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List of Health Conditions from A to Z

Sleep Apnea

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Apnea is a word of Greek origin which means "without breath." So sleep apnea means sleeping without breath, or more commonly stated, "stop breathing in one's sleep".

Frightening for both the person who might wake up gasping and for those who hear a loved one stop breathing.

An estimated twelve million plus Americans are affected with Sleep Apnea (According to the National Institute of Health).

There are two major kinds of Sleep Apnea.

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea - the most common type - occurs when something blocks the windpipe (trachea-the air intake passage of the body). Typical blockages include: dry throat tissue, fatty tissue in the throat, relaxed throat muscles, tongue, tonsils/adnoids, or uvula (the flesh which hangs down in the back of the throat). Use of alcohol and sedative drugs often exasperates (contributes to or aggravates) the blockages. Smoking and sinus infections can cause swelling in the throat contributing to a "restriction" in the throat. Hypothyroidism is also a risk factor.
  2. Central sleep apnea - more rare - occurs when the brain fails to send an ample "expand message" to the diaphragm. This is more of a central nervous system (medulla oblagata) weakness.

The medical profession usually suggests a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) which is like putting ear plugs in because your smoke detector is going off, keeping you awake. Would you wear the ear plugs? Maybe short term until you investigate and find out where the fire is and put it out. But the ear plugs will not make the fire go out.

In my opinion, while I might use the CPAP initially, I would try to figure out why I have sleep apnea and take care of the cause, instead of merely handling the symptom.

Most common obstructive Sleep Apnea is often helped when you tone the uvula and larynx (throat) with minerals -- especially calcium and magnesium. I suggest Skeletal Strength for a source of both. If you drink coffee, tea or soda or if you do milk products, you could have a pH imbalance which can encourage the body to rob sodium out of the mucousal lining in the thoat inhibiting its ability to retain proper moisture in the throat lining. Changing your diet and using 1 Tbs of slippery elm put in a jar of 4 oz of water (put on lid, shake and drink) 4 times a day between meals helps remoisturizing your throat tissue.

I am not sure why, but often a B vitamin deficiency causes dry mouth and throat.

Central sleep apnea happens when the body doesn't get the signal to breathe. First, lets go over the mechanics of what causes the body to breathe.

During central sleep apnea, it appears that either the Medulla forgets to tell the diaphragm to expand or the message is lost before it gets to the diaphragm. This type of sleep apnea is common among infants and the infirmed (those in poor health).

Fatty acids help the conductivity of messages through the nervous system. Evening Primrose oil in aggressive amounts would be my herb of choice.

Mullein helps feed the medulla, so I would also add this herb in aggressive amounts.

Working with rebuilding or repairing part of the body is often a slow process, so please continue to use your CPAP until you have reversed the cause of your sleep apnea.

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***When working with natural health it is beneficial that you have an understanding of the signs of a healing body. ***