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Kidney Health & Sleep Apnea

The kidneys are a vital organ that play a crucial role in removing waste and excess fluid from the body. However, a condition like sleep apnea can significantly impact their ability to function properly.. In this blog, we’ll explore the relationship between kidney health & sleep apnea. 

First, let’s define what sleep apnea is. A sleep disorder that involves frequent pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to a minute and can occur dozens of times per hour. A collapse of the airway typically causes them, obstructing breathing and causing the brain to wake up momentarily in order to restart breathing.

Sleep apnea is a known risk factor for various health conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. In recent years, research investigates if sleep apnea worsens or leads to kidney disease.

One study, published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, found that people with sleep apnea were more likely to develop chronic kidney disease (CKD) than those without the condition. The study, which followed over 1,500 participants for an average of 8 years, found that those with sleep apnea were twice as likely to develop CKD compared to those without it. 

So, why might a link exist between sleep apnea and kidney disease? There are a few potential explanations. One is that the frequent pauses in breathing caused by sleep apnea can cause oxygen levels in the blood to drop. This can trigger a series of physiological changes that put stress on the kidneys and other organs. Additionally, high blood pressure, which is a known risk factor for kidney disease, often accompanies sleep apnea.

flow chart on how kidney diseases can lead to obstructive sleep apnea

Sleep apnea doesn’t always cause kidney disease, but those with sleep apnea should be aware of the risks. If you have sleep apnea, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of kidney disease.

One of the most important is to seek treatment for your sleep apnea. This may involve lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and sleeping on your side. During sleep, one can use continuous positive airway pressure to keep the airway open

Other steps you can take to support kidney health include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, managing blood pressure & blood sugar levels, and staying hydrated. It’s also important to have regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor kidney function and address any concerns. 

In conclusion, sleep apnea & kidney disease are two conditions that can be linked, and it’s important for people with sleep apnea to be aware of the potential impact on their kidney health. By seeking treatment for sleep apnea & taking steps to support kidney health, it may be possible to reduce the risk of developing or worsening kidney disease. 

Learn more about kidney health & conditions that may lead to sleep apnea in the future. Visit our website or call us on 0333 55 99 99 2 to book your next appointment with us.

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