By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Last edition we reviewed the role of the hypothalamus ; the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) turns off alerting signals, allowing sleep to occur. Similarly, the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) also can inhibit their activity and turn off the arousal centers, promoting sleep to occur. Today we will go over the function of the brain stem in regulating our … Continue reading Understanding Sleep – The Brain Stem
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP I have a confession to make; last week, we detailed the anatomy of the brain center that governs sleep. I have a feeling that each structure is pretty novel to you. I, therefore, take the liberty of dissecting each important part of the brain that regulates sleep and try to present the information slowly. To begin with, … Continue reading Understanding Sleep – The Hypothalamus
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP The following is the subsequent of Understanding Sleep from the Mayo Clinic. This piece might be a little more technical. But it is worthwhile to understand the anatomy in the brain that indicts how the brain functions during sleep. This is important because most of us spend one third of our daily life is under this vital … Continue reading Understanding Sleep – Anatomy of Sleep
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Before the age of technology, i.e. the time when there were no stethoscope, no EKG, no sleep lab, no ultra sound, no X-Ray, no MRI and no CT scan, doctors used their naked eyes to visualize your health, asked pertinent questions to assess your problems and felt your pulses at your wrist to determine your health status. … Continue reading Understanding Sleep (Part I)
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Impact of Modern Technology The blue light emitted by mobile phones, TVs, and tablets mimics the blue we see in the sky during the daytime. Our bodies have evolved to be awake during the day, so our brains release the hormone cortisol when we see blue-ish light. Cortisol wakes up the brain, making us alert and active. However, if … Continue reading What is the Circadian Rhythm? (Final Part)
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Your Rhythm Might be Different than Others While all humans have a circadian rhythm of 24 hours, your alignment is probably different than your friends’. People who feel energized later in the day are sometimes called night owls. Their built-in circadian rhythm is different from that of “morning people.” The technical term for whether someone is a … Continue reading What is the Circadian Rhythm (Part III)?
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Discovery of the Circadian Rhythm A long time ago, people noticed humans, plants, and animals have daily cycles of hunger and sleep. The first known written record is from a 13th-century Chinese medical textbook. In the year 1729, a French scientist Jean-Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan recorded observations about circadian rhythm as he watched a plant “wake” and … Continue reading What is the Circadian Rhythm (Part II)?
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP By the time this article comes out, you have already fallen back, re-set your clock one hour backward. We ended the daylight saving regimen this last Sunday. This annual ritual raises a subject that I am pretty curious about – circadian rhythm. I never really understand the total ramification of the phenomenon. Hence I decided to devote … Continue reading What is the Circadian Rhythm?
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP This is our last discussion on the subject of influenza vaccination. As noted before, although the U.S. has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, only 45 percent of adults and 63 percent of children get flu shots each year. For some people, the question of its efficacy remains. We need to be aware that … Continue reading Flu Vaccine: Final Words on Influenza Vaccination (Abstracts from CDC)
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Populations at Higher Risk for Medical Complications Attributable to Severe Influenza All persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications should be vaccinated annually. However, vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe illness and complications from influenza and for influenza-related outpatient, emergency department, or hospital visits. When … Continue reading Flu Vaccine: Guidance for Use in Specific Populations and Situations (from CDC)
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Balancing considerations regarding the unpredictability of timing of onset of the influenza season and concerns that vaccine-induced immunity might wane over the course of a season, it is recommended that vaccination should be offered by the end of October. Children aged 6 months through 8 years who require 2 doses should receive their first dose as soon … Continue reading Timing of Vaccination (From CDC )
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Most of us have been taking flu shots for years. Others might be resistant to the idea of getting a flu shot because “it doesn’t work”, or “I am pretty healthy, I never get sick”. That is why I feel it is worthwhile to spend some time on this topic so that we know what we are … Continue reading Interesting Facts from the CDC (Center of Disease Control) on Influenza Prevention
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP The flu season has arrived! Working in the hospital, we get reports of the incidence of the influenza infection for this year and get ready to start giving flu shots. The flu season has an early start this year; we have heard of two pediatric deaths related to influenza infection. I thought this will be a very … Continue reading Understanding Your Defense against Germs during the Viral Season
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP For years we were under the assumption that there is nothing really you can do once you are diagnosed with this horrifying condition of dementia – Alzheimer. It feels like a death sentence as your brain is not working properly. You will get worse and eventually succumb to the disease. On September 21, 2019, from NBC news, … Continue reading How to Slow Down Alzheimer’s Disease
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP It is natural to consider healthy aging as all the habits that increase physical health. However, we want to discuss this week something that is more valuable than your physical health. We consider spiritual health an important part that grows old together with our body. Our spiritual health or “strong in spirit” needs to get along well … Continue reading Spiritual Health and Your Spiritual Legacy
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP According to Dr. Judy Salerno of the National Institute on Aging, “Disease and disability are not inevitable consequences of aging.” In fact, the medical community as a whole has a lot of research dedicated to the concept of “healthy aging.” Dr. Salerno says, “Maintaining good habits and positive attitudes is what we should all be aiming for.” … Continue reading Healthy Aging
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP Does eating carbohydrates cause weight gain or make it difficult to lose weight? That depends. Eating too many calories from any type of food will cause weight gain. But foods with low fiber content often contain a lot of calories without any nutrients. They are metabolized very quickly into glucose. The sudden spike in the blood glucose … Continue reading Carbohydrates – Part III
By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP How many carbohydrates does a person need in a day? Instead of counting carbohydrates, dietitians now recommend planning meals using the “Healthy Plate.” At each meal, half of the plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables and a quarter of the plate should be filled with whole grains. (Dietitians do not count potatoes or French fries … Continue reading Carbohydrates – Part II