Taking a Hypertension Drug at Night
When you go to bed at night, your blood pressure
should fall. If it doesn't happen, you have an increased risk of
cardiovascular problems and you are classified as a "nondipper."
Researchers have now found that taking blood pressure medicine at night,
rather than in the morning, may produce the normal night time decrease
in blood pressure, a dip of at least 10 percent.
Research published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases indicates
that night medication can protect nondippers from heart and kidney
Better Sleep in the ICU
Hospitals' Intensive Care Units are for the sickest
patients. While they need sleep and rest in order to heal, the activity
and noise level in ICUs is not conducive to sleep.
Critical care doctors and nurses are paying more attention to the
problem of interrupted sleep. Many hospitals now try to schedule
multiple types of care to a single visit. Some provide sleep masks, back
rubs, and dim lighting.
Big Risk in Reducing Insulin
A study by the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston
showed that 30 percent of women with Type 1 diabetes were restricting
the amount of insulin they took at least some of the time. Their goal
was to prevent weight gain.
The team followed women in
the study for 11 years and noted any deaths or complications from the
disease. They found that those who reported cutting back on insulin had
a three-fold higher risk of dying early in life, on average at age 45.
Complications included foot problems and kidney disease.
New Tests for Sleep Apnea
Rather than spend a night in a sleep lab, the
American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends home apnea testing for
patients age 18 to 65. Testing devices are small. They measure air flow,
respiratory effort and blood oxygen levels.
For a Better Hay Fever Season
Treat fall allergies before symptoms begin. In some cases, hay fever is a
minor nuisance. But if your symptoms are more persistent, they can make
you miserable. They affect your work and your enjoyment of leisure
activities. Finding the right treatment makes a big difference in how
you will feel.
Weed pollen is the main cause of
allergies in the late summer and early fall. Depending on where you
live, the weeds will include ragweed, sagebrush, pigweed, tumbleweed and
Ragweed is the number one offender, say
doctors at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York. One plant can produce a
billion pollen grains.
Generally, people wait to treat
allergy symptoms until they start. But the best way to get relief is to
treat symptoms before they show up. Allergists at the National Jewish
Medical & Research Center in Denver say that if you know your symptoms
begin in late August, start your medication before that time and
increase your dosage as the season progresses.
fall allergies can be triggered by allergens from another season, the
result is the same.
For runny nose and sneezing: Ask
your doctor for a prescription nasal corticosteroid. Over-the-counter
antihistamines like Claritin can also help.
watery eyes: Prescription eye drops can stabilize the cells in the eyes
that react to allergens and the drops can be used with other treatments.
For nasal and sinus congestion: Over-the-counter decongestants can help.
If not appropriate for your medical condition, see your doctor.
Some allergy sufferers think their antihistamines are losing strength as
the season progresses. Actually, their allergy is progressing and they
need more medication or need to add another