From the Desk of Carolyn Dean MD ND

I recently read an article about a new medication that’s being researched to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and I harkened back to my high school days when I became addicted to a decongestant nasal spray for mucus-filled sinuses and nasal passages, which are a common cause of OSA. I don’t think I had sleep apnea, but I was probably mouth-breathing at night because I couldn’t breathe through my nose. I was told it was allergies but not that it was likely my sugar, wheat and dairy diet that’s guaranteed to produce lots of virus- and yeast-loving mucus.
SIDEBAR: Sleep apnea symptoms include snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and headaches upon waking.

Carolyn Dean MD ND

This article doesn’t try to determine the root cause of OSA but wants to find the drug to treat it. Like I said, I now know what caused my blocked sinuses—nightly binging on ice cream and canned fruit in sugary syrup. I had incredible mucus congestion, chronic colds, and lots of antibiotics, creating a chronic case of yeast overgrowth. Incredibly, I was still very high-functioning!

When in Doubt Add More

I looked up Dristan nasal spray, my drug of choice, and found out that it causes rebound congestion when you try to stop it. A 2006 review concluded that oxymetazoline, the active ingredient in Dristan, if used for more than THREE DAYS may result in rhinitis medicamentosa and recommended limiting use to three days only. I was probably using the darn stuff for years because “as advertised” the symptoms would come right back when I stopped.

The big breakthrough for OSA is a “miracle” combination of two drugs. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. It seems that in medicine, if one drug doesn’t work, or has a lot of side effects, then they try two that will probably perform twice as badly. The first drug they use blocks the action of acetylcholine ultimately influencing neurologic function, increasing heart rate, decreasing smooth muscle motility (causing constipation), and decreasing exocrine gland secretion. What they want the drug to do is decrease exocrine gland secretion, but patients will get much more than they bargain for as it affects many other parts of the body.

Side Effects with No End in Sight

The second drug, Strattera, is an ADHD drug that increases the activity of the dilator muscles in the upper airways, I suppose for the excess mucus to slip around more easily in less confined quarters. The side effects of this drug include nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, acute abdominal pain, xerostomia, constipation, erectile dysfunction, dysmenorrhea, drowsiness, insomnia, fatigue, headache, flushing, anorexia, urinary hesitancy, sedation, mood changes, libido changes, disorder of ejaculation, depression. Incredibly, there were 60 more side effects listed and let me remind you that this is an ADHD drug for children – and adults who are “diagnosed” with ADHD.

How do I treat obstructive sleep apnea caused by excess mucus? I recommend a Yeast Protocol with picometer stabilized ions of silver and soil-based probiotics, orally, and picometer stabilized ions of silver nebulizer and nasal squirting. Picometer stabilized ions of silver can address yeast, viruses, and bacteria.

Medically, sinusitis, is inflammation or infection of the sinus cavities and includes nasal congestion, headache, facial pain or pressure, post-nasal drip, cough, and fatigue. Sinusitis is treated with very strong antibiotics because the infectious organisms are lurking in the sinus cavities and not in the blood stream, so you have to literally saturate the body with antibiotics to have them seep into the sinuses. Because antibiotics kill off good and bad bacteria, this leads to yeast overgrowth and guarantees more mucus congestion and possible sleep apnea.

Yes, it’s true that sleep apnea can be associated with obesity, a deviated septum, alcohol consumption, low humidity, and allergies and you should work on those. But I think it’s only commonsense to treat yeast overgrowth first.

Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future