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Nutrition in patients with narcolepsy

by informer

Narcolepsy is a neurological disease characterized by chronic, excessive, daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. Type 1 narcolepsy (narcolepsy with cataplexy) has been linked to low levels of a specific neurotransmitter called hypocretin (orexin), which is responsible for regulating sleep, appetite and body temperature. In people with narcolepsy the number of hypocretin-producing neurons is significantly reduced, and in some individuals the missing neurons reach 80-90%. The main clinical manifestations are excessive daytime sleepiness and disturbed sleep during the REM phase. Sleep paralysis, cataplexy, and hypnagogic hallucinations are also manifestations of narcolepsy.In addition to medical treatment, nutrition is an important part. In order, to prevent obesity in patients with narcolepsy, it is necessary to establish a balanced diet, physical activity and sleep, fully consistent with their condition. Orexin secretion could be increased by higher intake of protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, lactate, fructose, fermented foods and physical activity. Orexin secretion is reduced by sugar intake. Recommended micronutrients for narcolepsy control are calcium, magnesium, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin C. In addition to the type of food consumed, eating habits also have an impact. Skipping breakfast and irregular eating patterns are also associated with poor sleep quality. Treatment should be completed by an adequate lifestyle and diet, including a balanced intake of macro- and micronutrients, physical activity and quality sleep. Read the whole article here.

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