Weight Loss Can Improve Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Weight Loss Can Improve Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Chances are we’ve all heard by now that a weight loss diet and regular exercise benefit the body by keeping our weight low, and cholesterol levels in check, and help prevent serious illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and even certain cancers. But did you know that it can also help reduce the signs and symptoms of another increasingly common condition: sleep apnea? It’s true. Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that affects many aspects of our daily health. It is categorized by a closing of the airway as we sleep, causing us to stop and restart breathing throughout the night. This can cause us to snore, choke or gasp for air, wake repeatedly, and in general feel tired, sluggish, and suffer from dangerous cognitive impairment during the daytime hours, anxiety, and depression. Obesity and overweight can cause many similar issues to sleep apnea, especially lethargy, anxiety, and depression. It can also contribute to many of the same serious illnesses like sleep apnea, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol levels. In a recent study by Carneiro-Barrera et al, the connection between obesity/overweight and sleep apnea was monitored. In the study, which was conducted in Spain, researchers followed men only, asking some to go on a weight loss diet to see if it affected their sleep apnea symptoms. What they found was that of the men who lost weight, their sleep apnea symptoms did improve, especially in conjunction with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. Unfortunately, CPAP therapy simply put isn’t for everyone. That’s because despite being what many consider the gold standard in sleep apnea care, CPAP machines are complicated to use, uncomfortable to wear, and difficult to clean and care for. This means many people who are prescribed CPAP therapy simply don’t use it or don’t use it as prescribed by their physician. This of course means it isn’t effective and isn’t doing anything to help the user. Thankfully, if you have been prescribed CPAP therapy by your physician but aren’t satisfied with it, Dr. Peterson has a solution that could help get you breathing better again. A mandibular sleep device or MAD is a device that fits comfortably into the mouth and positions the airway open without the use of forced air. Most patients find it more comfortable, easier to clean, and simple to place into the mouth. If you suffer from sleep apnea and are ready to ditch CPAP and try a mandibular sleep device instead, contact Dr. Peterson’s office today!

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