Sunday, October 9, 2011

Testosterone and sleep apnea

It is interesting to see how some things that don’t seem at all connected with sleep apnea have an effect on it.  One such problem for men is erectile dysfunction where sleep apnea can be a deterrent on men achieving an erection. Another problem that also is intertwined with sleep apnea as well as other sleep disorders is low testosterone.
The hormone testosterone, which is created in the testes, does many things for the body.
  • Builds muscle and mass
  • Spurs the growth of facial and body hair, lowers the voice
  • Increase sperm production
  • Increase sexual stamina 
Women also have testosterone much not at the same level as men.
As we age our levels of testosterone goes down creating such problems as ER, hair loss and even depression. Testosterone therapy which increases the level of testosterone in men can be used but it also has side effects, such as aggressive behavior, acne, liver damage and impotence. A lot of this is well known because of professional sports athletes taking steroids to increase their strength and muscle size.
According to the National Institute of Health the problem of low testosterone is considerably worse in those with sleep apnea. During the REM stage of sleep our levels of testosterone is at its highest, of course those of us with sleep apnea don’t experience the benefits of REM sleep.
If you have sleep apnea and you feel that you might be suffering from low testosterone then contact your doctor to see what can be done.
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