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Are Kidney Stones Caused by Sleep Apnea?

Posted Jan 17 2011 1:01pm

One of my patients who is doing well after sleep apnea surgery emailed me a list of all the improvements just a few weeks out, and at the end, just happened to mention that he expects his kidney stones to be eradicated as well. I didn’t give it much thought, since treating sleep apnea and UARS can help almost anything, but when I went to the literature, I found a study which showed that that sleep apnea can be a direct cause of kidney stones. What the authors showed was that uric acid excretion by the kidneys is increased in people with kidney stones. After treatment with CPAP, uric acid levels normalized.

This finding is not surprising at all, since obstructive sleep apnea is linked directly or indirectly to almost every chronic medical condition that modern people suffer from.

You would think that all patients who suffer from kidney stones would get screened for obstructive sleep apnea, but as far as I can tell, doctors haven’t changed their thinking about kidney stones at all. The same thing happened after a study showed that frequent nighttime urination could be cured by treating an underlying sleep-breathing problem. Again, no major changes in the way nocturia and urinary frequency is handled.

Is there anyone out there whose kidney stone frequency improved after sleep apnea treatment?

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