Sleep Apnea

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of sleep apnea we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow sleep apnea to develop?"

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  • check your overall health status
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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind sleep apnea consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to sleep apnea.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Hypothyroidism
  • A Weight Problem

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
depression with some anxiety
very low HDL cholesterol level
numb/burning/tingling extremities
having low-normal TT4 level
low free T4
having high percentage body fat
major swelling at front of neck
constant fatigue
hypothyroidism in family members
bags under eyes
history of occasional dieting
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of sleep apnea:
Cause Probability Status
Hypothyroidism 95% Confirm
A Weight Problem 50% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate sleeping-related problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you have Sleep Apnea (periods of at least 10 seconds where you stop breathing while asleep)? If you sleep with a partner, you may want to ask them.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No, definitely not
→ In the past only
→ Minor problem
→ Major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no sleep apnea, history of sleep apnea or sleep apnea, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:

Hypothyroidism can present itself as obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
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