August 5, 2014

Sleep Apnea, Alternative Medicine and Other Info

There is not an abundance of information about alternative medicine and sleep apnea. I have seen some on acupuncture and sleep apnea, but most is very short and limited like this by the Mayo Clinic. There is also dental (oral) appliances for sleep apnea which I wrote about in September 2010.

Oral appliances are available and some dentists have been through the sleep specialist training to qualify to fit oral appliances for sleep apnea. If you are a person that sleeps on you stomach and tosses and turns a lot in your sleep, these may not be for you and they can do damage to your teeth. This information was received from a dentist that fits oral appliances for sleep apnea. More dentists now are qualified to handle mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea. I have written about oral appliances here. The national group for oral appliance part of dentistry is here.

Most of the discussion to this point has been about patients with sleep apnea that have been overweight. However, people with normal weight can develop sleep apnea as they age. So if you happen to be in this group, be careful as well. Also if you were an overweight person with sleep apnea and have lost weight, this does not mean that you have cured your sleep apnea problem. A friend of mine stopped using his CPAP when his weight was at his normal or ideal weight. Two months later, he complained about being so tired he could not stay awake.

After several days of discussion, he said it was six years since he received his CPAP machine and Medicare would maybe consider another sleep study and definitely a new machine. After talking to his sleep doctor, it was determined this would be best. After the sleep lab, it was determined that he still had sleep apnea and averaged about 50 apneas during the lab. Now he is waiting for the new APAP machine. He told me that in most of his reading they have said losing weight normally took care of the sleep apnea problems. He now knows better.

Two of the organizations for sleep apnea are:

This one also lists the previous two organizations.

I have written about surgery for sleep apnea and from my reading would discourage considering this. Two blogs are here:

Some other blogs that may be of interest are:

This article from CardioSource is very informative and contains some straight forward information about CPAP use and the effects on lipids, hypertension, and diabetes.
Even with firm evidence that lack of sleep has a proven effect of making diabetes more difficult to manage, CPAP has mixed results on improving insulin resistance.

This concludes this series on sleep apnea.  I have come across more information and will have a few blogs in the near future.  

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