Monday, June 2, 2014

Unexpected Health Benefits of Aortic Valve Replacement

I started having some serious depression problems back about 2005 or so, and this lead to a sleep study that found that I have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which prevents from sleeping well.  Every few minutes (in my case), my oxygen levels would be sufficiently reduced that I would sort of wake up, trying to get more air.  A side effect was very loud snoring.  This snoring has been problem for a long time; my wife has slept in a separate bedroom for twenty years for this reason.  OSA is often associated with being overweight, which I certainly was, and that was the assumption for its cause.

I did not find the CPAP to be an adequate solution.  Like many people, I found the discomfort of it was even more of an obstacle to sleep than OSA.  But I did find a solution: Breathe Right strips seemed to open up my breathing passages enough for me to sleep well, and the depression lifted.

On our recent trip to Yellowstone, my wife made an astonishing discover: I no longer snored.  Even more astonishing: the incredibly disturbing noises that I made, even with the Breathe Right strips, were gone!  My breathing was so quiet that at first she worried that I had died in my sleep.  Then she realized that not only was I now quiet, but my breathing was very, very regular: no more of this dramatic changes in breathing pattern.

I have lost a bit of weight over the last few months, from about 230 to about 211, but I have been this light before without the snoring going away, and with the OSA still a problem.  One of the reasons for the aortic valve replacement was to improvement oxygenation of my blood.  I am beginning to think that a consequence was that my body was no longer struggling to get enough oxygen while I was asleep.  I wonder how much OSA could be related to circulatory problems that no one is checking.

1 comment:

Jeff Dege said...

There is a strong link between OSA and hyperinsulinemia, independent of weight.

It's just another of the bundle of conditions that make up the Metabolic Syndrome, that are eased or cured by a carbohydrate restricted diet.