Sleep Apnea — a disorder in which breathing stops and starts during sleep — is a surprisingly common disorder in Chronic Kidney Disease patients conducting Dialysis. The symptoms of Sleep Apnea frequently go unreported or may be misdiagnosed as uremia, depression, chronic illness, or insomnia. Research has now found that Sleep Apnea is associated with an increased risk for Gout (a common cause of painful joint pain and Arthritis) in Dialysis patients.
Sleep apnea occurs in at least 60% of Chronic Kidney Disease patients who undergo Dialysis Treatments. The known complications of Sleep Apnea include Arrhythmias (improper beating of the heart), Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), and in some cases mortality (death) from Cardiac Disease and Stroke.
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The cause of the new complication of Sleep Apnea related Gout is unclear, but reduced oxygen supply during sleep encourages the production of Uric Acid (occurs when the body breaks down purines — substances that are found in food and naturally in your body). Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood and the accumulation of these crystals in the joints is what causes the inflammation and pain of Gout.
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Well, Sleep Apnea can be treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) in which the Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients wear a mask at night to allow easier breathing. Lead Researcher, Milica Blagojevic-Bucknall said, “It’s possible that people who use CPAP could reduce the risk or severity of Gout.” There are also drugs and diet restrictions used to treat Gout which you may discuss with your Healthcare Team.
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