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Week 2, 2013


Sleep Apnea vs. Prostate Enlargement  


North Branford , Connecticut, 1/13/13. A thing bothers me for years and it is not easy to tell everyone, but I figured this may help some prostate enlargement and sleep apnea patients.


Many patients experience the frequent night awakenings and urinations. Tthey could wake up several times a night for urination. They may find that they could take longer time to complete their urinations. Many times they need a final push to complete the last drops and some times experience pains or burnings.


It makes sense to see an urologist if you have such symptoms. Your urologist would likely check your prostate and tells you that your prostate is slightly larger than normal but this is typical for your age. But have you ever been thinking of the reasons of the prostate enlargement, and the ways to prevent it from further growth? Is your age the only answer?


There are many, many reasons that prostate enlarges. If you do find you have above symptoms, think about the sleep apnea. The symptom of frequent awakenings and urinations at night may be the indication of Benign Prostate Enlargement (BPE). But the root cause of the BPE could be the Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).


Obstructive sleep apnea is a disease that the patients intermittently stop breathing in asleep due to airway restrictions in their throats. If the intervals of the breathing are too long and too frequent (more than 10 times per hour), the oxygen level in the patient’s blood drops. In the event of the oxygen below a certain level (it is risky if below 90%), the patient’s brain senses the danger and try to wake the patient up to resume your breathe.


There are many ways your brain to wake you up. When the oxygen level is low and carbon dioxide (CO2) is high in your blood, your heartbeats intend to slow down and kidney dumps water and sodium from your blood to the bladder. The accumulation of urine increases pressure inside of the bladder which intends to wake you up for urination.


Frequent awakenings and urinations may lead you to see your urologist, but you may also want to see your sleep specialist for a hospital overnight study. The sleep apnea is treatable, many patients use CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Air Pressure), others uses mouthpiece if they can't tolerate with the discomfort and noises of the CPAP machine. Snorefighter is a plastic mouthpiece and can be worn at bed time to prevent from snoring. It also helps sleep apnea, potentially stop the prostate enlargement and eliminate the nocturia - frequent awakenings and urination.


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