Sleep Apnea Sufferers:
Wake Up To Your Options

Sleep apnea is a profound and potentially dangerous sleep disorder.

It afflicts over 12 million Americans, according to statistics compiled by the National Institutes of Health.

The word “apnea” has Greek origins and translates literally to mean “without breath.”

Basic Facts about Sleep Apnea:

  • There are three variants of apnea: Central, Obstructive, and Mixed.

  • Apnea associates with many distressing medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, bone disorders, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Among those at greatest statistical risk for apnea include: the middle-aged and the elderly, men, and the overweight and obese.

Possible Causes:

There's no single cause for the condition. In some cases, injuries to the brain stem can prompt the brain to literally forget to signal the lungs take breaths. In other cases, a poor diet might be to blame.

Common Symptoms:

Individuals with chronic apnea often describe feelings of exhaustion even after getting a "full night's sleep." This likely arises from the fact that the apnea causes them to partially awaken many (often hundreds) of times during the night.

Common Treatments:

  • Using polysomnography to diagnose apnea by measuring pauses between breaths.
  • Staying away from sleeping pills.
  • Sleeping on one side.
  • Using medications, sprays or strips to ensure the even flow of air.
  • Using positive airflow devices to prevent the airway from collapsing during sleep.

Can going low carb help?

Given that apnea so closely associates with conditions like obesity and diabetes, some experts believe that restricting dietary carbohydrates can help. Not only can cutting carbs help with weight-loss, they argue, but it may also lower risks for other problems, like type II diabetes.

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