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Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

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Sleep apnea and weight gain have been linked in several ways. For many, sleep apnea is caused by obesity. It is widely understood that the airway of the obese individual may become obstructed by large tonsils, increased fat in the neck, or an enlarged tongue pressing on the airway when the pharyngeal muscles are relaxed when attempting to sleep. For other people, more extreme sleep apnea therapies may be the cause of weight gain. In either case, being diagnosed with sleep apnea should lead to a lifestyle change.


A recent study has shown that neck measurements can be an excellent diagnostic tool for identifying potential sleep apnea sufferers. Men with a neck circumference of seventeen inches, and women with a neck circumference of sixteen inches, are substantially more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Many studies suggest that up to eighty percent of sleep apnea sufferers are overweight.

Untreated Sleep Apnea

For those who suffer from sleep apnea and don’t realize it, or those who have yet to be treated, weight gain can be an issue. Without going through the frequent restful sleep periods required for the body to function properly, the human body may react unfavourably. Many people begin to crave high calorie, sugary or fatty foods to get a boost in energy. That boost is typically only long enough to get by until the next high calorie snack. Over time, this type of behaviour will inevitably lead to weight gain.


Among the more popular surgical means of reducing sleep apnea is the removal of the tonsils. This can help reduce snoring in the mildest cases of sleep apnea, but can also be beneficial for more severe cases as well. The reduction in mass near the pharyngeal muscles creates more space for a less obstructed airway. One of the most common side effects of a tonsillectomy is that many patients gain weight far more easily. One report clearly states that fifty-two percent of people who underwent tonsil surgery became officially obese within seven months of the surgery.


Thousands of people around the world have found that the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the ideal way to get a better night of sleep. They have been proven to be extremely effective and far less expensive than invasive surgery. There are many varieties and styles ideally suited to any individual, and the most reputable company providing these machines will be more than happy to help customize the unit with the mask and accessories required to ensure a more restful sleep.
Sleep apnea can disrupt lives and seems to lead to a circle of weight gain and problems getting proper sleep. Obesity may cause sleep apnea, and sleep apnea may cause obesity. End the cycle by speaking to your doctor if you think you might be suffering. By taking advantage of a CPAP machine from a dependable supplier that employs a team of medical professionals, better sleep and healthier eating patterns are sure to follow. A healthier lifestyle is much easier to attain when proper rest is acquired regularly, and the right CPAP machine and a little education can get you there.

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