Sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, can cause fatigue and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to depression, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Stress hormones released during frequent drops in blood oxygen level caused by sleep apnea increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, irregular heart beats (arrhythmias) and heart failure. Excessive sleepiness can lead to fatal car crashes and accidents at work.
Sleep disorders may be under-diagnosed in both rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, according to research. For information regarding sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, and their connection with RA and MS, please read the following posts I wrote this week for HealthCentral.
Sleep Apnea: Is RA Connected with Sleep Apnea? (Part One)
Sleep Apnea: How is it Diagnosed and Treated? (Part Two)
Multiple Sclerosis and Sleep Disorders: Do You Suffer Fatigue and Daytime Sleepiness? (Part Three)