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Suffering From Sleep Apnea? You Might Want To Try Losing Weight

May 21, 2018

Stats show that about 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of adult women in America snore habitually. About half of all humans snore at some point of their lives. Snoring only becomes a problem when it is loud and disruptive. Loud snoring is usually a sign of an underlying breathing problem such as sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a very common disorder than can affect the quality of sleep and subsequently cause inadequate sleep.

It is characterized by lapses in breathing as you sleep, disrupting your natural sleep cycle which leads to chronic fatigue. These lapses in breathing can occur about 30 times in an hour, and can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes each.

This type of Sleep Apnea is typically called Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) and usually shows the following symptoms:

  • Loud snoring
  • Loud breathing
  • Gasping, choking or snorting while sleeping
  • Depression
  • Headaches – especially in the morning
  • Irritability

man wearing nasal pillow facemask

What causes OSAS?

People having naturally overcrowded upper airways – because of oversized organs such as the tongue or tonsils – have a higher risk of developing OSAS.

The oral cavities of others may have high, narrow arches causing difficulty in breathing when in a prone position. While still others may have some other health concerns such as a miscommunication between the brain and respiratory system causing sleep breathing disorders.

The most common factor that puts you at risk of developing OSAS is still obesity and being overweight. Even today, obesity is an epidemic that affects more than one-third of Americans. OSAS occurs when your airways collapse or get blocked while you sleep.

Carrying excess weight, especially on your trunk and neck area puts you at higher risk of developing OSAS as it may cause airways to narrow or tissues and organs to swell.

Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Obesity and sleep apnea usually work in tandem with each other. While obese people are more likely to develop OSAS, people already suffering from sleep apnea are also more likely to gain excessive weight.

This happens because sleep deprivation makes the body produce higher levels of a hormone called ghrelin that is responsible for increasing appetite and lower levels of leptin which tells your brain that you are full and satisfied.

Sleep apnea can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes because the body’s use of insulin is disrupted with lack of sleep. This also puts you at risk of gaining weight. Sleep studies are usually performed on people complaining of the symptoms of Sleep Apnea and a diagnosis is made.

About Well Life Family Treatment

If you’re overweight and have been diagnosed with OSAS, losing excess weight can not only help improve your sleep apnea symptoms but can also balance the production of ghrelin and leptin in the body – thus helping you lose even more weight.

Schedule an appointment today with Well Life Family Medicine and join the weight loss program. With customized weight reduction programs to suit your needs, they can help you burn off excess fat and keep it off in a healthy and sustainable way. They also offer whole body vibrations and an infrared sauna to make your weight loss journey easier