Have Questions? Call Now

(813) 445-7770

Understanding, Diagnosing, and Treating Sleep Apnea

Are you one of the women that has sleep apnea & looking for hormone therapy in Tampa, FL? It’s bad enough that you just binge-watched the first seven episodes of the fourth season of “Ozark,” and you’re suffering serious sleep deprivation issues because of it.

Hormone Therapy Tampa FLNow you find out the second — and final — seven episodes are scheduled for release ahead of time. At the end of April!

That’s hardly enough time to catch up on your sleep. Exacerbating that situation is the fact that you already suffer disruptions in your sleep due to breathing issues on a regular basis shortly after your head hits the pillow.

Maybe you shouldn’t blame all those sleepless nights on Netflix’s hit crime thriller. Perhaps it’s time to look at physical issues rather than the TV remote.

Sleep apnea is a chronic and potentially serious health condition characterized by abnormal periods of breathing during sleep.

Breathing may even stop completely, from several seconds to up to a minute at a time, several times during the night. These pauses in breathing and the resulting lack of oxygen often disrupt sleep, although the sufferer may not recall waking up.

If you’re living with sleep apnea, chances are good that you’re experiencing sleep deprivation, and you don’t even know it. You’re getting enough sleep, but it’s poor-quality sleep — restless sleep, not as restorative and rejuvenating as it should be.

As a result, you’re probably also experiencing low-grade inflammation, which is the root cause or a strong contributing factor to many chronic illnesses.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

You may have sleep apnea if you’re experiencing one or more of the following symptoms (some symptoms are more likely to be noticed by others than by you):

  • Loud snoring
  • Periods of paused breathing during sleep
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Poor concentration during the day
  • Irritability
  • Frequent need to wake up to urinate (nocturia)
  • Scalloped tongue (also associated with thyroid disease)

A tongue becomes “scalloped” when it’s too big for a person’s mouth and presses up against the person’s teeth, causing ridges and wavy edges.

Researchers conducting a study in 2005 found that about 70 percent of people with sleep apnea exhibited tongue scalloping, compared to about 14 percent in the control group (without sleep apnea).

The Three Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can appear in three forms. These include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form, occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax too much, thereby blocking the airway. It’s often associated with the following:
    • A significant reduction in blood oxygen saturation
    • Oxidative stress, resulting in damage to the mitochondria (the energy generators inside cells)
    • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which one study shows that about 47 percent of people with OSA had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA) is a problem with the brain’s muscle-control system. During sleep, the brain doesn’t provide the signals necessary for healthy breathing to the muscles that control respiration. It’s almost as if the brain forgets to tell your body to breathe. (Snoring is less common with CSA than with OSA.)
  • Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA — the brain doesn’t send the right signals, and the airway is obstructed in some way.

While a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is useful for treating OSA, it may not help with CSA or mixed sleep apnea.

Learn More Here:  How Hormone Therapy for Women Restore Hormone Levels in Tampa FL

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea affects about 2–9 percent of women and as many as 24 percent of men. Multiple factors have been associated with an increased risk, including these:

  • Anatomical anomalies: Enlarged tongue or tonsils, small jaw, the size and positioning of a person’s neck, throat, or jaw
  • Being overweight: Being overweight is a leading cause of OSA and may be the underlying cause in up to 60 percent of all cases
  • Use of alcohol or other sedatives: Sedatives relax the muscles, making it easier for the airway to become obstructed
  • Cigarette smoking: People who smoke, especially heavy smokers, are more prone to developing sleep apnea
  • Sleeping position: People who sleep on their backs instead of on their sides or face down are more susceptible to sleep apnea
  • Nasal congestion: If you have allergies, sinus problems, a deviated septum, or any other condition that makes you breathe through your mouth, you’re more susceptible to sleep apnea
  • Hormone abnormalities: Certain conditions, such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and acromegaly (excessive growth hormone), can increase the risk of developing OSA

Comprehensive Testing for Sleep Apnea

Hormone Therapy Tampa FLHere at the BioDesign Wellness Center, we believe that testing for sleep apnea can be done more comfortably, conveniently, and effectively at home instead of in a remote, impersonal location like a sleep lab.

We want to test you in your natural sleep setting, not in a strange, out-of-the-way place, which is likely to cause some degree of anxiety.

We begin with an initial consultation to explore your risk factors and lifestyle, medical history, and family history, and we conduct a physical examination to look for any structural anomalies that may shed light on what’s going on.

If we suspect that sleep apnea is a problem, we send you home with a special kit and instructions for conducting an at-home test.

We may also order additional lab tests to check thyroid hormone levels and look for thyroid antibodies to assess for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or other thyroid problems.

When all the test results are in, we call to schedule a follow-up session to discuss the results and your treatment options.

A Holistic Approach to Treating Sleep Apnea

If you’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, we may recommend that you wear a comfortable oral appliance during sleep to help ensure restful and restorative sleep. Additional treatment options may include one or more of the following:

  • Vitamin and antioxidant therapies
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Thyroid hormone optimization using natural or traditional prescriptions to address underactive thyroid
  • Lifestyle programs to support weight loss or smoking cessation
  • Anti-inflammatory protocols to support the immune response associated with thyroid disease

You won’t start to feel like yourself again until you start sleeping through the night, and we won’t rest until you do. We are committed to identifying and addressing the root cause(s) of whatever is ailing you and eliminating whatever is standing between you and your optimal health and fitness.

But it’s up to you to take the first step by scheduling your initial consultation.


Disclaimer: The information in this blog post about sleep apnea is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect current medical thinking or practices. No information contained in this post should be construed as medical advice from the medical staff at BioDesign Wellness Center, Inc., nor is this post intended to be a substitute for medical counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate medical advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed medical professional in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.