Sleep Apnea & Your Body Weight in Mckinney, TX

Losing Weight Can Have a Major Impact on Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a devastating disorder that will likely impact the affected individual for the rest of their life. However, there are ways to lessen the severity of the condition, thereby improving your symptoms and quality of life.

In addition to utilizing trusted methods such as a CPAP machine or an oral appliance, losing weight has been proven to have a dramatic effect on the disorder. In fact, losing a significant amount of weight could potentially cure the disorder. Excess weight is considered a major risk factor for developing sleep apnea and progressing the condition.

The Link Between Sleep Apnea & Your Weight

Obstructive sleep apnea, also called OSA, occurs when the excess tissues in the back of your throat relax, which causes a temporary pause in your breathing. Then, a signal is sent to your brain to startle you just enough to start breathing again. This probably won’t wake you up, but it’s enough to prevent you from getting the restorative sleep you need to feel rested and ready for your day.

Excess tissues in your throat play a huge role in the severity of the condition because as you gain weight, fatty tissues can further block your airway. According to one study, 25 percent of the adult population have OSA, and as high as 45 percent of obese people have the condition. Furthermore, patients with mild OSA who gain 10 percent of their body weight are six times more likely to progress the severity of their condition.

As you can see, it’s vitally important to maintain a healthy weight to prevent the progression of the disorder and begin reversing its effects.


Sleep Apnea & Weight Gain: It’s a Two-Way Street

As we know, weight gain can increase your risk of developing sleep apnea and it can also increase the severity of the condition. However, did you know that sleep apnea can cause you to gain weight? Sleep apnea is characterized by at least five pauses in breathing per hour.

The continuous interruption in breathing places undue stress on the body and has been associated with a variety of health conditions. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body inhibits leptin production, a hormone that gives you the sensation of feeling full. As a result, you’ll likely eat more than you would normally and reach for foods that are convenient rather than preparing a well-rounded meal.

It’s important to note that not everyone who is overweight will develop sleep apnea. Even though it is a major risk factor for the disorder, anyone can have the condition. Slender patients with narrow airways have also been diagnosed with sleep apnea. That’s why it’s crucial to get a sleep study so we can have a clear diagnosis and start treatment right away.

The Benefits of Regular Exercise

Sleep apnea has been associated with a systemic inflammatory response, which is why it’s linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. Similar to sleep apnea, obesity is a major risk factor for the conditions. Comorbidities associated with sleep apnea and obesity include:

High blood pressure - The consistent pauses in your breath during sleep causes blood oxygen levels to drop and increases blood pressure. This strains the cardiovascular system and over time can increase your risk for high blood pressure. As blood pressure increases, so does sleep apnea severity.

Chronic fatigue - Being tired makes it more challenging to muster up the energy to participate in a regular exercise routine. Since exercise aids in restful sleep and energy production, a sedentary lifestyle can create a harmful loop of being too tired to exercise, weight gain, and aggravating OSA.

Fluid retention - If you’re prone to fluid retention in your limbs, when you transition into a recumbent position, the fluid will redeposit itself. One place it travels is to your neck, which in turn increases the severity of sleep apnea. Regular exercise combats excess fluid accumulation and decreases the number of sleep apnea events.

Exercise will not only treat sleep apnea, but also the consequences associated with the condition such as cardiovascular disorders, glucose intolerance, and fatigue. In one study, data shows that a ten percent reduction in body mass is associated with a 30 percent reduction in sleep apnea events.

Weight loss also improves muscle tone, which is evident in soft tissues in the throat as well. Excess tissue in the throat is associated with a narrow airway. If muscles in the throat are toned, your airway will be less likely to collapse and you’ll experience fewer sleep apnea events.

Frequently Asked Questions

I think I suffer from sleep apnea. What do I do?

If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea, the first step is taking a sleep test for a proper diagnosis. A sleep study, or test, can be conducted in a lab under the supervision of a physician, or in the comfort of your own home.

Taking a sleep study is necessary to receive a clear and accurate diagnosis for your condition, allowing our team to provide you with the best possible care. Once you have the diagnosis, Dr. Lawrence can help determine the most effective solution for treating your sleep apnea.

Are sleep apnea and snoring the same thing?

Most people who have sleep apnea also snore, but not all people who snore have sleep apnea. Loud and frequent snoring is one of the most common and noticeable signs of sleep apnea, especially with obesity. If you snore, we highly recommend you undergo a sleep study to determine if, in fact, you have sleep apnea.

Once you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can begin treatment immediately. Whether you have sleep apnea, or simply snore, we’ll assist you with treatment so you and your partner can start enjoying restful nights.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Sleep apnea is diagnosed with a sleep study. A sleep study can be performed in the comfort of your own home or in a lab under the supervision of a physician. 

With the take-home test, you’ll receive the sleep test equipment from your physician and return it to them after you’ve conducted the test. The equipment will monitor your heart rate and breathing, as well as the oxygen level in your blood.

Once your physician diagnoses you with sleep apnea, Dr. Lawrence can help you find a treatment option that best suits you. 

Does oral appliance therapy work?

Yes! Oral appliance therapy is a quiet, convenient, and comfortable way to tackle snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. It’s a custom-fitted oral device that works by gently repositioning the tongue or jaw to eliminate any obstructions in the airway. 

With oral appliance therapy, Dr. Lawrence can help improve your sleep, restore your energy, and benefit your overall health. If you suffer from sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lawrence by contacting our Mckinney office at (972) 542-9129

During the consultation, Dr. Lawrence will examine your head and neck function, the roof of your mouth, throat, tongue, neck, posture, body mass, and your nasal septum to look for any areas that may cause an airway obstruction. Then, he’ll determine if you would benefit from a sleep study so you can begin treatment right away.

Contact Dr. Lawrence For Sleep Apnea Treatment in Mckinney, TX

Sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder that can negatively impact your entire well-being. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lawrence by calling (972) 542-9129. We'll explain all the ways you can improve your unique condition and get a quality night's rest.