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October 13, 2006

Sleep Apnea

Topics: Health Issues

We have reason to be concerned about sleep apnea because it affects an estimated 12 million Americans, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The condition can contribute to heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, impotence and other conditions. While there are three classes of sleep apnea--obstructive, central and mixed--obstructive sleep apnea is by far the most common form. This article gives the report of Ron Mason, a cabinet worker who in 2002 experienced a significant drop in his energy:

Mason's doctor referred him to a Santa Cruz sleep disorder clinic, where a diagnostic test of his sleep patterns showed he was constantly moving between unconscious and semiconscious states, meaning that he "woke up" an average of 47 times per hour.

"I hadn't had any dreams in years," Mason says. "To get into a dream state, you really have to fall into a deeper sleep."

As it turns out, sleep apnea also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Not to beat a dead horse, but the common factor between the two appears to be obesity:

"The unifying factor between sleep apnea and diabetes is obesity in the vast number of cases," says Arthur H. Friedlander, MD, director of graduate medical education and associate chief of staff at Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Healthcare Center.

Interestingly, seelp apnea often leads to a decrease in blood oxygen levels which often triggers the body's "fight or flight" instinct. Sympathetic stimulation causes the heart to race and a burst of adrenaline is released.

Read the rest here .

Posted by tim at October 13, 2006 12:58 PM

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