Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sleep apnea and carbohydrate craving

Sleep apnea can bring on a lot of changes to a person’s lives, and all of them are bad.  The simplest change being the lack of sleep the prior night and how it effects your day at work no matter what type of job you have. A few nights and days like that will quickly increases your stress that you are carrying around which in turn makes you a less effective worker and someone that could possibly have a problem with high blood pressure among other things.  Diabetes is also another potential problem with sleep apnea sufferers. In fact a recent study has shown that folks with diabetes-2 have a higher carbohydrate craving.

There are been numerous studies that show the connection between diabetes and sleep apnea. According to the InternationalDiabetes Foundation 40 % of folks with obstructive sleep apnea also have diabetes.  That number is really extraordinary and troubling at the same time.  Sleep apnea by itself is bad enough but it also worry about becoming diabetic can make you want to give the CPAP another try.

The study that linked carbohydrate craving and sleep apnea had 55 people in it and half were diabetic and of that group 82 percent had sleep apnea. The study also showed that the diabetics were twice as likely to have carbohydrate craving as those without diabetes.

Why would sleep apnea lead to carbohydrate cravings?

Once again according to the study…

"Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation may lead to changes in hormones that regulate appetite and hunger” and “these hormonal changes can lead to significant craving for high-calorie carbohydrates such as cookies, candy, breads, rice and potatoes. The current study supports previous findings by validating this in a community sample of diabetics."

They also imply that just treating the diabetes wouldn’t be enough to stop the craving; the sleep apnea will have to be corrected as well.  Which of course is easier said than done.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

New report on sleep apnea and sex drive

Every week there seems to be a new reason to control your sleep apnea and this week is no different. If heart problems, GERD, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure and memory troubles aren’t enough for you to seek help then you also might want to consider something else, sleep apnea interferes with your sex drive, if you are a male.

According to a report from the Sleep Disorder Center of Walter Reed Military Hospital” erectile dysfunction is common in younger men with sleep apnea, but that E.D. -- and libido -- improves in men who use the CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine.” The test results showed that 54 % of those tested found an improvement in their E.D. problems. It also seemed to help with their sex drive as well.

It’s no surprise that the CPAP machine is credited with helping men with these types of sexual issues, in most sleep apnea health problems CPAP is usually considered the best way to end or control this disorder. Of course as many of you probably know using a CPAP mask at night can be difficult to get used to even though there has been lots of improvements to the mask and machine over the years.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cough medicine and sleep apnea

Falling asleep is never easy if you have sleep apnea that isn’t being treated. You wake up constantly throughout the night due to the blockage at the back of your throat that stops your breathing, which in turn makes you wake up.  What can possibly be worse than that is when you have a cold or any type of congestion problem.  This week I had a bad cough and sinus infection that seems at its worse during the night. I went to the doctor and he prescribed an antibiotic and cough medicine.

As you probably have heard or read about, any medication that makes you drowsy such as sleeping pills is a bad idea for those suffering from sleep apnea. In fact it makes the sleep apnea only worse because it relaxes the muscles in the back of throat which causes greater blockage and more apnea occurrences.  Some cough medicines do have codeine in them (mine did) which causes drowsiness.

So what do you do? Unfortunately my cough was getting the best of me so I decided to try the cough medicine and it did seem to help somewhat with the cough.   I was surprised and happy that the cough medicine really didn’t have that much of an impact on my sleep apnea. Sure it make  me tired but I don’t that I woke up any more times than I usually do during the night.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sleep Apnea and the Military

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to have sleep apnea while serving in the armed forces. Getting limited rest each night due to sleep apnea must make it very difficult to function in a job that requires such physical activity.  But with over 20 million Americans suffering from OSA it is understandable that is a large percentage of them in the military. As a matter of fact, the number of sleep apnea patients in the military has been increasing according to an article in USA Today site.

In 2010 the number of soldiers having sleep apnea increased by 61 percent which translates in a cost of around 500 million. The cost of sleep apnea is from such things as heart disease, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure among other things.

Why the increase in sleep apnea?

The reason is probably the same for military personnel and those who aren’t in the military, people just don’t get tested for it. They may thing that there problem is just snoring and nothing else, they don’t realize the danger associated with OSA. Another increase in sleep apnea is due to the fact that many gain excess weight after leaving the military, which is a big cause for sleep apnea.

Veterans who developed sleep apnea while on active duty receive a disability check each month for having OSA.

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