Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or Autism, is a neurological and developmental disorder which begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person’s life. There are numerous types of autism, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences, distinguished by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, verbal, and nonverbal communication. Spectrum refers to the broad range of symptoms, unique strengths, and differences in levels of functioning that occur in people with ASD.
As people live longer, mental illnesses such as dementia and other cognitive disorders are being seen more. Correspondingly, detecting and understanding these disorders is becoming more important to better help patients deal with the sometimes devastating effects on their health and lives.
Cognitive decline is frightening because, unlike purely physical aliments, mental disorders can cause a person to change who they are and how they act. Even basic, core personality sometimes will alter in dramatic ways; for no reason other than the change in how the person’s brain works. While losing memory or the normal everyday skills we need to function as a member of society can be frightening, for some it is equally, or more, terrifying to face a reality where your loved ones no longer see you as who you once were. Worse, when you yourself can’t see the changes, or recognize that you’re no longer the same person.
Complicating these conditions is how they often lack any physical markers doctors can test for, or see. Many illnesses of the mind are nebulous when it comes to a conclusive physically based diagnosis. Some cognitive disorders can present as others, delaying both a proper diagnosis and any possible treatment that might improve the patient’s condition. Regular mental health evaluations by trained professionals is the only possible source of help, and should not be ignored as a person ages.
While Type 2 diabetes results from lifestyle factors, mostly low levels of exercise and diets high in sugars and carbohydrates, type 1 diabetes is a disease of the immune system. It cannot be managed simply with lifestyle changes, and even individual who are otherwise very health, who exercise well and eat right, can have type 1 diabetes. While the primary treatment for type 1 diabetes is through medication, there are some things patients with the disease can do to assist their doctor to help them stay healthy.
Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on stretching. This bolsters circulation through the muscles, which increases the blood supply to the body. Good circulation is particularly important for type 1 diabetes patients because the insulin they must inject to manage their disease needs to get to the body’s cells. Regular stretching, and of course helping to maintain your muscles in good condition, will make your insulin more effective.
Further, stress is known to affect blood sugar levels and reduce the efficiency of insulin. Yoga is a documented way of reducing stress, and can help your overall health simply by keeping you calmer and less prone to anxiety or tension. Doctors can do a lot for patients, but they can do more when patients are willing to chip in on the fight to stay healthy.
Insomniacs often have trouble shutting off their brains when it comes time to sleep – they ruminate on past embarrassments, potential future story lines, mistakes and errors, or random nonsense. These rambling, constant thoughts can easily keep a person awake at night, but there is a tool they can use to stop these thoughts.
A podcast called Sleep With Me is the answer to stopping the barrage of night time thoughts and letting your mind focus on exactly what the narrator is saying – nothing.
The narrator tells a pointless, winding story about nothing relevant. He speaks in a low, calm voice and tells a detailed story about nothing in particular – a recipe, a description of a home, or anything else that may cross his mind. These stories allow the listener to listen to the story without actually having to follow anything. It effectively distracts them from their constant thoughts, while not actually distracting them enough to make them pay attention to the story being told. Instead, they focus on the reader speaking, but not what he is speaking about. Combine this with the lights off, being ready for bed and tired, and you will be asleep in no time.