[rescue] Re: rescue Digest, Vol 17, Issue 104

Ross Bernheim rossber at mindspring.com
Sun Apr 18 11:08:49 CDT 2004

On Sunday, April 18, 2004, at 08:02 AM, rescue-request at sunhelp.org

> Is sleep apnea the one caused by fat around your neck being pushed
> into you
> due to gravity when you lie down, effectively strangling you?  Can't
> that
> just be fixed by losing weight?  (I wonder if I have that, sleep over
> the
> past like... month, has actually been *painful*, I wake up and I am
> sore, I
> sleep 2-3 hours at a time and am always exhausted, but sleep doesn't
> seem to
> help.)

Short answer is no. If being fat were the cause, skinny people would
not get
apnea, they do. It is structural in nature which helps explain why it
seems to
run in families. It is exacerbated in some cases by being overweight.
Age is
also a factor since as one ages the control center in the brain allows
muscles in the throat to relax more during sleep than when young.

For most with obstructive sleep apnea the cause is several restrictions
combining which is why surgical intervention is rarely successful with a
single operation other than a tracheotomy.

Central apnea is caused by the brain failing to tell the body to breath,
this is treated differently than obstructive apnea, usually with drugs.

There are a number of other sleep disorders that may also be present
in combination with apnea. And apnea may trigger or cause or exacerbate
many other disorders as well. Congestive heart failure and strokes are
conditions very tightly linked to apnea, but there are many others. One
of the
most interesting is that many of the 'memory problems of aging' may be
at least in part to apnea.

While many of us with apnea use humor to help deal with it, apnea is a
very serious condition.

Ross Bernheim

I learn by doing and then repairing what Ive done.  Red Green

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