Did you know that men with low testosterone often suffer from sleep apnea? Increasing your testosterone with testosterone products can worsen sleep apnea symptoms in men, which can lead to a number of medical conditions.
Have you taken testosterone and then experienced cardiovascular troubles or blood clots?
Testosterone is often referred to as the male sex hormone responsible for virility, fertility and libido. Additionally, this sex hormone is needed for energy production. If you take too much testosterone, you may experience aggression as well as sleep pattern disruptions. One of the most common sleep disturbances is sleep apnea caused by low testosterone levels.
Most people suffering from sleep apnea and low testosterone levels think that testosterone therapy can help correct sleep apnea symptoms in men; however, treating low testosterone levels can actually cause your sleep apnea to become more severe and can result in additional health problems.
Description of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that is experienced by thousands of people each year. During sleep, breathing can cease for a few seconds longer than a minute. Many sufferers stop breathing more than 30 times in an hour. These breath pauses can cause low oxygen levels throughout the body. When the body does not get ample oxygen, the body rouses from deep sleep. Once the person is roused out of deep sleep, breathing begins again, often accompanied by a loud snore, choking sound or a gasp. The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that over 18 million Americans suffer from this sleep disorder.
Poor, fragmented sleep, resulting from untreated sleep apnea, can cause sleepiness throughout the day as well as a number of more severe symptoms. When the body is unable to rest and recover, you are at an increased risk of developing numerous medical conditions, including cardiovascular disorders, such as high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, heart failure, heart attack and stroke. Additionally, those who do not receive quality sleep may be at an increased risk for developing diabetes and depression. Finally, obesity can be caused by poor sleep.
Many people suffer from sleep apnea and do not know it. This is because when breath pauses occur, they are not roused awake and do not experience shortness of breath. In fact, most people who are affected by sleep apnea are never diagnosed, and the condition is left untreated.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms In Men and Low Testosterone Levels
The quantity and quality of your sleep affects your sex hormone levels. During the REM stage of sleep, the body produces sex hormones. Upon waking, these levels begin to decline. When you do not receive deep, restorative sleep, your body is unable to produce the hormones it needs. Sleep apnea is the leading cause of non-restorative sleep in Americans.
Because the body produces sex hormones during REM sleep, men suffering with sleep apnea often experience low testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels affect numerous systems throughout the body and can cause a host of sexual issues, including erectile dysfunction and low libido.
Low testosterone levels coupled with sleep apnea symptoms in men begin a vicious cycle in men. Low testosterone levels can cause poor sleep quality, which can lower the amount of sex hormones produced. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology published a study that stated men suffering with low testosterone levels have increased nighttime awakenings, decreased sleep efficiency, lower levels of REM sleep and an increased incidence of severe sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep Apnea and Testosterone Products
If you are suffering for your low testosterone levels, sexual issues and sleep problems, a sleep study should be done before beginning any type of testosterone therapy. A diagnosis of sleep apnea should be treated prior to the use of testosterone products. Otherwise, your sleep apnea can become worse, causing more sex hormone problems.
Additionally, a study produced by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology found that testosterone therapy can actually induce sleep apnea symptoms in men. Researchers studied five men suffering with hypogonadism (low testosterone levels) to determine how testosterone therapy affects sleep apnea. After the men received six weeks of testosterone therapy, one man developed sleep apnea. As more testosterone was administered, the sleep apnea becomes markedly worse in another man suffering from sleep apnea prior to beginning the study. Both men experienced decreased oxygen levels and heart arrhythmia while sleeping.
By treating sleep apnea first, rather than treating low testosterone levels, you can protect against worsening sex hormone levels and breathe pauses during the sleep cycle. Additionally, once restful sleep is restored, testosterone levels may be restored naturally. Testosterone products can cause a number of side effects, including heart attack, stroke and even death. On the other hand, sleep apnea treatments are not associated with these side effects. Therefore, it is always best to treat sleep apnea and allow testosterone levels to rise naturally.