Nutitional Deficiencies and Sleep Apnea – Part 1

In this two-part blog post series, we will be touching base on a topic not many people are familiar with: nutritional deficiencies and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Yes, there is a clear connection between sleep apnea and nutritional deficiencies, which makes it important for you to educate your patients on proper care. For part one we will discuss the following nutritional deficiencies and their affect on sleep apnea:

  • Antioxidant Status
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D

Each of these nutritional deficiencies can affect sleep apnea in one way or another, which means understanding what happens can significantly improve your patients’ health and well-being. But I won’t delay this any longer—let’s get started with nutritional deficiences!

Antioxidant Status

It is well documented that sleep apnea patients have both reduced antioxidant capacity and higher levels of oxidative stress than controls. Sleep apnea is associated with oxidative stress, which is the excessive build-up of free radicals. It is also associated with decreased antioxidant capacity, which is the ability of the body to counter oxidative stress, and decreased blood levels of various antioxidants, such as vitamin E and carotenoids. The excessive oxidative stress associated with sleep apnea then leads to what is known as “endothelial dysfunction,” in which the blood vessels do not properly relax and contract. It is also the primary mechanism causing heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes! Various types of antioxidant supplements have been researched as treatments and found to be beneficial as natural remedies for sleep apnea.

Vitamin C

Improves endothelial function (blood vessel health) in sleep apnea patients to levels seen in people without sleep apnea. A study from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that vitamin C can help reduce the damage of sleep apnea. Scientists have found that sleep apnea can have damaging effects on the cells, but vitamin C can help to counteract that damage. By increasing vitamin C consumption while treating sleep apnea, you can potentially help reduce the dangerous effects of sleep apnea.

Vitamin A

Sleep apnea patients have low retinol (vitamin A). Retinol suppresses the growth of vascular smooth muscle, a process that causes blood vessels to clog, linking low vitamin A levels to the cardiovascular complications seen in sleep apnea patients.

Vitamin E

Mitigates the oxidative stress seen in sleep apnea patients and works synergistically with vitamin C. The primary role of vitamin E in your body is as an antioxidant—this helps protect your cells from harmful molecules formed during normal metabolic processes. It also plays a role in regulating your immune system. Vitamin E may even help in the prevention or treatment of health conditions related to heart disease, aging and cancer. Essential to your daily functions, vitamin E is recommended in a person’s daily diet to prevent nutrient deficiency.

Vitamin D

We’ve discussed this before, but people with sleep apnea have a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. And, the worse the sleep apnea is, the more severe the deficiency appears to be. Evidence suggests that vitamin D worsens sleep apnea’s negative effect on heart disease risk. Because vitamin D deficiency is so common and linked to so many sleep apnea symptoms, including mood disturbances and muscle pain, it is important to make sure your patients are maintaining the optimal level of vitamin D daily.

Remember, when your patients suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, there are other factors in play here. Keep in mind the different nutritional deficiencies that might interrupt sleep and worsen sleep apnea in order to provide your patients with optimal care.

4 Marketing Strategies to Try in 2016

Happy New Year!! It’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s time to re-evaluate your practice by developing an effective marketing strategy to keep your practice moving forward in 2016. After all, without a proper marketing plan your efforts to attract new patients are likely to be haphazard and inefficient.

When creating your marketing plan 2016 it is important to focus on making sure your products and services meet your patients’ needs and developing long-term and profitable relationships with those patients. Here is a list of 4 dental office-marketing ideas you might want to consider for 2016:

  1. Create a Newsletter

One thing you can do to better market your office is to create a mailing list in which you can send weekly or monthly newsletters to your patients. By acquiring your patients’ emails, you can easily send them updates on your office, specials and important information regarding their care. A suggested topic for emails might be weekly dental tips.

As a practice that is establishing their role in dental sleep medicine, you might benefit by sending out weekly emails to your patients that targets the importance of getting treated for sleep apnea. Some information might include:

  • What is sleep apnea?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What treatment options are available?
  • How can my dentist help me?

The questions and tips that you can include are limitless. Use your creativity to brainstorm important ideas that your patients should know when it comes to dental sleep medicine. Through email marketing you can further reach your patients because majority of patients check their emails multiple times a day.

  1. Incorporate Social Media

I’ve mentioned it before, and I will continue to place an emphasis on how important it is to utilize social media. Use Facebook or Twitter to post fun dental sleep medicine facts to patients or updates on your practice. When patients see these “fun facts” they will be more prone to share with their friends.

Through social media, you want to not only reach your patients, but you also want to get them engaged. Without engagement, your patients will simply browse over the information without really paying attention. If you provide accurate and thoughtful information, they may be more inclined to share it with their friends—especially if that information reminds them of a friend or loved one.

  1. Utilize Blog Posts

Another important marketing factor is creating blog posts, which he have also focused on in previous blog posts. Blog posts are an extension of your website and another way to get content that is searchable through Google. While writing your blog posts, be sure to include keywords so that your blog post comes up when a patient is looking for specific information. You can utilize your blog to share educational or office information—the choice is yours.

  1. Send a Press Release

Lastly, try sending a press release once a month. Remember, though, that a press release should be “news worthy,” which means it needs to announce something. Whether you have won an award, are offering a new procedure or technology, or have moved locations all can be news worthy topics you can share through a press release.

Send a press release to local media to notify the public about your news worthy information or utilize an online distribution database to send your information through the Internet. Either way, press releases help to generate outside links back to your website for improved search results.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on how you can successfully market your dental office for 2016!