The Link Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea

The Link Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that interferes with your breathing patterns during sleep. Sleep apnea sufferers may stop breathing hundreds of times per night. 

When you have obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles in your throat relax a bit too much during sleep, narrowing your airways and making it more difficult to breathe during sleep. 

Nearly three quarters of obstructive sleep apnea sufferers are overweight or obese. Although sleep apnea may not seem like a life-threatening condition, the interruption of sleep on a nightly basis can lead to many complications, including heart attack, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. 

If you’re overweight or obese and suffer from sleep apnea, Dr. Michael Sutker, our expert, can help you find a solution for your weight issue and decrease your risk for serious complications.

Living with sleep apnea 

Living with sleep apnea can lead to a variety of symptoms, including the following:

Most people don’t know they have sleep apnea because the moments in which they wake up gasping for air are very brief. 

However, if you’re experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above and wondering if sleep apnea could be to blame, you can get a sleep test. During the test, you’ll go to sleep hooked up to a machine that records your breathing patterns and your heart activity. 

How obesity can cause sleep apnea 

Carrying extra weight on the neck and abdomen can compress the airways, making it harder for the lungs to perform as they should. 

One of the best ways to reduce your risk for sleep apnea is to lose weight. However, many people find it difficult to adhere to strict diets, especially when sleep apnea can affect the hormones that signal that you’re full.

Fortunately, there are solutions even for patients who find it hard to lose excess weight. Dr. Sutker offers bariatric surgery to patients who are committed to losing large amounts of weight but need some extra help in their weight loss journey. 

Losing only 10%–15% of your body weight can reduce the severity of your sleep apnea by 50%, which reduces your risk for other complications as well. 

Preventing complications with sleep apnea

Sleep apnea can significantly impact your life quality. For this reason, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for obstructive sleep apnea sufferers.

However, if you’re carrying a few extra pounds, you may be able to eliminate the need for a CPAP machine by losing weight.

Are you finding it difficult to stick to a diet? Would you like some help? If so, contact us to schedule an appointment.  Dr. Sutker has helped many patients lose weight via bariatric surgery, and he’s helped them reduce their risk for several diseases associated with obesity.

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