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Sleep Apnea

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in the My Blood Pressure Newsletter. If you are interested in having your blood pressure story told, please email Kellie or Steve at

My Story – Rodney Turner

Back on 5/22/2006 I had a overnight Oximetry test done which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood and heart rate while you sleep, it’s a device they place on your finger tip while you’re sleeping. The results showed 18 total desaturation events. Desaturation is defined as a decrease in the amount of Oxygen in the blood, usually under 90% is considered desaturation. There were 6 desaturation events over 3 minutes duration, there were 8 desaturation events of less than 3 minutes duration with the means low of 89.1% the mean high was 95.1%.

A week later I received a call from the Sleep lab and they told me that I was scheduled for an Overnite Sleep Lab study, since I am a self pay patient I asked about the cost. It would have cost me about $3,000 for this test. I did some research and found out that the overnite Oximetry test is
just as accurate as the overnite Sleep Lab Study.

I found a local company called CPAP who supply the USA and called and asked about what they call Auto CPAP machines. They gave me all the information about the Purittan Bennette 420E Auto CPAP machine with Humidifer and battery back for power failures. I called the Dr.’s office and talked to my doctors’ nurses. I told her I could not afford the Over nite Sleep Lab Study test. She suggested I make an appointment with my Primary Care Physician to discuss the matter. She also told me I qualify for over-nite Oxygen based on the Oximetry test results. The next week, I went to see my Doctor and told him about the Auto or Smart CPAP machines, I told him that the CPAP Supply USA. They said all I needed was a prescription for Auto CPAP machine with accessories.

That was on June 13th 2006, the doctor said I had all the symptoms of sleep apnea. I also have a deviated septum, which means I get more air flow on one side of my nose than the other side, I also snore, and am slightly over-weight, all of which signs of Sleep Apnea. Well the Doctor wrote
me a prescription for the Auto CPAP machine and I have been using it for almost 3 weeks now, My blood pressure has decreased and my Doctor has decreased my blood pressure medication from Lisinopril 20 mg daily to Zestril 10 mg daily brand for Lisinopril. He also said I would notice
weight loss and well as decrease in blood pressure over time. The doctor even mentioned eventually I may come off the blood pressure medication.

I discovered I had high blood pressure on an Office visit to my Internal Medicine doctor, he checked my pressure and it was 153/100. I also have white coat syndrome which makes your BP slightly elevated due to anxiety about doctors’ visits. I had no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure.

I suspected that I had sleep apnea because I was sleepy a lot during the daytime hours. I also had frequent night time urination and am slightly over weight and also have a deviated septum. Frequent urination at night is caused by Sleep Apnea, what happens is there is a hormone called ANP Atrial Natriuretic Peptide which is secreted in to the blood stream, ANP is a diuretic associated with increased need to urinate. Since I’ve been using the Auto CPAP frequent night time urination has stopped.

From tracking my blood pressure my doctor can make adjustments to my medication. Usually I use the notes section for recording my BP medication so that, when I go to my Doctors appointment, he can see the dates and time I took my medications. This will help him in evaluating if my dosage needs to be increased or decreased based on the dates and time them medication was taken. Also since I’m using the Auto CPAP machine now for sleep Apnea I’m sure the dosage will be changing frequently.

The Sleep Apnea causes you to have Hypertension. Sleep Apnea also causes the right side of the heart to work harder to get Oxygen to other parts of the body; therefore it has increased effect on your blood pressure. Since I’ve been using the Auto CPAP my blood pressure has dropped and Blood pressure medication has been cut in half. My Internal Medicine doctor said I would notice my blood pressure decreasing and that I would notice weight loss too by using the Auto CPAP device. I have noticed both weight loss and a decrease in Blood Pressure.

I hope this helps other folks with some of the same symptoms.
Rodney Turner

Kellie’s note: Rodney has supplied links to the following helpful sites:
Here is a Web Site article related to frequent night time urination.
Here is the link to the CPAP Supply USA web site. Thanks Rodney!


2 Responses to “Blood Pressure Story – Sleep Apnea”

  1. Some people ignore sleep apnea. This is a big mistake since untreated sleep apnea can lead to many health hazards including stroke and heart disease.

  2. pattibristol says:

    In 2001 I was dignosed with Fibromyalgia several years latter I am in control of it with out the 6 different drugs I took. I have a rested low blood pressure of 73/43 pulse66 . I sometimes get concerned but I have a stress test every year which I would imagine reveal any heart diease. I had been given a salts to increase my heartbeat thus keeping my blood pressure 117/78 . with out adderall I would stop breathing . I passed the sleep study when I was on adderall, I have an immune defiency of converting the b vitamins. I still have fatique and try to use foods to enhance my mental depression. should I be concerned as to a type of heart/artery problem??? or is there anyone else that has these condition. One doc said I had Lupus the rheumotologist said no you have not lupus yet low b12 (147) hi positive lyckecytes 4051 I am in a state of confusion . I am 68 150lb 5′4 female

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