Yavapai Gaming - August 2014

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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features August 19, 2014

9/29/2013 6:00:00 AM
Treating sleep apnea can reverse erectile dysfunction
Courier Columnist

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

I have erectile dysfunction and it has really caused a strain on my marriage. I don't like taking pills and do not want to take Viagra. My wife says I snore and stop breathing in my sleep. My GP wants me to get a sleep test because if I have sleep apnea, it could be related to my ED. Is that true?

A: Yes it is. Sixty percent of men with sleep apnea have ED. What is most important is that of these, 40 percent show significant improvement in erectile function if treated for their sleep apnea. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, you should heed your doctor's advice and get tested.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My wife is pregnant with our second child and is showing signs of diabetes. She sleeps only five hours a night. I have heard that lack of sleep can cause problems with blood sugar.

Does this apply to pregnant women as well?

A: Yes, it certainly does. A recent study showed that pregnant women who slept less than five hours or snored had a significantly higher incidence of gestational diabetes than a control group that did not. My advice is to discuss this with your wife's obstetrician and see what can be done to help her with her sleep.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My neurologist was working me up for problems with my memory and an MRI showed white matter changes. That lead to a sleep study and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. My question is, are these reversible?

A: That is a great and topical question. White matter is the nerve tracts that connect various areas of the brain to each other. During apneas, drops in the blood supply due to marked decreases in pressure causes damage to these tracts. The good news is that a study published this year from Spain showed a significant return to normal after one year of CPAP treatment. Therefore, it would appear that these white matter changes are reversible. This bodes well for a return of normal neurological function in patients such as yourself.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

What do you think about Provent, the little device that fits in your nose, as a treatment for sleep apnea?

A: Initially I was quite encouraged by the findings in several studies. However, a study published in the journal Thorax this year was not very encouraging. They took patients successfully treated with CPAP and put them on Provent, a disposable, nightly-use nasal device that fits in the nostrils. The results were not very encouraging, with most patients getting little or no benefit. So at this point, I cannot recommend its usage. Of course, there may be other studies in the future that refute this, but as for now, I am not recommending it in most patients.

Dr. Robert Rosenberg, board-certified sleep medicine specialist, will answer readers' questions by incorporating them in future columns. Contact him through the form at www.answersforsleep.com or via mail at the Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, 3259 N. Windsong Drive, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314.

Related Stories:
• Sleep disorders common in people with multiple sclerosis
• Light from computers, cellphones inhibits sleep hormone
• Treating sleep apnea helps control diabetes, hypertension
• Gestational diabetes increases sleep apnea risk

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Yavapai Gaming - August 2014

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