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Sleep Apnea: The Serious Sleep Disorder Can Be Reversed With Weight Loss

By Janhavi Patel

Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder, which is characterized by pauses or continuous interruptions in breathing during sleep. These may last from a few seconds to a few minutes. The frequency depends on the severity of Sleep Apnea.

It is also known as the "Pickwickian syndrome", a name given by a 20th century physician, William Osler. He must have been an avid reader of Charles Dickens, because Joe, the character from Dickens's novel "The Pickwick Papers", is a very good description of a person with Sleep Apnea.

Is sleep apnea reversible with weight loss

According to The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, 1 in every 15 Americans suffers from Sleep Apnea. In their middle ages, about 9% of women and 24% of men suffer the same.

There Are Three Different Types Of Sleep Apnea

1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Occurs when the throat muscles relax.
2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): Occurs when your brain doesn't send appropriate signals to the part of the brain that is responsible to control breathing.
3. Mixed/Complex Sleep Apnea: Occurs when the person has both OSA and CSA. This is also called the Treatment-emergent Sleep Apnea.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms?

1. Loud snoring: When the throat muscles relax, the airway narrows and the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain is less. Thus, snoring, or choking/snorting sounds could follow.

2. Daytime drowsiness: This is very common amongst the people who suffer from Sleep Apnea. Due to the repeated disruptions in sleep, the cycle of sleep remains incomplete. This means no proper rest for the body. This makes the individual drowsy, lazy and inactive throughout the day.

3. High BP and heart problems: The sudden drop in oxygen levels in the body increases the risks of Blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

4. Diabetes: People with Sleep Apnea experience higher risks of insulin resistance.

5. Liver disruptions: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a possibility in people with Sleep Apnea.

How Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured By Weight Loss?

Sleep Apnea is very common amongst people who are obese or overweight. This is because the fat that accumulates around the airway could obstruct normal breathing. This is especially true for people who have a thicker neck circumference.

Losing weight has proven to ease and, in many cases, eliminate Sleep Apnea completely. And eliminating Sleep Apnea means an improvement in overall health.

A study that was conducted by Sweden's Karolinska Institute in 2009, showed that when people with OSA lost weight, their condition improved by 80%. Some cases of OSA were eliminated altogether.

This conclusion was arrived at by placing 60 obese men with OSA under a strict diet of 500 caloriesSleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder, which is characterized by pauses or continuous interruptions in breathing during sleep. These may last from a few seconds to a few minutes. The frequency depends on the severity of Sleep Apnea.

It is also known as the "Pickwickian syndrome". A name given by a 20th century physician, William Osler. He must have been an avid reader of Charles Dickens, because Joe, the character from Dickens's novel "The Pickwick Papers", is a very good description of a person with Sleep Apnea.

According to The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, 1 in every 15 Americans suffers from Sleep Apnea. In their middle ages, about 9% of women and 24% of men suffer the same.

There Are Three Different Types Of Sleep Apnea

1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Occurs when the throat muscles relax.
2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): Occurs when your brain doesn't send appropriate signals to the part of the brain that is responsible to control breathing.
3. Mixed/Complex Sleep Apnea: Occurs when the person has both OSA and CSA. This is also called the Treatment-emergent Sleep Apnea.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms?

1. Loud snoring: When the throat muscles relax, the airway narrows and the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain is less. Thus, snoring, or choking/snorting sounds could follow.

2. Daytime drowsiness: This is very common amongst the people who suffer from Sleep Apnea. Due to the repeated disruptions in sleep, the cycle of sleep remains incomplete. This means no proper rest for the body. This makes the individual drowsy, lazy and inactive throughout the day.

3. High BP and heart problems: The sudden drop in oxygen levels in the body increases the risks of Blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

4. Diabetes: People with Sleep Apnea experience higher risks of insulin resistance.

5. Liver disruptions: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a possibility in people with Sleep Apnea.

How Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured By Weight Loss?
Sleep Apnea is very common amongst people who are obese or overweight. This is because the fat that accumulates around the airway could obstruct normal breathing. This is especially true for people who have a thicker neck circumference.

Losing weight has proven to ease and, in many cases, eliminate Sleep Apnea completely. And eliminating Sleep Apnea means an improvement in overall health.

A study that was conducted by Sweden's Karolinska Institute in 2009, showed that when people with OSA lost weight, their condition improved by 80%. Some cases of OSA were eliminated altogether.

This conclusion was arrived at by placing 60 obese men with OSA under a strict diet of 500 calories per day. This was an extreme diet for extreme weight loss. And it worked! The men who lost more weight showed a good result of OSA reducing. Though due to extreme dieting, few men gained back a few pounds, their condition still showed an improvement by 57%.

Extreme weight loss is not a requirement, it was done just as a part of research. Losing weight on a less extreme diet gives more effective results. Because the chances of gaining back the lost weight are less. This also lowers the risk of getting any cardiovascular diseases, liver failures, and lets you sleep better.

Less body fat is less fat deposits around the neck and airway passage. With lesser deposits of fats, less are the chances of blockage of the airway passage. Once the passage is unblocked, normal amount of oxygen is transported to the brain, promoting better ability to rest at night.

And getting good, uninterrupted sleep is crucial for you to function and stay sane every day. Have you noticed, if one day you don't get good sleep, you tend to be lazy and easily irritable? This affects not just you, but also everyone around you. Now, imagine the case of a person with Sleep Apnea. It gets difficult to live with someone who is constantly irritable and snappy.

We think it's cool to stay up late, wake up early and go about your day. But not sleeping well, snacking late at night, etc., is an open invitation to health complications. You are asking to be in pain. You're inviting the problems to come pay you unnecessary visits.

Lose weight, not to look pretty and slim and because he/she is thinner than I am, but to keep your heart and rest of the body's health in check.

If you're significant other is complaining about you snoring more than normal, it might not be just because you're tired, now's the right time to get yourself checked.

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