Sleep Apnea Side Effects

Sleep apnea side effects can cause other health problems

Sleep apnea side effects can include:

  • high blood pressure
  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • sleep deprivation
  • sexual dysfunction
  • depression
  • obesity
  • angina
  • cancer
  • irregular heart rhythms
  • heart attacks
  • acid reflux and heartburn

High Blood Pressure
A study was carried out in 2014 on adolescents with sleep apnea which found that their blood pressure was raised after insufficient quality sleep. Sleep apnea side effects occur in young people as well as the sleep apnea stereo types.

Strokes
In 2010 the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published a report, Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea and Incident Stroke: The Sleep Heart Health Study, which stated it's findings:
"modest to severe levels of sleep apnea are associated with an approximately threefold increase risk of ischemic stroke in men".

Diabetes
In 2014 the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published a report, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Incident Diabetes: A Historical Cohort Study, which stated it's findings:
"patients with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) greater than 30 had a 30% higher hazard of developing diabetes than those with AHI less than 5".

Sleep Deprivation
Not enough sleep which leads to chronic sleep deprivation can manifest in many forms whether its not concentrating which leads to road accidents or accidents at work due to impaired reflexes. Clumsiness as in my case, I'm always falling over and walking into things. In a space of 6 weeks I fell over twice, the first fall resulted in stitches in my foot where the garden shears went in my foot and lead to nerve damage. The second time I fell over walking from the car to the entrance of the University where I go and had a severely bruised hand and felt so embarrassed. What did I fall over - nothing! Clumsiness due to sleep deprivation.

Your job can be affected if you can't fully concentrate, studying can take twice as long because you can't retain information and you make poor decisions. Excessive daytime sleepiness is a result of chronic sleep deprivation is a huge issue with sleep apnea side effects.

Sexual Dysfunction
Men can suffer from erectile dysfunction and women can suffer a reduced sexual drive. This can put pressure on any relationship mentally and physically.

Depression
By being continually tired and with no energy it effects your mental health and it's all so easy to fall into a depressed state. When you are exhausted all the time you don't have the same motivation as other people and nothing excites you enough to want do anything. Be warned: I tried anti-depressants and they make you feel even more tired and drowsy, so if possible steer clear of them.

Obesity
I used to eat more carbohydrates and drink lots of coffee and energy drinks to give me energy because I struggled so much to stay alert and concentrate, but they didn't work. By doing this it can easily pile on the pounds when you take in extra calories but not burning them off. By putting on weight you just add to the problem. Take a look at my page about Sleep Apnea Weight which gives information about the hormone that increases the appetite.

Angina
Angina is chest pain or discomfort you feel when there is not enough blood flow to your heart muscle. Your heart muscle needs the oxygen that the blood carries. Angina may feel like pressure or a squeezing pain in your chest. It may feel like indigestion. You may also feel pain in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back.

An article was printed in the Journal of Cardiology that stated that people with moderate to severe sleep apnea had a higher risk of angina.

Cancer
From the research I carried out the main consensus is evidenced that sleep apnea causes cancer. Although I did find one article that stated the opposite. A contributing factor to be taken into consideration is if the sleep apnea was being treated or even diagnosed.

A MNT article said only 6.5% of the study sample developed cancer, being prostate, breast, colon and lung cancer but could not find the link between sleep apnea and cancer. However, that some article said research has shown low levels of oxygen can increase cancer progression

The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine published a report that states moderate to severe sleep apnea is an independent risk factor in cancer incidence and cancer mortality. This was just one journal, there are many more that state the same findings.

Irregular Heart Rhythms
There are many journal articles that state poor sleep quality and  insufficient sleep duration are the cause of irregular heart rhythms.

Heart Attacks
A research paper 'Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Associated with an Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Death' published by the American Thoracic Society states:

"Sleep apnea increases a person's risk of having a heart attack or dying by 30% over a period of four to five years, according to this study."

"Sleep apnea triggers the body's "fight or flight" mechanism, which decreases the amount of blood pumped to the heart. Repeated episodes every night for a few years can starve the heart of enough oxygen when it is combined with the body's decreased oxygen intake due to the frequent breathing stoppages during the night.".

Heart attacks is one of the main sleep apnea side effects and should be taken very seriously.

Acid Reflux/Heartburn
In a study conducted in 2005, 26% of the sample suffered from acid reflux and revealed from questioning that they experience less quality of life due to the symptoms of acid reflux.

sleep apnea side effectsSleep Apnea Side Effects

Taking Sleep Apnea Seriously

People do not realise how serious sleep apnea is and I think doctors are included here in not realising the severity of sleep apnea. It should always be taken seriously because if it is left untreated it can lead to many of complications above. All of the journal articles I read stated that sleep apnea is a serious condition.

I therefore encourage anyone who has symptoms of sleep apnea to get them checked out and if your doctor is rather flippant about referring you to a specialist, please see a different doctor who will refer you. Sleep apnea side effects can be life threatening conditions.

Home Page > all about sleep apnea
Sleep Apnea Symptoms > recognising the symptoms of sleep apnea
Sleep Apnea Causes > what causes sleep apnea
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea > how is sleep apnea diagnosed
My Sleep Apnea > this is my sleep apnea story and journey

The charity we support
We support the charity Help Stop Cancer.

Hello and Welcome to Fleet Holistics!
I'm Christine, a Reiki Master, and EFT Practitioner

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