Keep Allergies, Weight Gain, & Sleep Apnea at Bay This Thanksgiving

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Do you tend to put your routine in “time out” during the holidays?

We’re not pointing fingers, because honestly, we get it. 

Especially after (nearly) two years of social distancing and virtual celebrations, it finally seems safe for all of your loved ones to get together under one roof.

With vaccines and boosters readily available, it’s arguably the safest most of us have felt in, well, almost two years!

However, it’s important to remember that 1) we are still living through an ongoing pandemic, and 2) people are more protective of their immune systems. Because if someone were to catch the virus, a strong immune system might be the difference between an annoying cough or a ventilator in the ICU. 

Furthermore, the overindulgences that creep in during the holidays can lead to weight gain associated with sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, and more. 

So how do you keep yourself and your family safe while giving gratitude this Thanksgiving?

Advocate for Yourself & Your Guests When It Comes to Allergies & Intolerances

Whether you are hosting or attending Thanksgiving at someone else’s home, it’s important to keep your health a priority.

If you have a food allergy or intolerance, then let your host know. Trust us. They would much rather plan ahead than watch you pick around their most prized dish. 

On the other hand, if you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, then it’s important that you ask each individual guest if they have any allergies. Plus, this can make decisions about what foods to prepare much easier!

For instance, if an invitee has a nut allergy, simply scratch anything with nuts from the menu. Not only does this prevent anyone from feeling left out, but you could also avoid emergency responders interrupting dinner.

And keep in mind that food isn’t the only thing that can cause allergies — pets may be an issue as well

While you probably love your pets, don’t assume your guests feel the same way. Pet dander sheds from your pets’ skin and can remain airborne for a good amount of time. 

Make sure your deep cleaning includes wiping down all surfaces with a disinfectant and vacuuming carpets, upholstery, and more. Furthermore, make your pets comfortable in another area of your house to keep a separation from guests with allergies. Maybe give them a few nibbles of turkey for being perfect angels and sitting this dinner out. 

And if you are attending Thanksgiving at someone else’s home, make sure you share your pet allergies with the host so they can extend the same courtesy to you.

[Related: Avoiding Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers]

Eat Wisely to Prevent Weight Gain & Sleep Apnea

Serious allergy or not, you still want to stay aware of what you are eating. Whether you keep an EpiPen handy, struggle with intolerances, or just don’t want to get sleepy too soon – your diet matters.

This is especially true for anyone with obesity. The fact that most people in the United States are overweight means that the majority of our population over 45 years old suffer from sleep apnea

There are two different types of sleep apnea, central and obstructive

Central sleep apnea is what happens when your brain doesn’t send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Your weight or lifestyle does not typically impact this version. If this is happening to you, then you need to make an appointment right away to ensure you are breathing throughout the night. 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), on the other hand, happens when an obstruction in your upper airway prevents you from breathing normally. Several factors may contribute to OSA, but obesity is a leading cause. Healthy habits, including eating well and exercising, can greatly reduce OSA without further treatments.

The common symptoms of both sleep apnea and OSA include:

  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Loud breathing or snoring
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty with memory and/or concentration

However, it’s important to know which type of sleep apnea you suffer from so that you can determine the right method of treatment. 

Contact Dr. Matorin’s Snoring & Sleep Center to determine what is keeping you up at night.

Stay Out of the Yard if Fall’s Seasonal Allergies Are Triggering

A front yard game of football sounds like a great way to enjoy Thanksgiving, but not if you have seasonal allergies!

Mold spores are just one of the allergens that make their presence known this time of year. While we’d love for you to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and get some exercise – only do so if you can tolerate the seasonal allergens.

Otherwise, it may be best to enjoy watching a football game on TV instead of exposing yourself to day-ruining allergens. 

Moreover, if avoiding allergens has become a full-time job in your life, then it’s time to get relief. At Dr. Matorin’s Sinus & Allergy Center, we perform allergy tests to find the root cause of your distress. There is a wide range of treatments, including simple in-office procedures, immunotherapy you can do at home, and  for more severe cases, surgery. 

What’s important is that you don’t ignore your symptoms. This can lead to long-term side effects, which may become more difficult and intrusive to treat over time.

Are you unsure of what is causing your allergic reactions? Contact Dr. Matorin’s Sinus & Allergy Center to identify your allergies.

Make Health-Conscious Choices to Fully Enjoy Thanksgiving

While you celebrate in gratitude this Thanksgiving, keep your health a priority. Especially if you are already overweight, sleep apnea is a real concern.  Moreover, many of the classic Thanksgiving dishes are recipes for serious drowsiness.

Turkey gets a lot of heat for its amino acid called Tryptophan. But it doesn’t make you sleepy on its own. In fact, dairy may induce sleepiness more than turkey. This is because dairy products can be difficult to digest, which makes your body use excess energy to process.

A couple of celebratory drinks may sound like a good time, but partnered with a feast, they may have you dozing off early. Despite its relaxing properties, alcohol actually impairs your ability to reach and maintain a deep sleep throughout the night. This will leave you feeling more exhausted the next day and contribute to snoring throughout the night. 

Carbohydrate-filled stuffing, mashed potatoes, and casseroles are the perfect shuttle to get turkey’s Tryptophan to your brain. As mentioned above, turkey gets a lot of heat, but it doesn’t make you drowsy on its own. 

Furthermore, if seasonal allergies aren’t keeping you inside, then go for a walk or do some type of activity. This will help your digestive system after a big meal and will help to burn off some of those extra calories. If allergies are keeping you inside, help clear the table and stay on your feet rather than collapsing on the couch.

[Related: How to Travel Without Allergies]

Know the Cause of Your Symptoms & Get an Effective Treatment Plan

Do you worry about dozing off on your relative’s couch after dinner and snoring so loud it stops everyone in their tracks?

If this sounds like you, then it’s time to partake in a sleep study to determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. From there, Dr. Matorin can decide your best course of treatment. 

Or is it allergies affecting your sleep and making you suffer throughout the day? An allergy test will determine what you’re allergic to and the level of your sensitivity. This information can allow both you and Dr. Matorin to make the right choices in your allergy treatment plan.

It’s important to realize that finding lasting relief may also reduce the long-term effects of both allergies and sleep disorders. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Matorin today.

Featured image via Unsplash

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