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[Health] The apnea epidemic
#1
I read this article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-gorm...06602.html, and was struck by the author's dentist's conjecture:

I asked my dentist why sleep apnea seems almost epidemic (there are even groups devoted to it on Facebook), and he said that over the years, the structure of the human body, including the jaw, has evolved. Primates had larger mouths than modern man, yet our tongues and airways serve the same function.

Hmm... the time frame seems wrong. Serious sleep disorders would have been lethal during the period when homo sapiens was attaining anatomically modern form. For primates, after all, it's important to sleep quietly and without disturbance, to avoid attracting the attention of nocturnal predators.

Dr. Stasha Gominak, who has been discussed around here before, believes vitamin D deficiency has something to do with both OSA and CSA, and there are good reasons why this would hit us hard in recent decades. But I'm thinking of the work of another dentist, Weston A. Price. Price traveled the world, studying the diets and health of people who were still pretty much isolated from civilization, back in the 1930s. He discovered some interesting things. One was that the less contact people had with "civilized" processed/canned foods, the better their health in general, but also the better the structure of their jaws and lower face. That is, those who continued their traditional diets tended to have few or no cavities, wide mouths without crowding of teeth, and fully developed jaws.

He took hundreds of pictures to document his ideas, and even showed how things would change in a single generation. Eventually, he was able to identify a substance, which he called "substance X", that was present in many of the traditional foods, but absent in modern foods. He found that this substance was found in things such as butter from grass-fed cows, aged cheeses, etc., and he developed a "medicine" consisting of equal parts cod liver oil (which happens to contain vitamin D) and grass-fed butter, which he claimed could actually heal cavities. Another dentist in England used the same treatment.

The identity of substance X wasn't discovered until 1997. It's vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 had been known about for a long time, but it wasn't recognized that this other form, K2, has very different properties from K1, notable the property of directing calcium away from soft tissue and into bones and teeth.

I think it's plausible that the epidemic of sleep apnea is partly a consequence of generations of children raised with less and less D and K2 during infancy and childhood, when the jaw and teeth are developing. At the very least, I think Price's research is more relevant than more distant evolutionary transitions.
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#2
tmoody,

I think it is very viable hypothesis that modern lifestyle is at the root of our health issues. I think it is not as simple as a single silver bullet, but a combination of a lot of things, like lack of physical exercise actually doing something, like walking or running or hunting as compared to doing some boring repetitive motion in a air conditioned gym. The food has for decades been genetically modified (bred) for taste which is another way to say sugar content at the expensive of nutrition. We have move from being out in the sun working and making our D3 into offices with serious air quality issues and no sun, antibiotics recently came onto the scene and were originally sold to farmers as a way to get stock to market weight faster with less food costs - antibiotics result in significant weight gain and they are passed from our meat sources to us now. The list goes on and on. We can do many wonderful things today, but the bad thing is our food and health (in the US) is almost exclusively driven by a profit motive... not a health motive.
I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
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#3
When I saw this thread yesterday, I expected that there would be lots of people posting on it. There haven't been, and I can't help but wonder how many people feel like I do when I think about this subject.

When I think about or read about the collection of health problems and dysfunctions that are going on in modern society, I feel like it's a huge mess of knots with threads poking out here and there - sleep apnea, obesity, processed food, too much internet and other screen time, too much sitting, fast food, sleep deprivation, sedentary occupations, people taking multiple medications, psychiatric medication side-effects, vitamin D3 deficiency, phthalates and other plasticizers, antibiotics in meat, sugary drinks, air pollution, big increase in deaths in white, non-college-educated 18-54 year olds in the US, and the list of headlines just seems endless.

I'm looking at this from the inside, too, so to speak, since I have many of the health problems of the time - sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease.

I get tremendously frustrated when I think about it all. I wonder what I, personally, should do. About the only thing I've been doing lately, aside from my own health routines, is to talk to people about sleep apnea. It seems like the least I can do.

-- Writing this while sitting down and looking at a screen, gw



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#4
Ah............the history of sleep

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2004-Bon Jovi
it'll take more than a doctor to prescribe a remedy

Observations and recommendations communicated here are the perceptions of the writer and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.
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#5
Naw, I think they are simply paying attention to it more combined with the fact that there are more obese people. Yes, I know you don't have to be obese or even overweight to have OSA. Back around the time my Dad was diagnosed with diabetes, they were discovering that those who had heart attacks before age 65 had a high rate of undiagnosed diabetes. So, now they test everybody and find that even those who are not overweight are more likely to have diabetes at 45 than not. NOBODY tested children for high blood pressure, but now they are and finding out that high blood pressure often begins in teenaged years.

So, what it comes down to is that it is not a rampant epidemic (other than perhaps driven by obese people), but simply is being identified as a risk and being treated as such. Many people with bradycardia would probably be identified too if more hand their blood pressure taken while resting flat on their backs - that is likely where it shows up first. However, most people never know that their heart rate is skewed until they collapse or it shows up in their sitting up position - something that can happen years later.
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#6
What amazes me is that most of us are maybe one generation away from a long line of relatives who didn't have time to sit around worrying about their feelings, health, science, politics, or abstractions. They were in total survival mode but still managed to love and be loved. To enjoy what they could and to take things as they come. To be thankful for the good and not fret too much about the bad. Most were just tough and resilient. Most were just good people. We are too. Take heart. If you want to feel good about yourself; help somebody else.

Just my personal opinion. My posts are not medical advice or a statement of fact. Please consult a qualified physician or other qualified medical personnel. Please comply with all applicable laws, codes, regulations, and protocols.
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#7
(04-20-2016, 01:19 PM)sdb7802 Wrote: What amazes me is that most of us are maybe one generation away from a long line of relatives who didn't have time to sit around worrying about their feelings, health, science, politics, or abstractions. They were in total survival mode but still managed to love and be loved. To enjoy what they could and to take things as they come. To be thankful for the good and not fret too much about the bad. Most were just tough and resilient. Most were just good people. We are too. Take heart. If you want to feel good about yourself; help somebody else.

I agree.

My maternal grandparents were both children of sharecroppers and while they got out of farming, they were both laborers and made just enough to scrape by. My paternal grandparents were sharecroppers who barely made enough to raise their family. In both cases they couldn't afford to go to the doctor like we do these days.

I think that a lot of the differences between then and now are more people have easy access health care and people are better educated about health care. In addition, health care providers have better diagnostic and treatment tools. Those advances are what enabled me to survive a disease that is usually fatal. Yes I am thankful and fully appreciate each day.


"....respiration,—a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence...." Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens- 1837

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#8
(04-20-2016, 01:19 PM)sdb7802 Wrote: What amazes me is that most of us are maybe one generation away from a long line of relatives who didn't have time to sit around worrying about their feelings, health, science, politics, or abstractions. They were in total survival mode but still managed to love and be loved. To enjoy what they could and to take things as they come. To be thankful for the good and not fret too much about the bad. Most were just tough and resilient. Most were just good people. We are too. Take heart. If you want to feel good about yourself; help somebody else.

ahhhh the "good" ole days..... don't forget the lower life expectancy. Some issues are more prevalent just because defective folk live longer.

Grampa has always snored and been laughed at, and people pretended Grandma didn't. There was no treatment. Now there is, so we are testing and treating and enjoying a better life. Please don't send me back to the "Good old days" IMO they were nothing of the sort! Smile
هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
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#9
In terms of evolution, walking upright is probably the major cause. Our windpipe takes a 90° bend because our head is tilted forward 90° relative to 4 limbed mammals. The bend pushes the tongue and tissue back into the airway. Look at, for instance, a dog's airway, and you'll see it's relatively straight. I guess if you could sleep with your head tilted back 90°, you wouldn't have OSA.

OSA is also more prevalent in older people. Evolution doesn't care about you if you're past breeding/child rearing age.

As for the "natural man is more healthy," hogwash!!! Look at life expectancy.

As for why we have more apnea diagnosis now, being overweight and lack of exercise is probably a factor, but I think a lot of the people who now have apnea are those who "died quietly in their sleep" in the good old days. Realize that you usually don't die directly from not breathing. It's the heart attacks, strokes, and general poor health that are the "immediate cause" of death.
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#10
This is embedded within what was said above, but: we have more sleep apnea, because sleep apnea has now been defined and named. Once you learn a new word, it's amazing how often you notice it cropping up in literature, or in people's conversations around you. Once a disease or condition has been named, of course more people will be diagnosed with it!
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