5 Ways Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Body

In 2016 and 2017, 6.4% of Canadians reported they had been diagnosed with sleep apnea. This number does not even include those that have not been tested or diagnosed!

Sleep apnea is a condition in person repeatedly stops breathing while they sleep.  The disease affects people from all walks of life – and the long-term effects of sleep apnea can be severe.

Uncontrolled sleep apnea is destroying the health of millions of Americans. If you or someone you know is suffering from this condition, you must seek help today.

Read on to find out more about the effects of sleep apnea and how to address them.

1. Endocrine Disorders

There are strong links between sleep apnea and many endocrine disorders.

People with sleep apnea have a higher chance of developing insulin resistance. When your body doesn’t respond to insulin appropriately, it can result in high blood sugar, leading to type 2 diabetes.

Sleep apnea is also related to metabolic syndrome, a group of diseases including high triglyceride levels (fat in the blood), low HDL levels (good cholesterol), and obesity.

While obesity and sleep apnea are closely related, research shows that sleep apnea can also cause endocrine disorders independent of obesity.

2. Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disease

Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with high blood pressure. This puts extra strain on the heart and cardiovascular system, leading to hypertension, coronary heart disease, and cardiac arrest.

Because sleep apnea deprives the body of adequate oxygen, it can also lead to a group of progressive lung diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Poor cardiovascular and respiratory health can cause heart failure, heart attacks, and stroke.

3. Hepatic and Digestive System Issues

People with sleep apnea are more likely to have fatty liver disease, a condition caused by excess fat build-up in the liver. Chronic fatty liver disease can cause damage to the hepatic system and lead to liver scarring and eventual failure.

Sleep apnea can also cause problems with the digestive system, such as chronic heartburn, acid reflux, and the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

These symptoms can worsen an already interrupted night’s sleep.

4. Mental Health Problems

Sleep problems are closely related to mental health issues.

People with disturbed sleep cycles caused by conditions such as sleep apnea are at higher risk of depression, irritability, and suicide.

Because they wake up following periods of interrupted breathing, sufferers of sleep apnea find it hard to get adequate deep sleep and may develop irregular sleep-wake syndrome.

5. Premature Death

Sleep apnea damage and its associated factors have been shown to contribute to premature death.

A combination of risk factors and chronic diseases are associated with sleep apnea, all of which can contribute towards life-ending events.

Sleep Apnea: Know the Risks

So, those are the five sleep apnea risks you should know about. Sleep apnea is a serious condition closely linked to a myriad of health problems and could damage your health long-term.

We offer a comprehensive consultation service and practical medical solutions and advice to help you with your sleep problems. Contact us today to book an appointment.


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