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Will Losing Weight Help Sleep Apnea

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Inspired To Move More And Eat Healthy

Will Losing Weight Cure Sleep Apnea?

Theres no magic solution to weight loss but I am finding the more I focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, and drinking water, the less room I have for pizza, cupcakes, and ice cream. Im inspired by Garys story.;Im not going to start running marathons or working out with a trainer for 2-hour gym sessions but healthy eating and increasing my activity level are doable and perhaps a reduction in my AHI is too!

Have you tried losing weight to help your sleep apnea? Share your story below.

Weight Loss And Sleep Apnea

The study included about 60 overweight and obese adult men with moderate to severe sleep apnea who lost an average of 40 pounds over nine weeks on a specially formulated, largely liquid diet totaling about 500 calories a day.

Patients with the most severe sleep apnea saw the biggest improvements in symptoms and those who lost the most weight improved the most.

The yearlong maintenance phase of the study included monthly group therapy sessions and regular meetings with a nurse and dietitian.

Even though the men gained back, on average, about 14 pounds over the course of the year, collectively they still had a 47% improvement in sleep apnea symptoms; 10% of the patients no longer needed treatment with continuous positive airway pressure masks.

The study was published today in BMJ Online First.

Q: Can Treating Sleep Apnea Improve My Type 2 Diabetes

A: While quality sleep is extremely important, it cannot improve diabetes. However, untreated sleep apnea has been linked with poorer glucose control for type 2 diabetes, 3 so its important to continue on prescribed continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your type 2 diabetes.

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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain

Related Reading

It also appears that OSA patients, in particular, may be more susceptible to weight gain than people who have the same BMI and health status but do not suffer from sleep apnea. This is illustrated in one study that showed people with OSA gained significantly more weight in the year leading up to their OSA diagnosis compared with BMI-matched people without OSA.

Sleep apnea can also deplete people of the energy they need to maintain a healthy body weight. Daytime sleepiness is a common sleep apnea symptom, resulting from fragmented, unrefreshing sleep. Evidence suggests excessive sleepiness may lead sleep apnea sufferers to exert less physical activity during waking hours. This may be particularly problematic for obese people, who frequently experience more shortness of breath and chest discomfort with physical effort, resulting in limited exercise. Without dietary changes, decreased activity levels can lead to additional weight gain.

Quick Healthy Eating Solutions

Natural Remedies for Sleep Disorders

To improve your eating habits and lose weight, here are some quick fix menu solutions that will help you with sleep apnea weight loss:

Make Your Portions Smaller

Some people use healthy food in their diet, but the portions are out of control. Therefore, they’re not losing any weight.

Eating too much from any food will prevent you from losing weight. So you’ll need a method to control your portions.

Use smaller plates, bowls and cups to cut down the portions you eat. When you have bigger plates, you tend to consume more food.

If you divide your plate into 4 sections, then an example of a healthy meal will be formed from:

    • 1/4 lean proteins,
    • 1/4 healthy starch,
    • 1/2 vegetables.

On the other hand, a traditional meal can make you gain weight. Here is an example:

    • 1/3 proteins
    • 1/3 starch
    • 1/3 vegetables

To better understand the portion control for your diet, imagine you have two plates in front of you:

    • one plate has large portions of fast food french fries,
    • and the other plate has a turkey sandwich with whole-wheat bread, a half cup of carrots, another half cup of fresh fruit, and four cups of popcorn.

Although these 2 plates have the exact number of calories on them, the plate with french fries contains almost 17 grams more fat than the other plate. Plus, it’s less nutritious.

Opt for Lean Cooking Methods

For our Sleep Apnea Weight Loss Plan you want to eat foods that are prepared by either:

    • grilling,
    • steaming,
    • boiling.

Avoid Adding Salt to Your Food

Healthy Snack Ideas

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How Are Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Weight Gain Linked

The link between Sleep Apnea and weight gain is not one of causality, that is to say: Sleep Apnea does not cause weight gain and, by the same token, weight loss does not cure Sleep Apnea.

However, Obstructive Sleep Apnea does reduce the amount of restful sleep a person gets every night, and some research2 studies have shown a link between insufficient sleep and weight gain. This link has been explained by the discovery that lack of sleep affects two key hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite and caloric intake.3

Low levels of leptin, which tells your brain your body doesnt need to eat, and high levels of ghrelin, a hormone that sends signals to the brain that youre hungry and need to eat, have been shown in those with Sleep Apnea.

The issue of the relationship between Sleep Apnea and body weight is one that continues to be studied4 and more research is required to determine how other external factors, such as physical activity, diet, gender, ethnicity, age, etc. influence this relationship.

How Excess Weight Causes Sleep Apnea

Several health conditions increase the likelihood of developing sleep apnea, but OSA is most common in people who are overweight or obese. Excess weight creates fat deposits in a persons neck called pharyngeal fat. Pharyngeal fat can block a persons upper airway during sleep when the airway is already relaxed. This is why snoring is one of the most common sleep apnea symptoms air is literally being squeezed through a restricted airway, causing a loud noise.

Additionally, increased abdominal girth from excess fat can compress a persons chest wall, decreasing lung volume. This reduced lung capacity diminishes airflow, making the upper airway more likely to collapse during sleep. OSA risk continues to increase with a rising body mass index , which measures ones body fat based on height and weight. Even a 10% weight gain is associated with a six-fold increase in OSA risk.

Less common causes of sleep apnea include enlarged tonsils that block the airway, anatomical features such as a large neck or narrow throat, endocrine disorders , acid reflux, lung diseases, and heart problems. However, roughly 6090% of adults with OSA are overweight.

Lofta WatchPAT is a FDA-approved portable diagnostic device that uses the most innovative technology to ensure the accurate screening, detection, and the follow-up treatment of sleep apnea. .

Recommended Reading: How To Prevent Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Health Effects Of Sleep Apnea And Excess Weight

Deprived of sufficient, quality rest, sleep apnea sufferers experience significant stress on their cardiovascular, metabolic, and pulmonary systems. This may be particularly worrisome for obese people, because obesity can also elevate the risk of heart, lung, and metabolic problems, potentially compounding their health concerns.

Low Energy And Chronic Fatigue

Losing weight helps to cure Sleep Apnea or Snoring- Dr. K.S.Kular

Even one night of poor sleep can leave people feeling like zombies shuffling through the day. So imagine the impact that monthsor even yearsof restless sleep can have on energy levels.

Similar to a phones Battery-Saver Mode, when experiencing lower energy levels, we conserve the little energy we have by performing only essential tasks and avoiding the non-essential ones . This can lead to eating unhealthy foods out of convenience and sitting still for longer periods of time.

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Gary’s Weight Loss Story

I recently talked to Gary Knight, who organizes a Facebook support group for sleep apnea sufferers in the UK.;Gary works as a landscaper and before he was diagnosed with sleep apnea, his daytime sleepiness was so acute that he fell asleep on tractors and in garden sheds. Clearly he knew something was wrong but it took years to finally have a sleep study and get his diagnosis.

Gary began his CPAP treatment in 2016 and since then Gary has gone from 279 lbs to 213 lbs, losing 70lbs. When I asked Gary about his weight loss journey, it did not surprise me that significant effort on his part was involved. Using his CPAP gave him enough energy to start exercising.

He started off slowly using an elliptical machine regularly for short periods.;Over time, Gary built up to longer and longer workouts and started working with a trainer.;Its not uncommon for Gary to spend 2 hours at the gym at a time and complete marathon distances on his elliptical or stationary bike. Eating a clean diet high of proteins, fruits, and vegetables and low on processed foods have become a new way of life for Gary.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

Family members or bed partners often pick up on the signs of sleep apnea first. Many people with sleep apnea don’t know they’re snoring and gasping for breath at night. If you have any of the following signs, see your doctor:

  • daytime sleepiness
  • loud snoring followed by silent pauses
  • gasping or choking during sleep
  • morning headache
  • poor concentration or memory loss
  • lowered sex drive

Snoring by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. It is true that loud snoring is common in people with this disorder, but there’s a big difference between simple snoring and sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems. If it’s not treated, sleep apnea can lead to:

  • high blood pressure
  • work-related injuries

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How To Lose Weight With Sleep Apnea

If you have sleep apnea and you are overweight,;sleep apnea weight loss plan;will definitely improve your sleep disorder and your overall health.

This article contains step-by-step instructions to loose weight if you have sleep apnea and weight problems.

As obesity is the most important risk factor for apnea episodes,;sleep apnea weight loss;would be expected to lead to an increase in upper airway dimensions and an improvement in sleep breathing disorder.

The link between weight loss and degree of sleep apnea improvement are not always directly related, although it has been shown that a 1% change in weight is associated with a 3% change in AHI.

It has been shown that weight loss can improve sleep efficiency, decreased snoring and improved oxygenation of the blood.

In cases of dramatic weight loss by special dieting or surgery, OSA severity is improved and in some patients completely cured.

How Does Gaining Weight Affect Sleep Apnea

Reducing tongue fat via weight loss may be an effective ...

Not everyone who is overweight or obese will develop sleep apnea. However, being overweight and/or gaining weight does increase your risk of developing the disorder.

When the muscles in your neck relax during sleep, they no longer support the weight of the tissue on top of them. The more weight pressing down on the airway, the more likely it is to collapse. Because of this, people who carry a lot of weight around their neck and chest are at a much higher risk of OSA.

If you gain even 10% of your weight your risk for developing sleep apnea gets multiplied by six.

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What To Eat When You Have Sleep Apnea And Weight Problems

There are types of food that you should avoid if you start the Sleep Apnea Weight Loss Plan, and eat only the healthy options. Here are the main categories of food with examples:


  • Healthy Proteins: egg white, fish, tofu, skinless chicken breast, sea food.
  • Bad Proteins: sausages, salami, beacon, etc.


Good carbs are essential for a healthy diet, because they are a very important source of fiber, vitamins B, C, potassium.

Good carbohydrates can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and heart disease. So include the healthy carbs in your diet, but in moderation and along with healthy proteins and fats.

  • Healthy Carbohydrates: vegetables, fruits, whole grains , low fat milk and yogurt.
  • Bad Carbohydrates: candies, cookies, soda


  • Healthy Fats: olive oil, nuts, avocado, nut butter.
  • Bad Fats: fried food.

Tips For Getting Started

How to get the weight loss process started depends on how much weight you need to lose to get into a healthy range. If you are in the dangerously obese zone, you should consult a medical professional to see if bariatric surgery may be the right option. If there arent any medical issues, you can start modifying your diet to include more whole foods and start moving your body on a daily basis.

Initially, walking is more than enough and will improve your circulation and work the larger muscles of your lower body. Some other tips include replacing high sugar drinks with water and eating smaller portions. Your doctor will likely provide resources for you if your end goal is to reduce or eliminate your sleep apnea in Rochester.


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Role Of Pharyngeal Muscles

The inspiratory dilator phasic upper airway muscles are activated during inspiration and counteract the collapsing influence of negative airway pressure. The genioglossus is the best studied such muscle. The activity of the genioglossus is substantially reduced during expiration when pressure inside the airway becomes positive and there are fewer tendencies for collapse. Other muscles such as the tensor palatini do not consistently demonstrate inspiratory phasic activity but instead maintain a relatively constant level of activity throughout the respiratory cycle. These are called tonic, or postural muscles, and are also thought to play a role in the maintenance of airway patency. Negative pressure in the pharynx markedly activates these muscles, which in turn counteracts this collapsing influence . In patients with sleep apnea having anatomically small airways, a negative pressure reflex is substantially activated during wakefulness, leading to augmented dilator muscle activity as a neuromuscular compensatory mechanism to protect the airways . Therefore, the individual’s propensity for upper airway collapse during sleep depends on two variables: 1) the patient’s predisposing anatomy and 2) the level of pharyngeal dilator muscle activity.

Losing Weight For Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea & Weight Loss

If you need help losing weight to curing your sleep apnea, you should first start by creating a caloric deficit in your diet. This means that you burn more calories than you consume. Try to eat less sugar, processed foods, sugary drinks, and fast food, and instead drink more water and eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. You can combine this with at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week for the best results.

We recommend losing at least 10% of your body fat to see if symptoms improve, otherwise, aim to get yourself in a healthy weight zone.

Although weight loss can cure sleep apnea, its still important to address your sleep apnea symptoms until you lose the weight indefinitely. Enjoy relief from sleep apnea symptoms like snoring when you visit River Edge Dental for sleep apnea treatment. Please call or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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How To Get Rid Of Sleep Apnea

If youve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or even suspect you may have it, you probably know that its important to have it treated before it leads to other, more serious health conditions. The good news is that most cases of sleep apnea can be easily treated. The even better news is that many cases of obstructive sleep apnea can be completely cured. If you arent sure how to get rid of sleep apnea, dont stress because we have provided information on how to cure sleep apnea, as well as sleep apnea treatments without CPAP equipment.

How Can Weight Loss Aid In Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing during sleep and frequently. The time you stop breathing can be between a few minutes and a few seconds. Sleep apnea may have a significant influence on your health and wellbeing, but not life-threatening. Studies have indeed demonstrated that issues such as heart attacks are much more common among sleep apneas patients. You may wonder if treatment options for this condition are available in sleep clinics. You could, for example, hear that weight loss could help to give relief from sleep apnea.

Read Also: How To Get Treated For Sleep Apnea

Weight Loss May Change Your Cpap Pressure Requirements

While weight loss might not completely cure sleep apnea in every case, it definitely has a beneficial effect. If you have significantly altered your lifestyle or lost weight, it may be time to reevaluate your sleep apnea treatment. You could require a lower PAP pressure to keep your airway open, or you might not need treatment any more at all. Conversely, if you have recently gained weight, you may have higher pressure requirements. Typically, a titration study will be ordered to assess your pressure requirements . You may also benefit from using an autoset CPAP device which adjusts its pressure based on your requirements throughout the night .

Is It More Difficult To Lose Weight

Excess Tongue Fat Could Be Leading to Sleep Apnea ...

You might have heard reports that sleep apnea makes it more difficult to lose weight. This is due to the fact that it slows down your metabolism and in some cases, may mean that you wont be able to lose weight at all. Research does suggest that this is the case. Thats why its essential to make sure that you are taking steps to control your sleep apnea before you start making commitments to try and lose weight. Your ENT will be able to help you with this option and ensure that you get the best possible chance at seeing results. There are a range of different treatment options for sleep apnea.

The most common is going to be CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure. This is usually completed using a machine that can be set up close to your bed. Losing weight may be more difficult because of the pressure that the condition puts on your body. This includes insulin resistance, increases in blood pressure and glucose intolerance.

In some instances, an ENT may recommend surgery to ensure that it is easier for you to lose weight.

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