The Impact of Sleep Apnea on Kidneys
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when your breathing stops periodically throughout the night. With untreated sleep apnea, patients may stop breathing during sleep up to hundreds of times, which can cause their brain and the rest of their body, including the kidneys, to not receive enough oxygen to begin their repairs.
There are two forms of sleep apnea, and both are destructive to your body. One is obstructive sleep apnea, which is the more common of the two forms of apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, which is usually the soft tissue in the back of the throat that collapses while the patient sleeps.
Central sleep apnea, however, is a bit different. The airway is not blocked, but the brain forgets to signal your muscles to breathe. This is mainly because of the instability in the respiratory control center. There are many consequences of untreated sleep apnea, which include: High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Depression ADHD problems
- Poor performance in everyday activities
- Risk of motor vehicle crashes
- Extreme fatigue
According to a health report from Taiwan and reported by Reuter Health, sleep apnea may also increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.
This study has shown the direct link between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and sleep apnea.
Data from a 10 year study on 8,600 adults found 157 new cases of chronic kidney disease in adults with sleep apnea. According to Yung-Tai Chen of Taipei City Hospital Heping Fuyou Branch in Taiwan, there were also 298 cases of chronic kidney disease in the comparison group.
The study took every participant's health, income, age, and ethnic factors into account and found that sleep apnea increased the risk of kidney disease by almost 58%. Hypertension, which is also a known risk factor for kidney disease, only increased the risk by 17%. Diabetes, on the other hand, doubled the risk of kidney disease.
Sleep apnea is intermittent low oxygen levels during sleep. It is also fragmented sleep patterns that activated high blood pressure. High blood pressure damages the kidneys, said Tetyaa Kendzerska of the University of Toronto Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. She was not part of the study in Taiwan but verified the data.
Kendzerska did go on to say, "So, instead of concluding that sleep apnea has the same impact as high blood pressure on the kidney, I would rather conclude that this study suggests that the association between sleep apnea and chronic kidney disease may exist and should be validated with more powerful studies.”
However, even a hint that sleep apnea can cause chronic kidney disease is alarming.