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In this episode, Kathy and I have an enlightening discussion about the good, bad, and ugly aspects of light. Some of the topics covered will be:

  • How light exposure can affect your appetite hormones and cause weight gain
  • How sun exposure may lower your risk of cancer
  • Why working at night may increase your risk for cancer.
  • How new technology is ruining our sleep and making us fat
  • How to use natural sunlight to sleep better and stay thin.

Download mp3 |  Subscribe |  Transcript

Shownotes:

Lights Out book by TS Wiley

Blue blocking glasses

F.lux – Computer screen blue light filter

Bright light box for seasonal affective disorder

7 Ways Black Electrical Tape Can Help You Sleep Better

Nobel 2017 award in medicine and physiology

Vitamin D levels and risk of cancer study

Addressing the health benefits and risks, involving vitamin D or skin cancer, of increased sun exposure 

Sunscreen SPF guide on EWG

 

The post How Light Can Be Good, Bad, Or Ugly [Podcast 68] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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In this episode, Kathy and I have an enlightening discussion about the good, bad, and ugly aspects of light. Some of the topics covered will be:

  • How light exposure can affect your appetite hormones and cause weight gain
  • How sun exposure may lower your risk of cancer
  • Why working at night may increase your risk for cancer.
  • How new technology is ruining our sleep and making us fat
  • How to use natural sunlight to sleep better and stay thin.

Download mp3 |  Subscribe |  Transcript

Shownotes:

Lights Out book by TS Wiley

Blue blocking glasses

F.lux – Computer screen blue light filter

Bright light box for seasonal affective disorder

7 Ways Black Electrical Tape Can Help You Sleep Better

Nobel 2017 award in medicine and physiology

Vitamin D levels and risk of cancer study

Addressing the health benefits and risks, involving vitamin D or skin cancer, of increased sun exposure 

Sunscreen SPF guide on EWG

 

The post How Light Can Be Good, Bad, Or Ugly [Podcast 68] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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I was extremely saddened to hear that Dr. Christian Guilleminault, one of the major pioneers in the field of sleep medicine, recent passed away at the age of 80. He was the first to coin the term, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. A prolific researcher with countless publications, he was a mentor and friend to numerous sleep medicine and other related healthcare professionals. 

Dr. Guilleminault radically changed my perspective on how I look at sleep apnea when I read his landmark article on upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). He showed in sleepy, thin young men and women that they can stop breathing and wake up dozens of time every hour without meeting the formal criteria for apneas. This was shown using esophageal pressure catheters, which detected progressively lower chest pressures with successive breaths, ending with brain wave arousals from deep to light sleep.

UARS patients present differently from classic sleep apnea patients, with severe chronic fatigue (but not drowsiness), headaches, anxiety depression, low blood pressure, cold hands and feet, hypothyroidism, or digestive issues. 

He was also one of the first to describe sleep apnea in young children, attributed sleep-walking to sleep apnea, and was instrumental in collaborating with surgeons at Stanford University legitimizing surgical options for sleep apnea. He was influential in shifting sleep doctors’ thinking from looking at sleep apnea mainly due to obesity to craniofacial factors. 

I was privileged to have interviewed Dr. Guilleminault about UARS many years ago on my podcast. To hear the recording, please click here.

Thank you Dr. Guillminault for opening my eyes to the importance of good breathing for good sleep. 

The post A Sad Day for Sleep Medicine appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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In this episode, Kathy and I will talk about a very common topic, hormones. In particular, how lack of sleep can negatively affect all your hormones, which can potentially aggravate weight gain, poor energy, and increased stress.

Download mp3  |  Subscribe |  Transcript

Shownotes

Hormones covered:

  • Thyroid
  • Estrogen and progesterone
  • Cortisol
  • Melatonin
  • Atrial natriuretic peptide
  • Insulin
  • Grehlin and leptin
  • Vitamin D
  • Growth hormone

Feeling Fat, Fuzzy or Frazzled, by Dr. Richard Shames

Atrial Natriuretic Peptide article by Dr. Deb Wardly

Vitamin D interview with Dr. Stasha Gominak

Sicker, fatter, Poorer by Dr. Leo Trasande

Sleep, Interrupted by Dr. Steven Y. Park

Second Spring by Dr. Maoshing Ni

The Woman Code by Alyssa Vitti 

The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Christiane Northrup 

Keep Swimming Clip in Finding Nemo

https://doctorstevenpark.com/hormones

Breathe Better Sleep Better Live better Podcast 

The post How Sleep Affects Your Hormones [Podcast 67] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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Summer is in full swing and there’s no better time to get fit and get slim than now. And I know that a lot of our listeners are starting their Keto, Paleo, Whole30 or whatever diets that are really popular right now. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But in this podcast Kathy and I will talk about an issue that not a lot of people think about when they’re going on a diet or they’re starting off trying to lose weight.

And that issue is—are you sleeping well? Are you sleeping long enough? And that’s something that most of us don’t think about. We don’t connect sleep with weight, but that’s a huge, huge problem that one needs to address before you do any sort of diet regimen. 

Note that we now have transcripts available, which you can access by clicking on the link below the video player. 

Download mp3 | Subscribe | Transcript

Show Notes

Glamour article on weight loss

Glamour weight loss experiment

Youtube video on nasal dilators

Toxins podcast

Candlelight disrupts circadian rhythm study. News article

Knee LED study NYT article

How to optimize your bedroom for better sleep. mykoreanamericanhome.com

NOSTRILS post

Prescription medications podcast blogpost

The post How Better Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight [Podcast 66] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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In our last podcast, Kathy and I talked about how many commonly prescribed prescription medications can either make you gain weight or ruin your sleep. In this episode, we will discuss 7 steps you can take to prevent ever needing them, or begin to wean off these medications.

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Show Notes:

  1. Prioritize sleep like your most important appointment 
  2. Optimal breathing while awake and while sleeping
  3. Sleep hygiene 

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome 

Obstructive sleep apnea 

  1. Eat a healthy, organic toxin-free diet

Fed-Up Movie

  1. Eliminate environmental toxins or allergies

Podcasts on home toxins (part 1part 2)

  1. Light toxicity
  2. Phone and email restrictions
  3. Vitamins and supplements

Reader Survey Link

doctorstevenpark.com/medications

The post How to Sleep Better Without Medications [Podcast 65] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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Prescription medications are the mainstay of modern medicine. But what we don’t realize is that many common medications have the potential to make you fat or ruin your sleep. Please join Kathy and me as we discuss 12 Medications that can Make You Fat or Ruin Your Sleep. This is Part 1, and in our next podcast, we will go over various ways to avoid prescription medications. 

Download mp3 | Subscribe

Shownotes:

3 reasons why we shifted from acute to chronic care for medications

3 pathways that medications aggravate sleep problems and weight gain 

  1. High blood pressure medications (lower melatoninand nasal congestion)
  2. Acid reducers (proton pump inhibitors)
  3. High cholesterol medications
  4. Antibiotics 
  5. Antihistamines
  6. Birth control pills

Estrogen dominanceDr. John Lee

Wisdom of Menopauseby Dr. Northrup

Estrogen promoting environmental toxins podcast

Endocrine disruption podcast (Trasande)

  1. Viagra and other medications for erectile dysfunction (nasal congestion)
  2. Oral steroids
  3. Antidepressants  

Reader comment about Paxil 

  1. Mood stabilizers

Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS)

  11. Stimulants for ADHD

  12. Sleeping pills

Interview with Dr. Karkow on treatment resistant insomnia

Blog response on 7 Drugs That Can Cause OSA

https://doctorstevenpark.com/medication

The post 12 Medications That Can Make You Fat or Ruin Your Sleep [Podcast 64] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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Prescription medications are the mainstay of modern medicine. But what we don’t realize is that many common medications have the potential to make you fat or ruin your sleep. Please join Kathy and me as we discuss 12 Medications that can Make You Fat or Ruin Your Sleep. This is Part 1, and in our next podcast, we will go over various ways to avoid prescription medications. 

Download mp3 | Subscribe

Shownotes:

3 reasons why we shifted from acute to chronic care for medications

3 pathways that medications aggravate sleep problems and weight gain 

  1. High blood pressure medications (lower melatoninand nasal congestion)
  2. Acid reducers (proton pump inhibitors)
  3. High cholesterol medications
  4. Antibiotics 
  5. Antihistamines
  6. Birth control pills

Estrogen dominanceDr. John Lee

Wisdom of Menopauseby Dr. Northrup

Estrogen promoting environmental toxins podcast

Endocrine disruption podcast (Trasande)

  1. Viagra and other medications for erectile dysfunction (nasal congestion)
  2. Oral steroids
  3. Antidepressants  

Reader comment about Paxil 

  1. Mood stabilizers

Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS)

  11. Stimulants for ADHD

  12. Sleeping pills

Interview with Dr. Karkow on treatment resistant insomnia

Blog response on 7 Drugs That Can Cause OSA

https://doctorstevenpark.com/medications1

The post 12 Medications That Can Make You Fat or Ruin Your Sleep [Part 1, Podcast 64] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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Modern prescription medications are touted as a major advance in promoting health and keeping us alive longer. I beg to differ. What I observe instead is that in many cases, commonly prescribed prescription medications can wreak your sleep or make you fat, or both. As I have stated many times on this blog and in my book, Sleep, Interrupted, poor sleep promotes weight gain, and weight gain promotes sleep related breathing problems. Nasal congestion from medications may also ruin your sleep.

For example, Jane is a 51 year old woman who came to see me for her recurrent sinus infections and headaches. She took 5 courses of antibiotics this past year. Her doctor ordered a sinus CT which revealed that her sinuses were clear with no evidence of infection, except for a deviated nasal septum. Upon further questioning, she admitted that about 2 years ago, she gained about 15 pounds. Around the same time period, she was placed on a medication for high blood pressure, and was given another medication for chronic migraine headaches. She also started taking sleeping pills occasionally for insomnia. As expected, she admitted that her sleep quality had worsened and now wakes up to urinate about 2 times every night.

Looking back on Jane’s medical history, I noted four risk factors for weight gain and sleep loss. Besides the fact that she is in her pre-menopausal years (lower progesterone with lower tongue muscle tone), she was exposed to three medications which likely contributed to her weight gain in the past few years. What most patients (and many doctors) don’t realize is that a high number of prescription medications have the potential to cause weight gain, ruin your sleep, or both. If you’re taking a prescription medication, take a look at your package insert or look online for potential side effects. It’s more than likely that insomnia or weight gain will be on the list.

Here are 12 of the most commonly prescribed medications that can ruin your sleep or make you fat:

High Blood Pressure Medications and Weight Gain

Beta-blockers (such as atenolol, metoprolol, nadolol, propranolol) lower the effects of the hormone epinephrine, which constricts blood vessels. Alpha-blockers (prazocin, doxazocin or terazocin) help to relax muscles in the small vessels by blocking norepinephrine. Both of these classes of medications are known to promote weight gain. Other classes of antihypertensives including ACE inhibitors do not have this effect. 

Another way that high blood pressure medications can ruin your sleep is by blocking the pathway for making your sleep hormone, melatonin. Light stimulates receptors in the eye that stimulate nerves in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (near the optic nerve), which then connects to the thalamus then drops down to the spinal cord, connecting with the superior cervical ganglion, and then back up to the pineal gland, which makes melatonin. Light suppresses melatonin, whereas darkness enhances melatonin. Since the superior cervical ganglion is part of the sympathetic nervous system, taking beta blockers can potentially lower melatonin levels.

Medications that lower sympathetic tone can also cause nasal congestion. Since blood flow in your nose is regulated by a delicate balance between the sympathetic (fight or flight response) and parasympathetic (rest, digestion and reproduction) nervous systems, lowering sympathetic tone can cause pooling of blood in your nasal tissues. Nasal congestion can aggravate sleep-breathing problems.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

It’s not an understatement to say that many Americans suffer from reflux disease. Despite the fact that the most commonly prescribed anti-reflux medications don’t address reflux at all, proton pump inhibitors (such as omeprazole/Prilosec and esomeprazole/Nexium) are promoted to treat gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). In our field (ENT), it’s commonly given for laryngo-pharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD). Although seemingly safe when first introduced, there are now a number of troubling long-term findings. This includes higher risk of dementia, pneumonia, C. difficile infection, iron/B12/magnesium deficiency, bony fractures, liver problems, and chronic kidney disease. 

Basically, PPIs lower acid secretion in the stomach, with a wide range of potential consequences mentioned in the above referenced article. As I mentioned in my book, the presence of apneas can lead to severe negative forces that suction up your normal stomach juices into your esophagus, throat, and sometimes even into your ears, sinuses and lungs. Disappointingly, the rate of esophageal cancer from Barrett’s esophagitis has continued to increase significantly over the past few decades (0.13/100K in the 70s and 80s to 4.3/100K in recent years). Additionally, PPI use was not found to help lower esophageal adenocarcinoma in a recent meta-analysis.

Medications for Anxiety, Depression, and Bipolar Disease

It saddens me to see so many of my patients on medications for anxiety or depression. Quite often, there is a direct correlation of weight gain after starting to take one of these medications. The most common offenders include paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zolft), fluoxetine (Prozac; short term weight loss, long term weight gain), and the atypical antipsychotics, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa) and clozapine (Clozaril). A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 10 to 36% of children and teens became overweight or obese after 12 weeks taking atypical antipsychotics for the first time. Many other medications given for anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder can cause weight gain.

Many of the antidepressants, especially the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are known to stimulate appetite. Two examples of brand names are Pamelor and Elavil. The newer class of antidepressants called selective serotonin repute inhibitors (SSRIs) don’t generally cause weight gain, except for Paxil. One interesting known side effect of this medication class is that they suppress REM sleep. Perhaps by limiting REM sleep, you’re prevented from having as much apneas since you’re kept out of REM sleep. REM sleep is when your throat muscles are most relaxed. This can be one way that these medications may help with depression. However, there’s a cost to not getting enough REM sleep: Your nervous system gets more excitable, with lowered pain thresholds, and you’ll have more problems with learning and memory.

Depakote (valproic acid) is a common mood stabilizer to treat bipolar disease and seizures. It’s also used to prevent migraines. One study found that 44% of women and 24% of men gained about 11 pounds on average over one year. Lithium can also cause weight gain due to altering a person’s appetite and metabolism.

Diabetes Medications and Weight Gain

Insulin is commonly known to potentially cause weight gain. Non-insulin antidiabetic drugs such as thiazolidinediones, sulfonylureas, chlorpropamide, and glinides are also associated with weight gain.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics can also cause weight gain. Exposure to antibiotics during infancy was also shown to correlate with risk of being overweight later in life. Antibiotics not only kill what’s causing your ear infection or pneumonia, it can also kill the good bacteria in your gut. It’s thought this occurs by altering your gut microbiome. Having the right balance of various species is essential to maintaining a healthy weight. This is why it’s important to take probiotics if you’re ever given antibiotics. Ideally, you should not have to take antibiotics, which was greatly overprescribed in this country.

Pain and Seizures 

Neurontin is a commonly prescribed medication for pain, seizures and headaches. One study found that daily use was associated with a 10% increase in body weight.

Cholesterol Medications

Cholesterol lowering medications called statins are associated with weight gain  Here’s another study showing weight gain and increased blood sugar levels. Other documented sides effects include muscle pain, liver damage and memory loss.

Steroids and Weight Gain

Long-term oral steroids are a common reason for weight gain. They are often given for severe asthma, arthritis and various autoimmune conditions.I

ADHD Medications and Sleep

It’s estimated that over 10% of children and teens in the US have an ADHD diagnosis. About 2/3 are on medications. Common brand names include Ritalin, Aderall, and Concerta, which are variations of amphetamines. Since they are stimulants, expected side effects include insomnia, weight loss, headaches, high blood pressure, and moodiness. Long-term side effects include heart rhythm problems, addiction, and rarely psychosis. One concerning finding is that these class of medications can alter areas of the brain that control motivation. Dr. Leonard Sax, a prominent child psychologist, warns that long-term use may damage the nucleus accumbens in the brain, which is regulates motivation through the neurotransmitter dopamine. 

Sleeping Pills

It’s ironic that many sleep aids can cause more sleep problems in the long term. One of the known side effects of Ambien is that it can motivate hunger and food seeking activity, even during sleep. This can potentially lead to weight gain. 

Antihistamines 

Millions of people suffer from allergies every spring and fall. Over-the-counter allergy pills such as Allegra or Zyrtec are associated with increased weight. It’s thought that blocking the H1 histamine receptor in the brain, your appetite is enhanced and potentially lead to weight gain.

Should I Stop Taking These Medications?

This list may seem daunting, but the scary thing is that it’s only an abbreviated list. Sleep problems and weight gain are only two out of many other potentially serious side effects from all these medications. On the other hand, the overall rate of side effects is relatively small. Just because you’re taking any of these medications doesn’t mean that you’ll suffer sleep problems or gain weight. Unfortunately, for many of you, changing or stopping medications is not an option. Whether or not to come off medications is a decision you have to make with your doctor. However, if you’re gaining significant weight, or if your sleep is severely disrupted (which can cause weight gain), it’s important to come up with a different strategy. I will talk about these strategies in an upcoming podcast. Stay tuned.


The post 12 Medications That Can Wreak Your Sleep or Make You Fat appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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In this episode Kathy and I continue our conversation about the most common toxins that we’re exposed to on a regular basis. We will talk about the potential dangers of fluoride, flame retardants and chlorine.

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Show Notes:

Fluoride, Flame retardants, Chlorine

Previous podcast #62 on the following toxins: BPA, PTFE, phthalates, lead 

Dr. Weston Price: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Sleep Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired 

Why Some Women Have Throat Pain Before Periods

Fluoride and IQ study

Chlorine swimming pool and asthma study

Negative health effects of chlorine

Branch Basics Discount

The post The Top 7 Toxins to Avoid for Better Sleep and Health [Podcast 63, Part 2] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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