Can Losing Weight Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms in the Chicago area?
Obesity has the potential to cause a host of different health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. One obesity-related issue that doesn’t always get the same level of attention is sleep apnea. Anyone suffering from sleep apnea knows just how unsettling and disruptive it can be, but it also has the potential to be dangerous. Contact our weight loss clinic in the Chicago area to learn more.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a health condition that causes you to stop breathing temporarily during the night. The pauses can last up to 20 seconds, and often cause you to wake suddenly, gasping for breath. In more severe cases, this can happen hundreds of times per night, disrupting your natural sleep rhythm. When you’re unable to reach the deeper levels of sleep that are necessary to restore and revitalize your body, you’ll have less energy and mental alertness throughout the day.
Obesity is one of the most common causes of sleep apnea, and losing the excess weight is one of the surest ways to alleviate the symptoms. If you are overweight or obese with sleep apnea, and use a CPAP machine or medications, losing weight will often do a better job at helping you find the restful sleep you want.
Why Losing Weight Helps
When you are overweight, you typically have extra tissue in the back of your throat. During sleep, this extra tissue can fall down and block your airway. If the airway is blocked, you won’t be getting the oxygen you need into your lungs, and you will be jolted awake.
When you lose weight, the excess tissue is reduced or eliminated and the airway is no longer blocked, allowing you to get all the oxygen you need and sleep peacefully. If the tissue is gone and the air is flowing freely, you’ll have no reason for machines or medications to prevent sleep apnea symptoms.
Tips for Getting Started
How to get the weight loss process started depends on how much weight you need to lose to get into a healthy range. If you are in the dangerously obese zone, you should consult a medical professional to see if bariatric surgery may be the right option. If there aren’t any medical issues, you can start modifying your diet to include more whole foods and start moving your body on a daily basis.
Initially, walking is more than enough and will improve your circulation and work the larger muscles of your lower body. Some other tips include replacing high sugar drinks with water and eating smaller portions. Your doctor will likely provide resources for you if your end goal is to reduce or eliminate your sleep apnea in the Chicago area.