Sleep apnea affects about one-fourth of the general population, but as many as 45% of overweight or obese people develop the condition because excess weight is one of the top contributors. The doctors at Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas help alleviate sleep apnea by supporting your weight loss efforts with diet, exercise, medications, and bariatric surgery, if you qualify. If you have sleep apnea or simply need help with weight loss, call one of their offices in Denton, Frisco, or Flower Mound, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing for at least 10 seconds while you sleep. You may have 30 or more episodes of apnea per hour, depending on the severity of your sleep apnea.
Muscles relax when you sleep, which allows soft tissues like your tongue to fall back toward your throat and cover the airway. Partially blocked airways make you snore (people with sleep apnea are loud snorers), then apnea occurs when soft tissues completely block the airway.
Levels of oxygen drop when you stop breathing. Your brain responds by nudging you out of deep sleep and into a lighter sleep so that you start breathing again. Your quality of sleep is disrupted, but you never know about the apnea because you don’t regain full consciousness.
When you gain weight, excess fat develops in soft tissues behind your nose and mouth. The fatty tissues narrow the airway, which increases your risk for sleep apnea. The tissues are also more likely to cover the airway while you sleep.
The pressure of weight around your abdomen also contributes to sleep apnea because it decreases lung volume. When lung volume drops, your upper airway is more likely to collapse and cause apnea.
Being overweight is the most common cause of sleep apnea. Then having sleep apnea makes people gain more weight because poor quality sleep decreases glucose tolerance and increases hormones that make you feel hungry. Losing weight is the only way to stop this cycle. In some cases, weight loss may be enough to cure your sleep apnea.
The team at Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas helps everyone who needs to lose weight, regardless of the number of pounds you want to drop. They work with you to develop a diet and exercise plan that fits your goals.
Your doctor may prescribe weight loss medication to boost your efforts or consider inserting a gastric balloon. If your BMI is 35 or higher, you may qualify for weight loss surgery.
If you’re a good candidate for bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, your options include: