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Can Insomnia Be A Sign Of Something Serious

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Getting Up At Night To Pass Urine

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Do you wake up to have a pee more than once a night? This is called nocturia, and it’s more common than you think. One in three people aged over 30 visit the bathroom to pee at least twice a night. 25% of falls in the elderly are caused because of this.

So, what might be causing it? In men, prostate problems are common as they get older. The enlarged prostate restricts the flow of urine. In women, vaginal prolapse often affects bladder function. Estrogen deficiency at and after menopause can contribute to urinary symptoms and urinary tract infections. Sometimes nocturia can be a symptom of kidney disease.

Insomnia may also be a causepeople often lie awake and think about their bladder! Insomnia causes tiredness, and daytime fatigue, and is a significant risk factor for many other diseases including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, dementia and cancer.

What Are The Causes Of Insomnia In Teens

Insomnia has been estimated to affect up to 23.8% of teens. Biological changes push teens toward a later, night owl sleep schedule, but they usually cant sleep as long as they would like in the morning because of school start times.

Teens may be especially susceptible to overscheduling and stress from school, work, and social obligations. Teens also have high rates of using electronic devices in their bedroom. Each of these factors contributes to a high rate of insomnia during adolescence.

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Sleepless Nights And Body Aches

If I have reached the point of nausea, it is often accompanied by mild body aches. I will ache in various places, much like the aches you have after physical exertion. The fatigue caused by lack of sleep can cause you to ache, so insomnia can certainly cause aches and pains. It is not really painful. It is more of an annoyance.

Body aches are also associated with many illnesses and conditions. While it is common for the cause of these aches to be completely benign, if you have other symptoms like fever or severe pain, a trip to the doctor is warranted. Do not assume insomnia is the cause. Ask your doctor.

Sweating Only Occurs On One Side Of The Body

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If you notice sweating only on one side of your body, you might want to check in with your doctor. Uneven sweating “can indicate a rare nervous system disorder called Harlequin syndrome, Garshick said. It could also indicate a brain tumor, abscess, or stroke, she added.

Lung cancer and Horner’s syndrome, an issue with a nerve pathway, can also be tied to sweating on one side of the body, Djavaherian said.

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Signs That Mood Swings May Be Signaling Something More Serious

Having days where you feel sad, annoyed, etc. is normal. Just by living your daily life, you can experience a number of different emotions throughout the day. However, switching from extremely happy to extremely sad or angry on a regular basis may be a sign that something more is happening with your emotions.

Seeing any of these signs in yourself or in a loved one might mean its time to see a doctor:

Unpredictable Behavior

With crazy mood swings, it seems as if you never know what youre going to get. Any little thing might trigger emotion and leave you feeling down. Dr. Natalie Silver, M.D., says even if there is no outside trigger, your mood could change at any point. Keep track of your mood and how long you end up feeling whatever emotion you feel.

Long Periods of Negative Emotions

Dr. Silver also says that normal mood changes often happen within afew days. If weeks go by and you still find yourself in a sour mood, it mightbe time to look into something deeper. Big life events like losing a job orgoing through a breakup can send people into a downward spiral, says MedicalJournalist Jennifer Chesak. Nonetheless, it is the bodys natural response towant to feel better. Wallowing in emotions like sadness, anger, irritability,etc. could signify either a mental or hormonal imbalance.

Fatigue/Sleep Problems

Loss of Interest

Mental mood swings are a differentstory. A list of different mental health conditions includes:

  • Bipolar disorder

Excess Sweating Can Be A Side Effect Of Some Medications Or A Sign That The Dosage Should Be Adjusted Pexels You Started A New Medication Or A Change In Dosing

Sweating is a surprisingly common side effect of several medications, including:

  • Stimulants like amphetamines and caffeine
  • Some diabetic medications like sulfonylureas
  • Pain medications including opioids
  • Hormonal medications like birth control pills
  • Thyroid medications
  • Oral steroids

Since sweating is an expected side effect of some medications and can signal that the dose may need to be adjusted in others, it’s something to discuss with a doctor, Garshick said.

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Lifestyle Causes Of Insomnia

Lifestyle Habits. Lifestyle habits that can contribute to insomnia are not having a regular bedtime routine, not having a comfortable or safe sleep environment, and using technology before bedtime are all examples of things that can give you sleep problems.

Lifestyle habits, such as consumption of nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can also lead to insomnia.

If you have insomnia, its important to take a look at what may be causing your sleeplessness.

Insomnia can lead to a number of problems including daytime fatigue, poor job performance, worsening symptoms of anxiety or mental illness, or accidents while driving. If left untreated it can lead to more serious health conditions.

Fortunately, whatever it is thats causing your anxiety can likely be corrected, and many times without medication.

If youre having trouble sleeping and think you may have insomnia, your doctor can help you figure out the best treatment for you.

You Are Experiencing Rapid Heartbeat Hair Loss And Increased Appetite

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If you find yourself unable to sleep yet constantly tired, losing your hair, hungrier than usual, sweating, or experiencing a rapid heartbeat, your weight loss could be a sign of hyperthyroidism, according to nutritionist Lisa Richards, author of The Candida Diet.

“Hyperthyroidism is a hormonal condition where the thyroid is overactive and produces more of the hormone thyroxine than necessary,” she says. “This can lead to rapid weight loss, but there are some subtle signs to look for that may indicate this is the reason for your weight loss.”

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You Are Craving Salty Foods

If you find yourself with a constant craving for salty foods while losing weight out of the blue, you could have Addison’s disease.

Addison’s disease is a rare condition where the body can’t produce enough of two critical hormones, cortisol and aldosterone, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms also include irritability, dizziness, muscle weakness, and nausea, among other things. It can be treated with oral corticosteroids to replace the hormones not being produced by the adrenal glands.

Research For Your Health

The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discoveries to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including insomnia. Learn about current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.

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Blood On The Toilet Paper

If you notice blood on the toilet paper, this is most often due to piles . Piles are varicose veins which occur around your anus. You won’t know they are there unless they bleed or start to hurt. This is very common. In fact, when I was at medical school, they used to say that 50% of the population have hemorrhoids and the other half are liars!

However, it’s always best to be sure it really is only hemorrhoids.

  • Bleeding on the toilet paper can be a sign of bowel cancer, so it should be checked, and you should go and discuss with your doctor. Most people, however, will not have bowel cancer.
  • Bleeding piles can cause anemia, and this may be very slow in onset.

Don’t be embarrassed! Get on and go and see the doctor. Remembereven the Queen of England sits on the toilet!

What Are The Treatments For Insomnia


Treatments include lifestyle changes, counseling, and medicines:

  • Lifestyle changes, including good sleep habits, often help relieve acute insomnia. These changes might make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • A type of counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy can help relieve the anxiety linked to chronic insomnia
  • Several medicines also can help relieve your insomnia and allow you to re-establish a regular sleep schedule

If your insomnia is the symptom or side effect of another problem, it’s important to treat that problem .

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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Is Your Anxiety Normal Or A Sign Of Something More Serious

Its normal to feel anxiety from time to time. Maybe youre nervous about speaking in public, worried about a health issue or concerned about your finances. As troubling as it can be, occasional angst is not harmful. In fact, it can actually be helpful, serving as the motivation you need to tackle new challenges.

However, too much anxiety isnt healthy. It could also be a warning sign of an anxiety disorder or another medical condition that needs treatment, according to Christina Lynn, MD, medical director of the Behavioral Health Unit at Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We spoke with Dr. Lynn about anxiety, and she offered some insight on whats normal, whats excessive and when it may be a red flag for a serious health issue.

What Causes Insomnia

    Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects as many as 35% of adults. It is marked by problems getting to sleep, staying asleep through the night, and sleeping as long as you would like into the morning. It can have serious effects, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness, a higher risk of auto accidents, and widespread health effects from sleep deprivation.

    Common causes of insomnia include stress, an irregular sleep schedule, poor sleeping habits, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, physical illnesses and pain, medications, neurological problems, and specific sleep disorders. For many people, a combination of these factors can initiate and exacerbate insomnia.

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    How To Get Some Zs

    Fortunately, one sleepless night does not mean you now have insomnia, says Dr. Pristas. With a few simple changes to your daily habits, you can get your sleep back on track.

    If the past year has left you tossing and turning at bedtime, here are a few tips to help you catch some Zs:

    • Establish a routine and stick to it. This means waking up and going to bed at the same times every day and creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Dim the lights, have a warm cup of caffeine-free tea or read a bookanything that helps you wind down.
    • Get moving during the day.Studies have shown that regular exercise, specifically moderate aerobic exercise like walking, can help people with insomnia fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
    • Turn off your devices. Blue light from cell phones, tablets and computers can suppress the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Avoid this by powering off at least an hour before bed.
    • Dont use your bedroom as an office. Your body should associate this room with sleep, not work. If you cant avoid a bedroom workspace, at the very least, dont work in bed.
    • If sleep evades you, get out of bed. Getting anxious about sleep can actually perpetuate the problem, says Dr. Pristas. If you dont fall asleep after about 30 minutes, get out of bed and engage in a relaxing activity or meditation.
    • Talk to your doctor. If your insomnia has been persistent for a few weeks, your doctor can help find the right solution for you.

    Check If You Have Insomnia

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    You have insomnia if you regularly:

    • find it hard to go to sleep
    • wake up several times during the night
    • lie awake at night
    • wake up early and cannot go back to sleep
    • still feel tired after waking up
    • find it hard to nap during the day even though you’re tired
    • feel tired and irritable during the day
    • find it difficult to concentrate during the day because you’re tired

    If you have insomnia for a short time its called short-term insomnia. Insomnia that lasts 3 months or longer is called long-term insomnia.

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    You Sweat For No Apparent Reason

    If you and your doctor have ruled out all potential underlying medical conditions and other causes , you might simply have overactive sweat glands.

    “Some people have overactive sweat glands, so even the smallest stimulation will cause them to sweat,” said Djavaherian, adding that this isn’t necessarily “a sign of a bigger problem.”

    It also can be quite manageable with treatments like antiperspirants. “If that’s not enough,” Garshick said, “you can speak with a board-certified dermatologist regarding other treatment options including prescription antiperspirants, oral medications, topical wipes, Botox injections, and more.”

    Your Joints Are Tender Warm Or Swollen

    Another reason behind unexplained weight loss could be rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition, according to Richards.

    “Signs that this may be the cause of your unintentional weight loss include tender and swollen joints, fever, appetite loss, fatigue, and joint stiffness,” she says. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no known cure for the condition, but there are medications to alleviate some of the symptoms.

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    How To Overcome Chronic Insomnia

    If insomnia is transient or acute, sometimes it will wear off on its own, or fixed by lifestyle adjustments and proper sleep hygiene.

    Chronic insomnia, though, typically requires medical treatment such as prescription sleeping pills, antidepressants, sleep aids, or antihistamines. Non-pharmacological approaches may include group therapy or one-on-one cognitive behavioral therapy .

    If you think your sleep issues have escalated into chronic insomnia, its crucial to talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist to find the best treatment plan for your condition. Medical professionals may ask you to keep a sleep diary along with running tests in order to help regulate your sleep-wake patterns.

    You’re Also Experiencing Sudden Weight Loss

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    If you’re rapidly losing weight and sweating excessively, you may have a thyroid condition like hyperthyroidism. Infections including tuberculosis and mononucleosis, as well as certain types of cancers, can lead to these symptoms too, Garshick said.

    “If you’re experiencing sudden weight loss and sweating, it can mean many different things and is important to see a board-certified physician,” she said.

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    Common Treatment Types For Insomnia

    Medications tailored to your own specific needs are prescribed. For instance, if anxiety or depression are the underlying cause of your condition, your physician may prescribe you with antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. Medications for sleep can be used as well, but are typically prescribed to be used on a short-term or as-needed basis.

    Non-medical methods, such as cognitive behavior therapy, hypnosis, sleep restriction, stimulus control, and relaxation techniques, can also be used to treat insomnia. Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol, are also advised.

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    • Could my insomnia be a sign of another condition?
    • How can I make myself go back to sleep if I wake up during the night?
    • How can exercise help with insomnia?
    • Are there herbal supplements that help with insomnia? Are there any side effects to them?
    • What types of over-the-counter medicine can help me sleep?
    • Are there prescription medicines that treat insomnia?
    • What are the side effects of these medicines?
    • Does insomnia run in families?

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    Signs Your Muscles Spasms Are Something More Serious

    It’s time to stop charley-horsing around.

    Although its jarring to get a muscle spasm, most of us are pretty used to experiencing those painful twinges from time to time. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians finds that 60 percent of adults have suffered from nocturnal cramps, which can also lead to some severe insomnia.

    Although muscle spasms are usually nothing to worry about, Houman Danesh, M.D. and director of Mount Sinais Integrative Pain Management, says, Patients come in all the time worried that their cramping is due to something serious. Here are some signs that indicate your spasms might be more worrisome than a run-of-the-mill charley horse.

    Runners are no strangers to calf cramps. But if you notice during your training that your leg or foot is always cramping at the same mile markerit could be the third, the seventh, or any mile as long as its consistent you could be suffering from compartment syndrome.

    How Could Mental Health Problems Affect My Sleep

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    If you live with a mental health problem, this could affect your sleep in lots of ways. For example:

    • Anxiety can cause racing or repetitive thoughts, and worries that keep you awake. You may also have panic attacks while you’re trying to sleep.
    • Depression and seasonal affective disorder can make you sleep more, including staying in bed for longer or sleeping more often. Depression can also cause insomnia.
    • If you’ve gone through trauma, this can cause flashbacks, nightmares or night terrors that disturb your sleep. You might feel unsafe or uncomfortable in bed or in the dark.
    • Paranoia and psychosis may make it difficult to sleep. You may hear voices, or see things you find frightening or disturbing.
    • Mania often causes feelings of energy and elation, so you might not feel tired or want to sleep. Racing thoughts can also keep you awake and cause insomnia.
    • Psychiatric medication can cause side effects including insomnia, disturbed sleep, nightmares and oversleeping. Stopping psychiatric drugs can also cause sleep problems.

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