Sleep Apnea and Gastrointestinal Issues – Relation between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Gastrointestinal Issues

We all know how important it is to get a good night of sleep. Tossing and turning during the night can impact how we feel in terms of energy and mood the next morning or even the following day. Unfortunately, if you have a chronic condition, especially one that causes gastrointestinal distress, you may wake up frequently due to gas pain and bloating. What if to make matters worse throughout the night, you also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and your breathing pauses anywhere from five to over 30 times an hour? Gastrointestinal problems and obstructive sleep apnea: a double whammy when it comes to getting sleep that restores your mind, body and soul.
gastrointestinal distress
It is no secret that a sound night's sleep is crucial to our health. If the sleep breaks several times in the night, it affects negatively our moods. On top of that, if you're a severe sleep apnea patient with gastrointestinal issues, you will be waking up regularly due to gastric pain. 

Even worse, if your breathing breaks from 5-30 plus times in an hour due to obstruction in your breathing process. Obstructive sleep apnea along with gastrointestinal issues totally destroys your soul, body, and mind.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Explained

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which people who are affected stop breathing throughout the course of a night’s sleep due to an obstruction. With no or little air freely flowing to the lungs, there is a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood.  An individual with sleep apnea can have any or all of the following symptoms
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which people who are affected stop breathing throughout a night’s sleep due to an obstruction. 

The oxygen levels decrease in the blood if no or very little amount of air is passing to the lungs. 

The below-mentioned symptoms are apparent in a sleep apnea patient. 
- Fatigue 
- Daytime sleepiness
- Memory loss
- Fragmented sleep
- Poor concentration
The Range of Gastrointestinal Problems

Unfortunately, 80 percent of people with sleep apnea are not properly diagnosed and therefore also not treated. When left untreated, the individual is at a higher risk for a host of other, often life-threatening, conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity. With the increasing incidence of inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease under this umbrella, gastrointestinal disease may also have a component and connection with sleep apnea.
Crohn’s disease

Unluckily, 80% of sleep apnea patients remain undiagnosed and thus untreated. In this condition, they remain apparent to several other deadly diseases, for example, obesity, type II diabetes, stroke, heart-related diseases, and Hypertension

As the incidences of Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel illness, and ulcerative colitis are increasing in sleep apnea patients, so there is a great chance that there is also a link between sleep apnea and gastrointestinal diseases.   

Current statistics estimate that over 2 million Americans are living with inflammatory bowel disease. If a person has ulcerative colitis, he or she has inflammation of the colon. If a person has Crohn’s disease, the inflammation can occur throughout the gastrointestinal tract. There are periods of flare-ups as well as remissions. When a flare-up does occur, the individual will experience symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, bloody stools and abdominal pain.
symptoms such as diarrhea
According to an estimate, more than 2M United States residents are suffering from inflammatory-bowel-disease. If anyone is a patient of ulcerative colitis, he is likely to have colon inflammation as well. 

And If anyone has Crohn’s complaint, he is likely to have inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. There're times of higher and lesser intensities of the disease

Whenever the intensity is on the higher side, an affected person will feel abdominal pain, bloody stool, fever, or diarrhea.
Treatment for this group of gastrointestinal problems involves keeping flare-ups to a minimum. In early 2014, a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology evaluated whether or not melatonin could be used to help treat people with irritable bowel syndrome. Researchers found that there was potential in using this supplement to lower GI pain and as a sleep promoter in those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
irritable bowel syndrome.
The cure for such patients is to keep the intensity of their diseases to a lower side. 

According to research carried out in the year 2014, on the use of melatonin for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome patients

The scientists observed that there was much possibility of utilizing melatonin for overcoming gastrointestinal pain and to promote sleep in irritable bowel syndrome patients.

Here are some additional tips that can help people with GI issues:
Eat last meal of day early: If you eat a meal late in the day, it means that your digestive tract will be working when you sleep. Not sound thinking for anyone, especially an individual who has digestive tract problems. Instead try eating your largest meal for breakfast and then taper down to smaller and smaller portions as the day goes on. This tip will also lower the incidence of diarrhea during the night, which can also disturb sleep.
Eat the last meal of the day early: If you eat a meal late in the day, it means that your digestive tract will be working when you sleep. Not sound thinking for anyone, especially an individual who has a digestive tract problem

On the other hand, attempt having the largest part of your meal in the breakfast and then lower down to smaller portions throughout the day. 

This advice will also help in reducing the number of occurrences of diarrhea throughout the nighttime, which is also a reason for disturbed sleep.
Decrease stress: With stress being a trigger, development of reduction tactics can be key. Meditation, yoga and a number of other stress management tools can both increase sound sleep and decrease the troublesome flare-ups.
Decrease stress
Decrease stress: With stress being a trigger, the development of reduction tactics can be key. Meditation, yoga, and several other stress management tools can both increase sound sleep and decrease the troublesome flare-ups.
Seek treatment for sleep disorder: Lack of restorative sleep and gastrointestinal flare-ups can become a vicious cycle, with one prompting the other and vice versa. Not surprisingly treatment of a pre-existing or simultaneous sleep disorder can help on a number of fronts.
Seek treatment for a sleep disorder
Get cure of your sleep discomfort: Deficiency of sound sleep and incidents of GI pains can come out to be dangerous. Therefore, treating the reasons for your sleep discomforts will surely help in providing you the better sleep at night.


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