Apr 28, 2021

Does Gaining Weight Factor into Sleep Apnea?

Healthy Living.

Does Gaining Weight Factor into Sleep Apnea?

Studies have shown that there may be a correlation between weight gain and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause a number of problems, but it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Read below to learn more about sleep apnea, the connections between weight gain and sleep apnea, and how it can be treated.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects sleep quality. It is most commonly caused by a blockage in the airway. This can cause a person to stop breathing briefly while they sleep. As a result, a person may experience:

  • Snoring
  • Headaches
  • Sore or dry throat
  • Low energy during the day
  • Memory problems
  • High blood pressure

The interruption in breathing may also cause a person to wake up frequently, preventing them from getting a full night of rest.

An incomplete or restless night of sleep can lead to other problems such as

  • Inflammation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Decreased energy
  • Slower metabolism

Can losing weight help?

When a person gains weight, specifically around the neck and face, the added weight can lead to pressure on the throat. The throat muscles might then flatten when a person is lying down and sleeping, which can cause a blockage in the airway.

While losing weight is not usually a total cure for sleep apnea by itself, it can significantly improve the severity of sleep apnea. Losing weight has other positive health benefits as well, such as improving heart health and reducing blood pressure.

How is it treated?

In addition to losing weight, other treatments such as sleeping with a CPAP machine can be helpful. A CPAP machine works by pumping air into your throat while you sleep, preventing any obstruction of your airways.

With the right combination of treatment, weight loss, and exercise, you can significantly improve sleep apnea symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your best options for dealing with sleep apnea.

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