Cardiovascular Dangers of Sleep Apnea
When your brain senses low oxygen because of apnea, it orders your heart to work harder. This can lead to serious cardiovascular complications. Some of the common conditions linked to sleep apnea include:
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Heart failure
- Pulmonary embolism
- Kidney disease
- Erectile dysfunction
Elevated blood pressure is very common in sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is likely the leading cause of medication-resistant blood pressure. So if you’re taking medication and following other advice, but blood pressure isn’t going down, consider sleep apnea.
Sometimes people don’t know about their sleep apnea until after they have a heart attack or stroke. Even in this case, it’s not too late to seek treatment: treating your sleep apnea can help your recovery and reduce your risk of ending up in the hospital again.
During sleep, your body performs important tasks related to regulating your body’s metabolism. This includes helping your body determine how much you need to eat and how food energy will be used and stored. People with sleep apnea often experience:
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- Low energy
- Weight gain or inability to lose weight
- Increased appetite
- Systemic inflammation
In the past, we thought that sleep apnea was only linked to type 2 diabetes, but new research shows that the condition is also linked to type 1 diabetes. In addition, you might find that your poor sleep leads to a combination of low energy and increased appetite, which can make you more likely to gain weight. Systemic inflammation can contribute to a number of health problems, including cancer. However, the link between sleep apnea and cancer is not as strongly established as conditions like heart failure or stroke.
Your brain cleans itself of waste and performs other critical regulatory tasks. To do these tasks, it needs long periods of uninterrupted rest that let it progress to the deepest levels of sleep. With the numerous interruptions caused by sleep apnea, you might see some psychological effects, including:
- Low mood, depression, irritability, or other mood disorders
- Memory problems
- Early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Lack of motivation
- Inattention and related traffic or workplace accidents
- Loss of sexual drive, interest, or satisfaction
- Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts
When people can’t get the proper rest on a daily basis, it’s hard for them to function properly. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, and people with undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea experience it on a daily basis.
Fortunately, treatment can relieve these symptoms, helping you to again enjoy the quality of life that you used to.
Escape the Dangers of Sleep Apnea in Columbus
If you have been diagnosed or suspect sleep apnea in Columbus, you can see how serious the consequences can be. But you can avoid them with the help of Dr. Mike. He can help you find an effective sleep apnea treatment that fits you and your lifestyle. Please call (614) 683-4640 today for an appointment at Firouzian Sleep Wellness. We offer free consultations.