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Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy

Description

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which the sufferer experiences the overwhelming desire to sleep during the day. Attacks may be fleeting, lasting a few seconds, or prolonged, over an hour; in which case they can be disabling for working people.

Causes

The energizing phase of sleep indicated by rapid eye movements (REM) is transferred to the daytime. This may be confirmed by EEG recording.

There may be an inherited component.

Signs & Symptoms

The disabling form can include hallucinations and loss of muscle tone (cataplexy).

Stimulants may be prescribed to overcome drowsiness and antidepressants for loss of muscle tone.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Amino Acids

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General Supplements
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Amino Acid Complex (Free Form)*
Calcium2,000 mg
Choline300 mg
CoQ10*
EPO*
Magnesium400 mg
Octacosanol100 mg
Vitamin B Complex150 mg
Vitamin C4,000 mg
Vitamin D400 IU
Vitamin E500 IU



*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Foods rich in Tyrosine may be recommended, except if the person is taking an MAO inhibitor drug. These include eggs, oats, poultry and wheat germ.

It may be prudent not to eat large, heavy meals, which tend to have a soporific effect.

Homeopathic Remedy

DescriptionRemedy
DrowsinessMagnesia phosphorica



Treatment Schedule

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).

This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.

Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.

Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.

Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.

Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.

If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.

References

Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.

Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.

Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.

Tissue Salts

Nat. Sulf.drowsiness, sleepiness, brownish-green coated tongue;



Herbal Approaches

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Herbs
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Ephedra (Ma Huang)
Ginkgo Biloba
Gotu Kola
St. John's wort

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

On the other hand, it may be necessary to avoid other herbs with a sedative action. This list is derived from Newall:

HerbEffect
Calamus (Sweet Flag)Potentiates barbiturate sleeping time
Celery SeedIn vivo
Chamomile, GermanHuman
CouchgrassIn vivo
ElecampaneIn vivo
GinsengCNS depressant and stimulant
GoldensealIn vivo
HopsIn vivo
Hydrocotyle (Gotu Kola)In vivo
Jamaica DogwoodIn vivo
NettleCNS depression, in vivo
Passion FlowerIn vivo
SageIn vivo
SkullcapReputed action
Shepherd's PursePotentiates barbiturate sleeping time
St. John's WortTraditional use, bioflavonoids
ValerianHuman, in vivo
Wild Carrot SeedIn vivo
Wild Lettuce In vivo, related species



Reference

Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.


Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Drowsiness:

Basil Essence,Eucalyptus Essence,
Pine Essence,Rosemary Essence.



Over-tired:

Clary Sage Essence,Lavender Essence.



Related Health Conditions

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Sick Building Syndrome

Abstracts

References

Aldrich MS: The clinical spectrum of narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. Neurology, 1996 Feb, 46:2, 393-401.

Bassetti C & Aldrich MS: Narcolepsy. Neurol Clin, 1996 Aug, 14:3, 545-71.

Boris NW et al., Case study: hypersomnolence and precocious puberty in a child with pica and chronic lead intoxication. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 1996 Aug, 35:8, 1050-4.

Briones B et al., Relationship between sleepiness and general health status. Sleep, 1996 Sep, 19:7, 583-8.

Bruck D & Parkes JD: A comparison of idiopathic hypersomnia and narcolepsy-cataplexy using self report measures and sleep diary data. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 1996 May, 60:5, 576-8.

Cohen FL et al., Symptom description and management in narcolepsy. Holist Nurs Pract, 1996 Jul, 10:4, 44-53.

Davidhizar-R et al: Power nap rejuvenates body, mind. Pennsylvania-Nurse. 1996 Mar; 51(3): 6-7 (11 ref)

Dyken ME et al., Diagnosing narcolepsy through the simultaneous clinical and electrophysiologic analysis of cataplexy. Arch Neurol, 1996 May, 53:5, 456-60.

Enright PL et al., Prevalence and correlates of snoring and observed apneas in 5,201 older adults. [see comments] Sleep, 1996 Sep, 19:7, 531-8.

Ferini-Strambi L et al., Sleep-related painful erections: clinical and polysomnographic features. J Sleep Res, 1996 Sep, 5:3, 195-7.

Folkerts M et al., The reliability of the diagnostic features in patients with narcolepsy. Biol Psychiatry, 1996 Aug 1, 40:3, 208-14.

Gillberg M et al., The effects of a short daytime nap after restricted night sleep. Sleep, 1996 Sep, 19:7, 570-5.

Hanning CD & Welsh M: Sleepiness, snoring and driving habits. J Sleep Res, 1996 Mar, 5:1, 51-4.

Hirshkowitz M & Moore CA: Sleep-related erectile activity. Neurol Clin, 1996 Nov, 14:4, 721-37.

Hood B & Bruck D: Sleepiness and performance in narcolepsy. J Sleep Res, 1996 Jun, 5:2, 128-34.

Kotagal S: Narcolepsy in children. Semin Pediatr Neurol, 1996 Mar, 3:1, 36-43.

Manber R et al., The effects of regularizing sleep-wake schedules on daytime sleepiness. Sleep, 1996 Jun, 19:5, 432-41.

Mendelson WB: Are periodic leg movements associated with clinical sleep disturbance? Sleep, 1996 Apr, 19:3, 219-23.

Nitz D et al: Altered distribution of cholinergic cells in the narcoleptic dog. Neuroreport Vol. 6 no. 11 pp. 1521-4.

Nordgarden H et al., Salivary secretion and oral health in narcolepsy: a pilot study. Spec Care Dentist, 1996 May-Jun, 16:3, 128-33.

Murray, M.T. & Pizzorno, J.E.: An Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Prima Pbng, Rocklin, CA.

Philip P et al., Determinants of sleepiness in automobile drivers. J Psychosom Res, 1996 Sep, 41:3, 279-88.

Roth T & Roehrs TA: Etiologies and sequelae of excessive daytime sleepiness. Clin Ther, 1996 Jul-Aug, 18:4, 562-76; discussion 561.

Schmitt FA et al., Self report on sleep symptoms in older adults: correlates of daytime sleepiness and health. Sleep, 1996 Jan, 19:1, 59-64.

Ware JC: Narcolepsy. Va Med Q, 1996 Fall, 123:4, 251-3, 255.

Werbach, M. R.: Nutritional Influences on Illness: A sourcebook of clinical research. Keats Pbng. New Canaan, CT.

Werbach, M. R.: Nutritional Influences on Illness: A sourcebook of clinical research. Third Line Press, Tarzana, CA. Second Edition.