Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common form of sleep disorders during sleep, where the symptoms are very frightening, because people with OSA can experience several episodes of stopping breathing during sleep. This is due to the collapse of the upper airway which causes the flow of air to the lungs to be obstructed.
Although medical science for sleep disorders has developed rapidly, the term obstructive sleep apnea is indeed still unfamiliar to the public. This disease is rarely detected, even by doctors. OSA is still often under-diagnosed and if left unchecked, OSA can cause various cardiovascular complications, metabolic syndrome, nervous disorders, and hormonal balance.
Of the many complications that might be caused by this disease, there are three serious diseases that we need to be aware of. These three diseases have a lifelong treatment effect that can also be life threatening, so we should no longer underestimate the habit of snoring. What are the 3 diseases? Come on, follow the explanation below.
1. Hypertension and potential stroke
In cases of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), more than 50% of sufferers experience complications of hypertension or high blood pressure. This is due to decreased oxygen levels which make the body release various kinds of compounds. One of them is catecholamine. Catecholamines will reduce blood vessel flexibility, so it tends to narrow. In addition, a lack of oxygen (hypoxia) also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which further constricts blood vessels while increasing heart rate.
Initially, increased blood pressure can still be overcome. However, if this continues in the long term, the combination of high levels of catecholamines and sympathetic nerve activity becomes the forerunner of hypertension in OSA patients. Repeated changes in blood pressure due to changes in breathing patterns during sleep in OSA can make the pressure sensor (baroreceptor) reflex decrease. This causes the central pressure sensor to become less sensitive which ends with an increase in blood pressure continuously.
Hypertension that occurs in patients who are not diagnosed with OSA or who do not get good OSA treatment, is difficult to overcome and trigger a variety of further complications, such as bleeding strokes. Effective OSA treatment will improve blood pressure control in many patients.
2. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (Type 2 DM)
It is estimated that around 40% of OSA patients will experience type 2 diabetes, and type 2 diabetics have a 23% chance of suffering from OSA. So, there is a reciprocal relationship between OSA and type 2 diabetes. There are several reasons why OSA can cause diabetes mellitus, namely:
- The sympathetic nervous system plays a major role in regulating glucose and fat metabolism. In patients with OSA, this nervous system is stimulated so that chaos occurs which causes blood glucose levels to be high.
- Oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) in OSA patients can reduce insulin sensitivity and worsen glucose tolerance, so glucose in the blood cannot enter the tissues and is used as energy fuel.
- Hypoxia and sleep disorders cause hormonal imbalances, namely an increase in cortisol levels with abnormal and excessive patterns. This hormone inhibits the level of sensitivity of the hormone insulin which regulates blood glucose levels
A study says that OSA treatment with diabetes becomes complex because there are drug interactions that cause the dosage of diabetes medicine to decrease, so early detection and treatment must be done more aggressively.
3. Coronary heart disease
Studies in experimental animals show that lack of oxygen causes chaos in genes that produce fat in the liver, resulting in impaired fat metabolism. This condition depends on the severity of hypoxia. Low blood oxygen levels in people with OSA cause a 30% increase in fat components such as triglycerides. So, in OSA conditions it is common to find elevated levels of bad fat (LDL cholesterol) and a decrease in good fat (HDL cholesterol). This triggers an increase in the formation of crust in the body’s blood vessels.
The effects of a lack of oxygen also reduce the flow of oxygen to the heart. This causes the heart muscle to not pump blood optimally to other organs. The combination of bad fat profiles and resistance to oxygen flow can cause heart muscle to die, so heart attacks are inevitable.
Well, that’s 3 serious diseases that can occur due to snoring. Therefore, remind yourself also beloved people to immediately see a doctor, if you show symptoms of snoring that is not fair. Do not let this disease come over first.