Narcolepsy and Your Diet

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Eating good is simply a bully prime for everyone, but it whitethorn beryllium particularly important for radical with narcolepsy.

If you person narcolepsy, you person a higher hazard of obesity. People with narcolepsy “have a inclination to enactment connected value due to the fact that of the pathophysiological changes successful narcolepsy,” says Michael Thorpy, MD, manager of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center astatine Montefiore Medical Center successful New York City. “Therefore, you should effort to support an perfect assemblage weight.”

Eating good helps you negociate your weight. It whitethorn besides easiness your symptoms.

“Diet is 1 of a fig of factors, including exercise, naps, avoiding baccy and alcohol, and slumber schedule, that tin impact narcolepsy symptoms,” says William Li, MD, aesculapian manager of the Angiogenesis Foundation successful Cambridge, MA.

Try these tips to enactment astatine a steadfast value and assistance with narcolepsy symptoms.

What to Eat

Follow a heart-healthy diet. Narcolepsy increases your hazard of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. A heart-healthy fare whitethorn little your hazard of heart problems and assistance you power your weight.

Try eating foods from each nutrient group. Eat plentifulness of fruits and vegetables successful a rainbow of colors. Choose low-fat dairy products and fiber-rich whole grains. Cut backmost connected saturated fats, trans fats, reddish meat, sodium, and sweets.

Try a low-carb diet. When you devour a big, high-carb meal, your assemblage makes little of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates wakefulness. “A repast that’s precocious successful carbs tin origin you to beryllium sleepy,” Li says.

Try to devour meals that are debased successful carbohydrates. If you privation to enactment alert, proteins whitethorn beryllium a amended enactment than carbs, Thorpy says.

Consider a keto diet. Research is limited, but immoderate radical with narcolepsy accidental their symptoms amended erstwhile they travel a ketogenic (or keto) diet, which is simply a restrictive, low-carbohydrate, high-fat, moderate-protein diet.

“There’s immoderate objective information from tiny studies of low-carbohydrate, ketogenic fare successful radical with narcolepsy,” Li says. “The results person shown immoderate benefit, though the grade has been modest: astir 18% betterment successful daytime sleepiness.”

But a keto fare eliminates galore nutrient-rich foods that are bully for you, similar full grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, and yogurt. It whitethorn person short-term and semipermanent wellness risks and tin pb to symptoms similar constipation, dizzy spells, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.

Add prebiotics and probiotics to your diet. “Eat prebiotic and probiotic foods that tin assistance amended gut health,” Li says. Some radical with narcolepsy whitethorn person dysbiosis, oregon an imbalance successful your gut’s microbial community.

Try probiotic foods similar yogurt and sauerkraut, which springiness you much “good” bacteria. Try prebiotic foods similar bananas, greens, onions, soybeans, and artichokes, which amended the equilibrium of microorganisms successful your gut.

Try caffeine. Caffeine tin assistance you enactment awake. It’s a stimulant and has been shown to assistance radical enactment alert, Li says.

“Just marque definite you’re not having much than 250 mg of java a day, oregon astir 3 8-oz. cups,” says Harland Adkins, RDN, a nutritionist from Pittsburgh. “Consider cutting yourself disconnected aft astir 4 pm, truthful caffeine doesn’t impact your nighttime slumber quality.”

Avoid alcohol. “People with narcolepsy should enactment distant from alcohol,” Li says. It’s a depressant for your central tense system. “In fact, intoxicant itself tin induce sleepiness and has been known to origin alcohol-induced narcolepsy.”

How to Eat

With narcolepsy, erstwhile and however you devour whitethorn beryllium arsenic important arsenic what you eat.

Eat early. Try to clip your meals truthful you don’t devour excessively precocious astatine night. Late eating whitethorn get successful the mode of digestion and disrupt your sleep. If you bash devour late, debar spicy foods. They whitethorn origin indigestion oregon acid reflux and marque it harder to get a bully night’s sleep.

Eat tiny meals. Big, dense meals are harder to digest. To amended your slumber quality, effort eating smaller meals and snacks. This is particularly important astatine nighttime and earlier you thrust oregon bash different activities that you request to beryllium alert for.

Remember that fare is portion of a wholistic attack to narcolepsy, Li says. Try to marque these changes on with different strategies, similar exercise, strategically timed naps during the day, avoiding tobacco, and creating a steadfast slumber schedule.

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