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Can weight loss cure sleep apnea?

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

You've probably heard of sleep apnea, a disorder in which individuals have difficulties breathing while sleeping. It's possible that it is because of their weight. Let's look into the relationship between sleep apnea and weight reduction, and whether weight loss can cure it or not.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a very common disorder in which people's breathing is disturbed as they sleep. The time it takes you to cease breathing might range from a few minutes to a few seconds. Sleep apnea can have serious consequences for your well-being.

Is there a link between sleep apnea and weight gain?

Obesity and sleep apnea have long been found to be correlated. Overweight people are more prone to have excess tissue at the back of their throat, which can slip down across the airway and impede airflow into the lungs while they sleep; this fat is called Pharyngeal fat. It is a kind of fat that forms in a person's neck as a result of excess weight. When the airway is already relaxed, pharyngeal fat can obstruct a person's air passages during sleep. If you are overweight, you are more prone to have a problem like this. But it does not mean that a person who is overweight must have sleep apnea and vice versa.

Is it possible to cure sleep apnea by losing weight?

It's likely that reducing weight will be enough to treat your disease to some extent if you're overweight. However, because anatomical considerations might play a role, this isn't always the solution. For the majority of people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), changing lifestyle and behavior is important, this means losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight. Losing weight helps to reduce fatty deposits in the neck and tongue, which can limit airflow. This reduces abdominal fat, which improves lung capacity and airway traction, lowering the danger of the airway closing during sleeping.

Many OSA-related symptoms, including daytime drowsiness, can be dramatically reduced by losing weight. Sleep apnea affects over half of the population, with overweight adults accounting for the majority of cases. If overweight and obese people reduce weight, sleep apnea and other health problems will likely decline. Sleep apnea symptoms can be significantly improved by decreasing just 10% of one's body weight. As a result, it's no surprise that studies suggest that losing weight lessens the severity of sleep apnea. It not only reduces the number of apneas but also enhances the quality of sleep for patients. It has the potential to enhance your joints, lower your blood pressure, and increase your energy.

So, losing weight is never a bad idea, and it won't make your sleep apnea worse. It can only improve things. Though it is harder than it sounds to lose weight, it will help you get positive results.

A person with sleep apnea might find it difficult to lose weight

You might have heard that sleep apnea makes losing weight more difficult. This is owing to the fact that it lowers your metabolism and, in certain situations, prevents you from losing weight at all. That's why it's critical to ensure that you're making efforts to address your sleep apnea before committing to a weight-loss strategy.

Other treatments for sleep apnea

This sleep condition might be caused by a tiny jaw, a big neck, adenoids, hereditary predisposition, and other causes. A case of severe sleep apnea is almost always caused by a combination of these variables, so losing weight alone may not be enough to solve the problem. Sleep apnea can be treated in a variety of methods, including treatments.

You might, for example, purchase a gadget that allows you to breathe frequently while also ensuring that your breathing does not become suffocated. These masks are either electronic or pump-based, and they can be rather costly. It's crucial to realize that being overweight isn't the sole factor that contributes to sleep apnea. The gemstone treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, which is the only treatment that is 100 percent successful when used correctly every night. A CPAP device is used to treat sleep apnea by supplying compressed air through a mask to raise the airway tissues, preventing them from collapsing and obstructing breathing during the night.

Last word

Early intervention is critical for preventing harm and restoring quality of life when it comes to sleep and weight. There is no cure for sleep apnea, despite the fact that there are various treatment alternatives. Weight loss, on the other hand, may benefit some persons with sleep apnea symptoms. In moderately obese people, a weight decrease of merely 10-15% can lower the severity of OSA by 50%. Unfortunately, while weight loss can help with OSA, it seldom results in a full cure, and many sleep apnea sufferers require further treatment.

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