zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Low Iron & Sleep Apnea

by
author image Lacretia Hardy
Lacretia Hardy is a health coach and has been a published writer since 1992. Her work has appeared in several publications, including "Patient In Charge," and on various websites. Hardy holds a Bachelor of Science in health science, as well as certificates in food and nutrition education and holistic health counseling.
Low Iron & Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea can cause or aggravate anemia. Photo Credit victoshafoto/iStock/Getty Images

Low iron in your blood generally refers to iron deficiency anemia. Iron is an important component of your blood and contributes to the protein, or hemoglobin, present in the blood. This iron is responsible for proper oxygen supply achieved by the circulating blood.

Consequences of Low Iron

Low iron in your blood essentially means that your body parts and cells have poor oxygen supply. This can lead to improper functioning of your cells, inadequate removal of waste from your cells and inadequate repair and rejuvenation of cells.

Importance of Oxygen to the Brain

Oxygen is very important for you brain to function in an optimal manner. Brain cells are sensitive to even small durations of oxygen deprivation, and five minutes is the maximum time that these cells can survive without oxygen. Your brain reacts to extreme lack of oxygen by causing convulsions, coma and even death. If oxygen deprivation is milder, chronic and spread over a long period time, as in anemia, you may experience symptoms such as attention disorders, loss of memory, poor judgment and reduced coordination between your brain and other body parts.

You Might Also Like

Sleep Apnea and Muscle Tone

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the patient takes several short pauses in breathing during sleep. A variety of factors can cause sleep apnea, but primarily it is because of a collapse of your airway tract. The tract has respiratory and pharyngeal muscles, and its collapse comes about due to reduced tone of these muscles. People suffer from apnea mostly during REM sleep because of physiological changes in the body during this phase of sleep. During REM sleep, the resistance of upper airway tract muscles increases, simultaneously reducing your ability to breathe in air. This leads to snoring sounds and breathing pauses. Repeated pauses translate to repeated bouts of oxygen deprivation, which affects the brain. Your brain reacts to this oxygen deprivation by reducing the coordination between brain and respiratory muscles, and your brain cannot stimulate normal breathing.

Relation Between Low Iron and Sleep Apnea

Low iron in blood aggravates sleep apnea and may even cause it. A person with low blood iron and anemia experiences reduced coordination of brain and respiratory muscles and reduced muscle tone of pharyngeal and respiratory muscles. This leads to sleep apnea and aggravates the problem if the person was already suffering from low iron prior to developing anemia.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

Demand Media