Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Weight Loss Can Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Have family members complained to you that your loud, unceasing snoring is keeping them awake at night? Do you find that you are excessively tired during the day, falling asleep at your desk, while watching TV, or sometimes even while driving? Do you suffer from frequent headaches, listlessness, or moodiness? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which sleep is frequently interrupted by the involuntary cessation of breathing, partially rousing the sleeper and disrupting vital recuperative sleep patterns.

Unfortunately, severely obese individuals with a BMI of 35 or higher are at a significantly elevated risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Losing just 10% of your body weight has been shown to decrease your risk of developing sleep apnea by up to 25%; however, if you are obese, you already probably know that losing 10% of your body weight is nearly impossible on your own. Luckily, modern laparoscopic bariatric surgery offers a safe, effective, medically-viable way to lose weight and keep it off, potentially reversing your sleep apnea and allowing you to finally get a truly good nights’ rest!

The relationships between obesity, sleep apnea, and metabolic syndrome (a collection of metabolism-based disorders frequently caused by extreme obesity) are complex and often mutually-reinforcing. At The Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery, in Maitland, Florida, Board Certified lead surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre believes that treating these disorders requires a holistic, comprehensive approach involving extensive patient education, appropriate medical and surgical intervention, and long-term, dedicated, caring support personalized to meet your unique needs and goals. If you are significantly overweight, tired of constant fatigue, and weary of your lack of energy, we encourage you to work with us to properly diagnose the underlying causes of your sleeping issues, and to develop a comprehensive, medically-based treatment system designed to help you achieve long-term weight loss and resolution of your problematic sleep patterns.

What is the Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and Obesity?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when the throat muscles relax during sleep, causing the soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and close, effectively blocking the airways. While most sleepers are unaware that they are waking during the night, the blockage of the airway causes the sleeper to struggle for breath and partially rouse to resume breathing, leading to broken, non-restorative sleep patterns. While snoring and constant fatigue are the most common side effects of sleep apnea, more dangerous side effects include complete cessation of breathing, cardiac arrhythmias, and low blood oxygen levels. Traditional treatment for sleep apnea is weight loss and use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) nighttime breathing device.
Unfortunately, studies are beginning to show that there may be a vicious progressive relationship between obesity and sleep apnea. On the one hand, obesity can cause sleep apnea, as the airway of an obese individual is more likely to be obstructed by large tonsils, an enlarged tongue, and increased neck fat, all of which increase pressure on the throat muscles during sleep. One study has indicated that men with a neck circumference of 17 inches or more, and women with a neck circumference of 16 inches or more are significantly more likely to have sleep apnea than individuals with smaller necks.
On the other hand, it is now believed that sleep apnea may, in fact, contribute to obesity in several crucial ways: first, constant fatigue makes exercise routines difficult to maintain; second, lack of sufficient sleep may cause an increase in appetite because the psychological manifestations of fatigue, sleep, and hunger are often similar, causing an overly tired individual to overeat; and third, sleep deprivation has been shown to impair metabolism and disrupt the hormone levels that control appetite. Thus, sleep deprivation stemming from sleep apnea can impact the body’s ability to process glucose and lead to insulin processing disorders at the root of some obesity problems.

How Weight Loss Surgery Can Help You Achieve a Good Nights Sleep

At the most basic level, bariatric surgery offers a better, more successful way to approach the necessary weight loss that is often the first step in moderating sleep apnea. As weight loss begins and respiratory function improves after surgery, many patients find that their sleep apnea begins to diminish and normal sleeping patterns emerge. While symptoms of sleep apnea may not resolve immediately, and continued usage of CPAP may be required at first, as fatty deposits around the neck are slowly reduced, the blockages causing sleep apnea should decrease. This, in turn, sparks a positive feedback loop: as your sleep improves, the weight loss process will begin to progress even faster as your appetite and eating habits are better controlled, your ability to exercise regularly improves, and your body changes the way it processes glucose. The result: a smaller, well-rested, more active and energized you!

Contact Beltre Bariatrics Center For Metabolic and Obesity Surgery

At The Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery, located in Maitland, Florida, we offer a proven, multifaceted approach to bariatric surgery that will empower you to achieve your weight loss goals, improve your health and appearance, and rebuild your self-confidence. Led by esteemed Board Certified surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre, one of the only fellowship-trained bariatric surgeons in Central Florida, we specialize in the latest cutting-edge procedures for safe, effective surgical weight loss coupled with a dedicated support team of caring, experienced specialists who will stand by your side to support you throughout your entire weight loss journey. Significant weight loss is not easy, but with the help of with our confidential consultation process, the surgical skill and experience of our medical team, and the advice and guidance of our on-going support network, we can help you achieve the lasting weight loss success you have been dreaming about.

If you are tired of the endless rounds of fad dieting and fruitless exercise regimens and think you may be ready for weight loss surgery, or if you would like more information about how weight loss surgery at Beltre Bariatrics Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery can improve, and potentially even resolve, obesity-related health problems like sleep apnea, contact us today for a free, individual consultation. We look forward to helping you start your weight loss journey today!

DISCLAIMER: Metabolic surgery involves a lifetime commitment to significant lifestyle changes, and is not for everyone.  Individual results differ depending on each patient’s medical history and willingness and ability to adhere to the weight loss program specified by Dr. Beltre.  As with all surgical procedures, all forms of metabolic surgery carry the risk of complications and side effects; additional details about potential complications, side effects, and other risks will be provided to you by Dr. Beltre during your pre-surgical consultations.

The doctors at Beltre Bariatrics Center for Metabolic & Obesity Surgery have reviewed and approved this content.

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