A new study finds that treating the overproduction of one hormone may be a way to help a subset of the millions of Americans who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, reports the University of California-San Francisco.
Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that treating a condition in the adrenal glands causing an excess of aldosterone, a hormone that maintains electrolyte balance and blood pressure, may be an effective way to help people reduce the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
UCSF endocrine surgeons Insoo Suh, MD, and Quan-Yang Duh, MD, didn’t set out to study sleep apnea. Suh and Duh specialize in the treatment of primary aldosteronism, a disease in which one or both of the adrenal glands overproduce the hormone aldosterone, and were looking into the question of whether this hormone plays a role in obesity. Obesity is a major factor in obstructive sleep apnea, which meant that many of the surgeons’ patients were living with that condition as well.