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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Heart Burn? Sleep Apnea May be a Cause


Could a sleep disorder be worsening your acid reflux?  If you suffer from heart burn and indigestion which is worse in the evenings and may even disrupt your sleep, obstructive sleep apnea may be contributory to your distress. 

Obstructive sleep apnea results from the repetitive partial or complete closure of your airway as you sleep.  In response to this narrowed or closed (obstructed) airway, your chest generates an incredible suction force in attempts to draw air past the obstruction and into the lungs. 

However, there is another tube innocently transiting through the chest on it's way to your stomach--the esophagus.  Those huge repetitive suction forces effectively turn your esophagus into a straw drawing stomach contents into the esophagus (acid reflux, heart burn, indigestion).  The effect is akin to having to suck harder to draw a beverage up your straw if I were to pinch smaller that straw with my fingers.

Getting up to urinate more than twice a night?  This too may be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea.