When it comes to sleep and weight, early evaluation and help from a sleep doctor are keys to preventing harm and restoring quality of life.
There are excellent chances to get rid of sleep apnea with adequate treatment by a somnologist.
And it’s never too late or too early to take an active approach to weight management.
If you think you might have sleep apnea, it’s important to see a sleep doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment.
There is no doubt that obstructive sleep apnea and excess weight are interrelated.
Although not every overweight person suffers from sleep apnea and vice versa, this disease can occur in patients with normal body weight.
A more accurate indicator than weight is neck circumference: the likelihood of developing sleep apnea is high if the neck parameter exceeds 43 cm in men and 40 cm in women.
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What Is the Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and Obesity?
There is evidence that untreated sleep apnea makes weight loss difficult.
This is due to the fact that disturbed sleep and insufficient oxygen supply to tissues impair metabolism, negatively affect insulin resistance and glucose tolerance, and cause fluctuations in hormone levels (in particular, somatotropic hormone, which helps reduce subcutaneous fat deposition).
Sleep apnea can also deprive people of the energy they need to maintain a healthy body weight.
Daytime sleepiness is a common symptom of sleep apnea resulting from fragmented, unrefreshing sleep.
Evidence suggests that excessive sleepiness can cause sleep apnea sufferers to be less physically active during waking hours.
This can be especially problematic for people who are obese, who often experience shortness of breath and chest discomfort with exertion, leading to limited exercise.
Without dietary changes, reduced activity levels can lead to additional weight gain.
Also, due to increased fatigue, it is difficult for a patient suffering from sleep apnea to lead an active lifestyle.
It’s like a vicious circle: sleep apnea prevents you from losing weight, and excess body weight, in turn, exacerbates sleep apnea.
Can weight loss cure sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea treatment, like the treatment of many diseases, begins with lifestyle and behavioral changes.
For most sleep apnea sufferers, this includes working towards a healthy body weight.
Weight loss reduces fat deposits in the neck and tongue that may have contributed to airflow restriction.
It also reduces abdominal fat, which in turn increases lung capacity and improves airway traction, reducing the chance of airway collapse during sleep.
Weight loss can also significantly reduce many of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, such as daytime sleepiness.
Irritability and other neuropsychiatric disorders are also markedly reduced.
There has been an overall improvement in cardiovascular health, blood pressure, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and, in particular, quality of life.
Losing just 10-15% of one’s body weight can reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea by 50% in moderately obese patients.
Unfortunately, although weight loss can lead to significant improvements in OSAS, it usually does not lead to a complete cure, and many patients with sleep apnea require additional therapy.
Is it possible to gain weight while using a CPAP?
You cannot gain weight from using a CPAP, but you can lose weight with a CPAP machine.
The use of a CPAP machine really helps to get rid of excess weight because the device eliminates the cause of its appearance.
Initially, the CPAP machine was not invented and was only used to help people lose weight.
Its original purpose was to help a person breathe properly during sleep, prevent respiratory arrest during sleep (apnea) and the resulting lack of oxygen in the body, and relieve snoring.
And the device copes with its tasks very effectively.
In the course of treating patients for sleep apnea and other sleep problems, it has been observed that patients using the CPAP machine lose significant weight without any additional effort.
A person simply sleeps with a CPAP machine, does not go on a diet, does not restrict his food intake, and does not even add physical activity, but at the same time, he loses weight.
Despite the non-invasiveness and safety of treatment, CPAP procedures have contraindications:
- The presence of a history of pneumothorax (the penetration of air into the sealed pleural cavity surrounding the lungs, usually from the lung, due to a violation of the integrity of the pleura);
- Pneumomediastinum (accumulation of air in the tissue of the mediastinum)
- Frequent sinusitis (inflammatory diseases of the paranasal cavities)
- infectious eye diseases in the acute or recurrent phase.
- Surgical interventions on the brain, including on any part of the pituitary gland,
- decompensated heart failure.
- Frequent nosebleeds of unknown etiology
My Experience of Losing Weight With a CPAP Machine
I came to the CPAP therapy with complaints of sleep disturbance, snoring, sleep apnea, being overweight (117 kg), and having high blood pressure.
I had a severe case of apnea (86.6 stops per hour), and my minimal oxygen saturation was 90%.
It has been almost 7 months of successful CPAP therapy. And I was satisfied, happy, and much calmer.
What I got in the end:
There is no snoring; the apnea-hypopnea index is 2 now.
My weight went down, and my weight loss was 33 kg.
From the first days of CPAP therapy, apnea and snoring disappeared, sleep returned to normal, blood pressure stabilized, drowsiness disappeared, and working capacity increased.
I was pleased to get enough sleep; my snoring and cessation of breathing in a dream disappeared.
Why Am I Putting On Weight Because of My CPAP Machine?
You cannot gain weight with your CPAP machine.
The CPAP machine prevents respiratory arrest during sleep during the night. The patient breathes fully, the body is normally supplied with oxygen, and the cause of excess weight is eliminated by itself. The body gradually returns to normal.
Usually, patients note in their feedback on the use of the CPAP device a weight loss of 15-20 kg per year.
In the case of a large starting weight, it is possible to lose up to 30 kg in six months.
Why would CPAP cause weight gain?
It should be noted that some CPAP complications can be odd.
For example, in some rare cases, the increased air pressure from the CPAP machine makes it difficult to expel air from the body, which leads to increased body mass.
Does CPAP Make Your Stomach Big?
People who use CPAP have larger stomachs because they swallow more air while using it.
Bloating in the stomach is caused by increased air intake.