Sleep Apnea

Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Weight?

June 10th, 2021

Getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night is imperative to keeping your body working as efficiently as possible. Regular, quality sleep promotes the body's immune system, focus, and mood. While we're asleep, our bodies use that time to recover from the previous day and perform the maintenance that keeps us functional. If this time is interrupted, immune health, our focus, mood, and metabolism can see a decline. 

Sleep apnea

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder in which breathing starts and stops. Apart from the dangers associated with your breathing stopping in the middle of the night, sleep apnea bears the risk of experiencing a variety of other life-threatening conditions such as:

  • Weight gain/Obesity
  • Hypertension/Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes

The Importance of a Goodnight's Sleep

Most people probably don't connect breathing and their weight, but interrupted breathing (like in cases of sleep apnea) during the night can have implications for your metabolism. For example, if your airway becomes blocked while you're sleeping (either from gravity pulling your tongue back and blocking your airway or from your sleeping posture cinching your airway), it can cause you to wake up gasping for air and choking. This sequence of events is commonly referred to as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Interruptions like this interfere with the natural progression of sleep cycles. Frequent sleep cycle interruptions can lead to long-term sleep deprivation, causing your metabolism to fluctuate and potentially cause weight gain. 

Sleep and Weight

Because metabolic regulation largely occurs while you're asleep, sleep apnea can limit the body's ability to operate efficiently. 

Consequently, weight gain also causes breathing problems, creating a feedback loop that can grow out of control quickly. This combination can result in sleep apnea, in which you can experience:

  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Diabetes

The sleep apnea-weight gain cycle is particularly dangerous because weight gain can lead to obesity, which is also a significant contributor to sleep apnea. 

Excess body weight can lead to fatty deposits putting pressure on the airways. This pressure contributes to sleep apnea risk. Pressure on the airways can lead to weakened lung control and even collapse. Additional fatty tissue can decrease lung volume and make it hard to breathe even while a person is awake.

How Can the Center for Exceptional Dentistry Help You Sleep?

Sleep interruptions, lack of oxygen, weight gain, and obesity are all causes and effects of sleep apnea. Without treatment, the effects of sleep apnea can quickly grow out of control and worsen the condition further. 

Dr. Firouzi has a tremendous amount of experience treating sleep disorders for groups of all ages. If you or your child is experiencing difficulty sleeping, it may be the result of undiagnosed sleep apnea. If you would like to learn more about options for treatment, call Dr. Firouzi today at (412) 274-1126 or visit our contact page here.

The Dangers of Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea

April 23rd, 2021

According to Columbia University, 90 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea don't know they have it.

Sleep apnea

What Does It Mean to Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea?

Suffering from sleep apnea and not knowing or receiving treatment for it means suffering in silence. Because of the implications of living with sleep apnea, people who have it experience trouble breathing, don't get enough sleep, and risk their lives.

Who Is Most At Risk?

Those most at risk for experiencing sleep apnea typically fall into one or a combination of categories:

  • Excess weight - Obesity greatly increases sleep apnea risk. Fat deposits around the upper airway can obstruct breathing and cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
  • Those with a narrowed airway - Some patients are unfortunate enough to have inherited a narrow throat. Additionally, a patient's tonsils or adenoids might become enlarged and block their airway.
  • Men - Men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than are women. Women's risk increases if they're overweight or are postmenopausal.
  • Older adults - Sleep apnea occurs significantly more often in older adults.
  • Alcohol or drug users: Depressants relax the muscles in your throat, which can worsen obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Smokers - Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than those who don't. Smoking can increase inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway.
  • People with nasal congestion - If you have difficulty breathing through your nose, either the result of an anatomical problem or allergies, you're more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.

How to Know You Might Have Trouble Sleeping

  • Your partner regularly mentions your habit of snoring
  • Waking up not feeling rested
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Frequently waking up in the middle of the night
  • Waking up choking or gasping for air

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Pittsburgh, PA

If you're wondering whether you're suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea, Dr. Firouzi can provide remarkable treatment plans and help patients experience lasting relief.

Of course, every situation is unique, and what is best in your situation will be discussed in greater detail during your sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Firouzi. Please contact Dr. Firouzi today by calling (412) 274-1126 or visiting our contact page.