Health Made Simple

Sleep Apnea

March 02, 2020 KNOWME

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The other day, a patient sat in front of me and unfolded a list of complaints. It unfurled like a kid's Christmas list, and it included difficulty concentrating, uncontrolled blood sugars, worsening depression, asthma flare ups exhausted all the time and higher than normal blood pressure. With a lot of listening and a few questions, one diagnosis was causing all of these symptoms. Welcome to health made simple. Most people are confused by the endless amounts of information on the Internet, and as a health care provider, I see it every day. That's why we created health made simple a place where you can get clear, concise and accurate information in just five minutes or less. So have you been able to figure out what the diagnosis was? If you guess sleep apnea you now, obstructive sleep apnea is a really common condition in the United States. It happens when the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, which reduces or stops airflow. The nervous system then kicks in, wakes you up and prevent you from getting arrestable and restorative night's sleep. So think of it this way, and if you have kids, you'll certainly be able to relate to this. Imagine that you just fell asleep for the night. When little Johnny walks in and wakes you up and ask you for a drink of water, you go and you get it for him. You put him back in bed and you fall back to sleep. A few minutes later, he wakes you again. But this time he's got a P. You take him to the bathroom, you talking back in and you head back to bed again. Just a few minutes after you fall asleep, he wakes you up, worried that they're monsters under his bed. So you cave and you let him sleep with you. The next thing you know, your alarm clocks going off. But with all the tossing and turning and kicking that little Johnny did all night long, you wake up exhausted. You're exhausted the entire next day. And you really, really, really want to take a nap. Now, I want you to imagine if this happened every single night. Because that's exactly what someone with sleep apnea experiences with sleep apnea. You never get into that deep. Rest will restorative sleep. Sleep apnea is more common in men and in people who drink a lot of alcohol or smoke. People who are overweight have a thick neck or have a family history. Common symptoms. Snoring, gasping during sleep periods where you stop breathing during sleep. An excessive daytime drowsiness Complications can affect so many different organ systems so it can increase your risk for asthma. An irregular heart rhythm called atrial fib. Relation. Pancreatic, kidney and skin cancers, chronic kidney disease, attention deficit disorder, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure strokes, glaucoma and diabetes. So how do you figure out if you have sleep apnea? Well, the first thing is talk to your doctor about it. They could set you up for a sleep study, and just a few years ago, you had to go to a sleep center, sleep in someone else's bed and get hooked up to a bunch of wires to determine if you had sleep apnea. Well, no one's going to sleep well in that situation. Right. Nowadays they're sleep studies that you can actually do in your own home in your own bed. And these studies record the number of slow or stop breathing cycles and went oxygen levels in your blood dip during these events. If you do have apnea. Your doctor will get you set up to get fitted for a CPAP machine. And this machine helps your brain get the oxygen it needs during sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed and like a new person.