dr dave

And the beat goes on

I would like to introduce you to chronotherapy. 

"Geez, no doc, not yet another resurrection of some ancient alternative therapy that was abandoned long ago by civilizations that sacrificed virgin aardvarks and worshipped Odin."


"Something to do with massaging your chronos?"

Sort of.

Chronotherapy refers to the fact that your body is run by an internal clock that actually changes your physiology during the course of a day. This daily fluctuation of your body's temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, sleepiness, urine output etc., is called the Circadian Rhythm. "Circadian" from the Greek "circa dia" or "about a day" and "rhythm" from the Vaticanese "method of contraception that usually results in pregnancy."

In fact, a tiny biological clock operates in the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. This master pacemaker can actually be surgically removed. The clock, which runs off the light input from the eyes as well as its own internal hormones like melatonin, can be thrown off by shiftwork, frequent flying and aging. Resetting it involves holding the scan button while pressing the set button with the radio on FM.

Besides the daily fluctuations that occur in the body, the alarm clock is also set for some monthly and even annual rhythms. Well recognized monthly rhythms include the female reproductive cycle and the male sock changing cycle. An annual clock regulates hibernation, depression and some types of headaches.

If your doctor is aware of chronotherapy, then rather than blanketing your system with drugs that may be working when you don't need them to (and vice versa), he/she may be able to time medication to be synchronized with your body's natural clock. Due to our circadian rhythm, certain conditions are worse at specific times of the day.

6 a.m. – Noon
Conditions you are most likely to have problems with, on awakening, include:

1. High Blood Pressure. Your BP rises rapidly the first two hours after waking. Your BP medication can be timed to coincide with this rise.  As this is also the time of day that your pulse is the fastest, it is no surprise that you may suffer...

2. Heart Attacks. The most common time of the day to incur a heart attack is 8 AM, which is why I always set my alarm for 8:27. This is also when angina is at its worst. 

3. Nasal allergy symptoms. Those with seasonal allergies typically jolt the entire neighborhood out of bed early in the AM as they sneeze the frontal lobes right out their nostrils. Take the antihistamine at night. 

4. Honey I've got a Migraine Headache is a legitimate excuse/complaint, if used in the morning when migraines usually occur. 

5. Rheumatoid Arthritis pain. RA pain is worse in the AM, therefore target this time by taking a long acting smart bomb anti-inflammatory at night.

Noon – 6 p.m.
A good time to do anything active as all systems work better in the afternoon.

6 p.m. – Midnight
1. Pain of osteoarthritis. After a day of wear and tear, the weight bearing joints of OA begin to throb. Take an anti-inflammatory mid-afternoon.

2. The inflammatory activity of psoriasis is highest at night and lowest in the morning.    

3. Scabies itch. These little critters have their own clocks that wake them up as you start off to sleep. If your skin rash itches at night, it's scabies until proven otherwise.

Midnight – 6 a.m.
1. The night belongs to Asthma. Asthma medication should be targeted to be effective at this time i.e., prednisone, if taken, should be taken at 1500h.  

2. Stomach acid secretion is 2-3 times greater between 22:00 and 02:00 than in the day. Stomach ulcer pain and heartburn is worse at night. Mind you, my nickname was/is "Heartburn" so I take exception to being labeled worse at night.

And the beat goes on.

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