Has anyone ever complained about your snoring? Maybe someone you love is snoring so loudly that it seems as though wild animals are attacking you in the night. Everyone in the house is tired from sleepless nights either from your snoring or your relative's snoring. Snoring can be a serious concern if it can be linked to obstructive sleep apnea.
When I see new patients, snoring is one of the first things I want to talk about because it is closely associated with weight gain and obesity and is most often an effect of a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is a result of the repeated stopping and starting of breathing during sleep. This regulatory in breathing is, not surprisingly, caused when the airway is blocked.
Although snoring may not seem like a critical concern, obstructive sleep apnea is and should therefore be taken very seriously.
The link between OSA and obesity:
Over half of patients diagnosed with OSA are either overweight or obese. This is very concerning because OSA increases your risk of hypertension, heart attack, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stroke.....(are you still with us?).....diabetes, angina, heart failure, thyroid disease and heart arrhythmia.
Additionally, OSA makes it difficult for patients to lose weight. Often, these patients are so tired during the day that they constantly eat and drink high carbohydrate and sugary foods in an attempt to stay awake. This only adds to their weight and makes their OSA problem worse!
It becomes a vicious cycle.
Worried is OSA is affecting you or your loved one?
Use the simple STOP-BANG test to calculate your risk.
Download a copy of the STOP-BANG test and find out how dangerous OSA is to your health.
If you answered “yes” to...
- 0-2 questions, your risk of OSA is low.
- 3-4 questions, your risk is intermediate
- 5 or more questions, your risk is high.
If your risk is intermediate or high, please speak to your primary care provider as soon as possible! It may also be beneficial to participate in a sleep study test.
Treatment for OSA will not only lower your risk of a heart attack and stroke, but may also help with your weight loss. At the same time, losing weight frequently lowers the risk and severity of your sleep apnea.
Appropriate management of your weight issues involves management of many other diseases simultaneously. Please see a physician who is board certified in obesity medicine to get the best care possible, not just a provider who relies on Adipex prescriptions and vitamin shots.