GERD/OSA Sounds like a yoga pose, heh?

Do you find yourself reaching for the Tums or Alka Selters more often lately, especially at night?


You may not be aware that OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) often go hand in hand. 60 million Americans suffer from GERD, and depending on which study you look at, another 50 million or so Americans suffer from sleep apnea.

GERD often worsens at night, when we lay down. Simple physics and gravity make this happen, so that sort of makes sense, but what does sleep apnea have to do with my reflux? Try this: close your lips and plug up your nose, and then try to breathe in. Obviously, you can’t, but notice what happens: your diaphragm moves, trying to draw air into your lungs, but when it cannot (as does happen during an obstructive apnea event), it tends to push stomach acids up into the throat, exacerbating your GERD as well as your sleep apnea. Which came first, the reflux or the sleep apnea?

Great question and no one knows for sure.

If you snore, are ever tired during the day, or you have one or more of the co-morbidities of hypertension, GERD, daytime sleepiness, then perhaps you may be one of the millions of Americans who have Undiagnosed sleep apnea. Seriously, bring the topics up at your next visit with your primary care doc and consider getting a sleep study done.

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