Tens of millions of adults in the United States are living with sleep apnea. It’s a condition that can range from uncomfortable to fatal depending on the severity.
Keeping your sleep apnea under control is crucial, as is understanding the root cause. Many are living with sleep apnea due to obesity, genetic predispositions, lifestyle choices and more. What you may not know is that endocrine disorders are also a cause.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
The dynamics of sleep apnea can cause restless nights as well as mental and physical distress. The condition involves disrupted breathing while you sleep, and as you might imagine, this can have perilous repercussions.
Apnea episodes occur when your upper respiratory system is blocked, making it difficult to breathe. Sleep apnea patients undergo sleep studies to see how often their breathing stops while asleep, and then often begin using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that maintains a constant flow of breathing oxygen. An additional sleep apnea therapy involves wearing a mouthguard known as an oral appliance.
How Endocrine Disorders Play a Role
Examples of such endocrine diseases include hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) and acromegaly (high levels of growth hormone). These endocrine issues are often linked to sleep apnea.
With hypothyroidism, you may experience nerve damage that reduces your ability to breathe fully. If you have an underactive thyroid, you can experience muscle pain or sleep problems that exacerbate your sleep apnea. Acromegaly is a thyroid issue that may have side effects like a swollen tongue or larynx. This can block your airways while you sleep.
Finally, extreme growth hormone levels can affect your sleep quality, which might also worsen sleep apnea symptoms.
How to Manage Your Sleep Disorders
If you can manage your hormone levels, it’s easier to manage your sleep disorders. Get some bloodwork done by a physician and a lab to identify whether any of your hormones are imbalanced.
Some of the hormones that are part of the endocrine system include growth hormone, cortisol stress hormones, sex hormones, and oxytocin. Each hormone requires different levels of maintenance to balance them. For instance, working out and weight training can help balance your stress and sex hormones.
You might also be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy depending on certain conditions.
Hormones aside, make sure that you also visit a sleep apnea specialist to help you with your issues. They can fit you for a CPAP system or dental mouthguard to manage your condition. Cut out smoking, get your weight under control, and regularly visit a physician to make sure that you’re monitoring and managing your sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea and Endocrine Disorders
Sleep apnea and endocrine disorders are linked more than most people realize. Knowing these tips will give you the advice you need to get your sleep apnea under control.
Sleep Dynamics is happy help you when you’re looking into treatment options. Use our contact form to get in touch, or call 732-795-0016 for more information.