. New concepts and biological research seem to point to mitochondria cellular components that help bring energy to different cells.

The long hope of British scientists is to help eliminate mitochondrial diseases that can result in nerve, brain, muscle, and organ diseases. The debate rides on many traditional and progressive issues. Based on theories and research, testing the effect of using a 3-parent baby with an extra sample of mitochondria may take generations to foresee a reasonable outcome. Then again, can science be inadvertently producing a class of monsters?

The British aren’t the only ones targeting mitochondria alterations at a genetic level. The United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA is pondering implications. The scope of questons include how genes are transmitted through subsequent generations.

As one of the countries offering nationwide health insurance, Britain’s stake is more than bottom-line economics. People with mitochondrial diseases are significant burdens to the nation’s insurance budget. Finding a way to reduce incidences is a good long-term investment for Britain, beyond moral indignation.

USA has no such program. Funding can be an economic disaster. With about 100 years as a gap for successful return, it is a risky long-term investment. There’s more study needed on mitochondria and how, when and why they mutate. As a business, can quality control be assured? How will research and clinical evaluations be studied with no or limited insurance policies? Is it profitable? Many US businesses that championed progress in the 1900’s are no longer around. Can USA rely that current champions will be around to see the results of 3-baby parenting?

The scientific goal is a noble one. Three-parent babies are human offspring with three genetic parents, created through a specialized form of in-vitro fertilization The future baby’s mitochondrial DNA comes from a third party. The procedure is intended to prevent mitochondrial diseases including muscular dystrophy and some heart and liver conditions that currently disable offspring with disabling conditions.

Essentially, nurture is a 2-parent baby. Nature is still 2 parents but with sperm from a “healthy” donor. You don’t have to change your bedroom furniture. The 3-parent baby is a choice of several options. At its early stage, it’s exciting and bringing mitochondria into the forefront as a means of fighting or preventing mitochondrial diseases.

Mitochondria are important aspects of a cell that theoretically account for 90% of the energy required to sustain cellular health. What can happen when the mitochondria fail? Diseases of the mitochondria appear to cause the most damage to cells of the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles, kidney and the endocrine and respiratory systems. Mitochondria are associated as powerhouses of genetic material within cells. They help provide energy to your entire body. It’s simple but, at the same time, mitochondrial disease can effect all of use to certain degrees.

Conventional biology instruction associates mitochondria at cellular levels but recent research cite evidence that it is oversimplified. It takes about 3000 genes to make a mitochondrion. Mitochondrial DNA encodes just 37 of these genes.Mitochondrial diseases are the result of either inherited or spontaneous mutations within different aspects of DNA which lead to altered functions of the proteins or RNA molecules that normally reside in mitochondria. Mitochondria are also associated for cholesterol metabolism, for estrogen and testosterone synthesis, for neurotransmitter metabolism, and for free radical production and detoxification. Cellular roles in transmitting genetic diseases seem a little more complicated than a crap shoot. In the human condition, diet and health management may be fighting the norms of your cells.

The North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium or NAMDC is one of several research institutes that study the many roles that mitochondria play behind disabling diseases that can span lifetimes. Over a couple years, Britain scientists have been developing research and techniques to produce the first 3-parent babies as a revolution betting on healthier outcomes. As with all revolutions and research results, it is a role of dice type of gambling.

The stakes are high. Responsible parents often debate about having children when development or neuro and muscular diseases are in their lineage. Birthing babies with autism, muscular dystrophy, and others pose incredible stress to parents and growing children as they attempt to cope with disabilities in a very able world.

Equally disruptive is that some of these mitochondrial glitches may remain dormant through a life-span and attack adults at many ages. This can be equally shocking and often misdiagnosed by medical specialists. Many of these mitochondrial myopathies introduce vast symptoms that take normal people into tunnels of greater challenges, with no available cure.

The gamble of theories that challenge traditional thought of the etiologies of many diseases may actually be results of this gelatinous material that resides in each and every human cell.

For those suffering with neuropathies, myopathies, and countless other diseases that may benefit from 3-parent baby research, the results are of a very long range. We are counting on better statistics from future generations. Further mitochondrial research may result with better treatments for current diseases but is more hope than fact.

Faiths who have lost political struggles with homosexual marriages might see 3-parent babies as further affronts to religious traditions. The thought of a 3-parent baby does seem puzzling in battling something that causes mitochondrial disease. There are choices of pre-natal testing to discover whether your baby has mitochondrial disease. At that point, you might choose to abort the child. The Right to Life movement hotly debates this choice. For all god’s miracles, there are the victims.

Yet…if 3-parent baby research can play roles to route selective, healthy mitochondria and effectively reduce mitochondrial diseases, this may be a great thing. Research has a target to fund. The rest are matters of hopes and prayers.

Scientific reason is questionably noble. Many experiments, however, are like quixotic battles with dragons in search of a holy grail. Mitochondria and 3-parent babies may or may not partner with positive conclusions. In successive generations, there may be more invasive dilemmas facing humanity than mitochondrial disease. Or mitochondrial disease may be more pervasive. Is it a roll of the dice? Either the fictional Frankenstein or the majestic hero awaits. Beyond dreams lie answers that we may not live to realize. There are other choices to control mitochondria diseases and we may want to deal with their moral implications before jumping into newer, possibly consequential technologies.