The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes difficulty or disrupted breathing while sleeping. This widespread disorder impacts an estimated 1 in 5 adults in the United States, and it can impact children too. But sleep apnea does more than interfere with a good night’s sleep; it also puts your health at risk.

At LoneStar Bariatrics, Dr. Chad Carlton offers personalized weight-loss solutions — one of the best treatments available for sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea and have extra weight to lose, here’s why you shouldn’t wait to schedule a consultation.

Your weight and sleep apnea

Studies show that approximately 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, and 1 in 3 adults meets the medical classification for obesity — having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

Unfortunately, carrying excess body weight directly contributes to obstructive sleep apnea. That’s because the extra fatty deposits on your body put more pressure on your upper airways, causing them to collapse and decreasing neuromuscular control. As a result, you have less lung volume, and you can’t get enough air when you breathe.

Experts measure the severity of your sleep apnea by how many times your breathing pauses during each hour of sleep. In mild cases, these pauses occur between 5 and 15 times. In severe cases, they exceed 30 per hour.

When your body doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can’t function properly. This puts added stress on your system, especially your heart and arteries.

The dangers of sleep apnea

The complications linked to sleep apnea don’t happen overnight. Instead, your body undergoes stress on a regular basis from lack of oxygen, leading to:

All of these factors increase your chances of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and stroke. But your heart isn’t the only thing to worry about.

Untreated sleep apnea also worsens respiratory problems, like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). On top of that, it interferes with your digestive and endocrine systems, increasing your chances of Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease — and impacting your weight-loss goals.

But we have good news too. Losing as little as 10% of your body weight can significantly ease sleep apnea symptoms and reduce your risk of health complications.

Treating sleep apnea with weight loss

Approximately 20% of obese individuals have sleep apnea compared to 3% of people at a healthy weight. That’s why nothing beats weight loss when it comes to treating sleep apnea.

Our team knows how hard it can be to reach your weight loss goals, so we provide nonsurgical and surgical solutions to help you get results and resolve your sleep apnea symptoms at the same time.

For people with a significant amount of weight to lose, minimally invasive approaches like gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and duodenal switch procedures can provide the fastest results. However, we also offer medically supervised weight loss management programs with medications, gastric balloons, behavior management, and nutritional counseling with our dietitian Allison Rezentes, MS, RD/LD.

Together, we can put you on the best weight loss journey to help you reach your goals safely so you can say goodbye to sleep apnea for good.

Do you have sleep apnea and weight to lose? Contact our LoneStar Bariatrics office in Plano or Waxahachie, Texas, to schedule an appointment today.

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