Sleep Apnea & Hypertension
Sleep apnea is a mysterious condition which is associated with many ailments and conditions. In the most recent American Family Physician (5/15/09) there was a lengthy article on the problem of Hypertension that is unresponsive to treatment. The article concluded that the cause of uncontrollable arterial hypertension could very well be sleep apnea which often goes unnoticed in sufferers. In fact frequently, up to 60 percent of the time, sleep apnea affects people who appear slim and or fit. as noted in my previous post: Walking Breaks & Sleep Apnea.
Best life recently had this to say about sleep apnea, hypertension, and over-eating.
"Roughly 12 million American’s suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes a person to momentarily stop breathing while asleep. Previous research has linked sleep apnea [and eating] to weight gain and heart disease, and a new study from the University of Arizona College of Medicine may have found the reason for the link: binge eating.
Researchers found that those with sleep apnea ate, on average, an additional 88.16 milligrams of cholesterol a day. This suggests that sleep apnea interferes with the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin, causing sufferers to pig out on heart-damaging high-cholesterol food. If you wake up with headaches in the morning, suffer from daytime drowsiness, and keep your [spouse] awake because of your loud snoring, go to a sleep lab for a sleep apnea test."
The Sleep Apnea Hypertension LinkThis line of thinking leads me to conclude that among the many causes of hypertension, binge eating can cause hypertension and can also trigger the development of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, however does not nessesarily have to be caused by binge eating as 60 percent of sufferers are not obese. Once sleep apnea becomes a condition regardless of it's cause, then halting binge eating (especialy in the case of a slim sufferer) may not necessarily solve the hypertension issue because the individual suffers from sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea SymptomsNow, I’m not a doctor or medical researcher but I do feel this is a logical assumption that might one day have to be proved or disproved. What I do know though is that if you have sleep apnea you should really get diagnosed and treated for it. Even if you don’t value the sleep you might value the effect it might have on lowering your blood pressure regardless of your waistline.
The quote above is from the March 2009 issue of Best Life magazine.