Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pregnant Women
According to a study out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and published in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, approximately one quarter of pregnant women may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the recurrent cessation or limitation of normal breathing during sleep. In additional to being the cause of daytime fatigue, the consequences of untreated OSA include but are not limited to high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and heart disease.
Protocols have been instituted for OSA screening and treatment in non-pregnant adults, but so far nothing as surfaced for pregnant women — now there is. A new diagnosis has been recommended called “Gestational Sleep Apnea” (GSA). This would help physicians treat OSA in pregnant women and would parallel other established transient diagnosis of pregnancy, like gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes mellitus.
“Currently there is a lack of uniform criteria to diagnose, treat and classify OSA in the pregnant population, which in turn complicates efforts to determine the risk factors for, and complications of, gestational sleep apnea,” said one researcher. “The time has come for our profession to wake up to the diagnosis of Gestational Sleep Apnea. This will allow us to research obstructive sleep apnea in pregnant women more effectively, and to develop and implement more effective treatments,” said the co-author.
If this diagnosis gets picked up it could do wonders for pregnant women with GSA.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.