The Link Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Many people snore, but sleep apnea is a much more serious condition where your snoring is so severe that you can even stop breathing through the night. If you’re overweight or obese and you find that your sleep is interrupted or your partner finds that your snoring is disruptive, then it’s likely that you have sleep apnea.

At Family Healthcare of Atlanta, in Atlanta, Georgia, Mark Tanner, MD, and his staff are here to cover all of your healthcare needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to sleep apnea, how obesity can increase your risk of developing the condition, and how we can help you lose weight the healthy way

What is sleep apnea? 

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where something blocks your upper airway as you sleep. As a result, your diaphragm and chest muscles have to work harder to traffic air to your lungs. One of two things may happen, either your breathing can become dangerously shallow or you may stop breathing altogether. 

If you have sleep apnea you may notice some common symptoms, like:

It’s even possible for children to develop obstructive sleep apnea, and their risk increases if they’re obese as well. Children present with the following symptoms of sleep apnea:

The main reason that sleep apnea causes obesity is because the excess fat can cause pressure on and push on your internal organs, including your airways. You may also find that you’re gaining weight around your throat, which can block your airways and keep oxygen from reaching your lungs. 

In addition to causing sleep apnea, weight gain may also be a side effect of sleep apnea because a lack of sleep can actually change the hormones in your body that regulate weight gain and loss. This can impact your appetite and lead to weight gain. 

How we can help you lose weight

When it comes to weight loss, our philosophy is built around three pillars:

We make sure to plan a weight loss program that’s tailored to your unique needs and the way that your body loses weight. And, once you’ve lost your weight, we can help you melt away your pesky fat pockets and all of that hanging, wrinkled excess skin. 

To learn more about managing your weight and your risk of sleep apnea, contact our Atlanta, Georgia, office at 404-355-2000 or schedule an appointment online.

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