This Morning: How face mists can help with menopause
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As the body ages it suffers natural decreases in sex hormones, which can cause unfavourable symptoms. Doctors tend to remedy these bodily changes with medication containing vital hormones. According to new findings, this may be important to prevent the onset of sleep apnoea and snoring, which have other known health risks.
A new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE has highlighted a link between sleep apnoea and low levels of oestrogen, explaining why reports of sleep apnea are so rife among menopausal women.
It has long been known that menopausal women suffer sleep apnea, but the reasons for this have remained unclear and understudied.
The new research, suggests that a shortage of sex hormones may be at the root of the issue.
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The study of 774 women, involved in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey, was conducted between 2010 and 2012.
Among this sample of women, 71.2 percent had been told they snored, while 411 reported other symptoms of sleep apnea.
A doubling in concentrations of estrone – a type of oestrogen – was associated with a 19 percent decreased odds of snoring.
A doubling of progesterone levels, on the other hand, was linked to a nine per cent decreased odds of snoring.
Science Daily added: “Among snorers, a doubling of the concentrations of three oestrogens was linked with a 17 percent to 23 percent decreased odds of women having been told they breathe irregularly during sleep.
It continued: “A doubling of progesterone concentration, among snorers, was associated with 12 percent decreased odds of having woken with a choking sensation in the previous year.”
The findings appear to suggest that correcting hormonal levels in menopausal women may help lessen the risk of conditions like sleep apnoea.
These types of therapy should also be approached with caution, however, as there may be cardiovascular risks attached to certain hormonal medications.
Risks of Sleep apnoea:
Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder when a person stops breathing for short periods during sleep.
These episodes can last between 10 and 30 seconds, but in severe cases they may recur periodically throughout the night.
“People with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to develop high blood pressure,” warns Harvard Health.
“Apneas disrupt a person’s ability to get a good night’s sleep, making them less alert during the day.”
This can pose several health risks, including increased vulnerability to accidents while driving.
In fact, research shows people with untreated sleep apnoea are up to seven times more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents.
There is evidence that obstructive sleep apnoea may also increase the risk of recurrent heart attack, stroke and abnormal heartbeats.
Several steps, including weight loss, regular exercise and limiting alcohol intake, may help reduce some cases of sleep apnea, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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