Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sleep Apnea and losing weight

There has been a lot of information on the web lately about how losing weight will help with sleep apnea. A study done at the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia has come to the conclusion that a loss of 10 percent will greatly reduce sleep apnea in patients. Most of headlines that I have read will have you believe that is just folks with sleep apnea. The study was actually done with people who also had type 2 diabetes.

This all sounds encouraging but I can’t see that losing 10 percent of your weight can have that much effect on sleep apnea because not all sleep apnea is caused by being overweight. My father had sleep apnea and he wasn’t overweight. Losing weight wasn’t an option for him and even if it was it wouldn’t have helped his sleep apnea.

The other causes of sleep apnea are:

The size and shape of your head may cause the airway in your mouth to be smaller
When you get older your brain sends signals to the muscles in the mouth to be tense during sleep
Your tongue and tonsils are enlarged (this is the problem in my case)

I am not discouraging anyone from losing weight. I’m sure that it will help with the sleep apnea, but I don’t know think that it will cure it.

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