Weight Loss Support - Sleep apnea




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JessicaBT
02-27-2007, 08:16 PM
I tried repeatedly to reply to the other sleep apnea thread, but kept getting a "gateway timeout." so I'm just going to post a new thread. Sorry.
I have severe sleep apnea, and it is a big enough issue that I believe this site should have a sleep apnea group. Maybe we should start it. One in EVERY 10 people have sleep apnea, and most are undiagnosed.
It is a myth that people who are fat are generally more susceptable to sleep apnea than the rest of the population. It's a myth that doctors perpetuate. Only doctors well educated in this area understand. Like ENTs and Pulminologists, and the sleep techs. Thin people get sleep apnea. Babies get sleep apnea. It's one of the leading causes of SIDS. If you have sleep apnea, it is far more likely that you are going to GET fat, because you are way to tired to keep up an excercize plan, and probalby sleeping a great deal, or at odd hours. When you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, they will tell you that losing weight may result in a lower CPAP setting, but maybe not, and that only in very rare cases will losing weight cure sleep apnea entirely. That is because what sleep apnea usually is (although there are different types,) is when your tonge lacks muscle to stay in the right place, or is a very large tongue, and it will collapse onto your airway when you lay down and become relaxed. Being overweight will aggravate the condition, because fat on your neck area weighs down your airway. You have to weigh a LOT before fat around your neck alone will cause sleep apnea, and dieting will not make your tongue change. Another type of sleep apnea is Central sleep apnea, in which your brain just "forgets" to tell a person when to breathe. Again, a fat neck can aggravate that, but does not cause it. And we don't WANT it aggravated, because it's scary and life threatening, so we need to lose weight.
Also, yes, weight gain is related, and there are many studies to back that up. Geez, I'm getting tired of uneducated doctors. First of all, it just makes common sense that if you are tired, you aren't excercizing as much. Secondly, when you stop breathing at night, your brain dumps all kinds of adrenaline in your system, thinking that something is trying to kill you. The effects of the adrenaline don't go completely away during the day, so we crave carbs to calm us down, and soothe our nerves.
For the record, sometimes just using a CPAP alone, and resuming regular activities will help you to lose weight if you were totally inactive before, and that changes. The way a CPAP helps, in most cases, and in my case, is to over time help you not be to tired to excercize. You still have to excercize. Also, there are aspects of CPAP treatment that you have to be really proactive about, and your doctor will not chase you down and make you do. Like making sure you have the right mask. There is a support forum online for sleep apnea, very much like this one, but dedicated to helping people make sure their treatment works, and answering questions about sleep apnea. The weight loss question comes up repeatedly. It's a great great place to get information. I'll post the link. Go to this site, and click the forum link.
http://www.sleepapnea.org/


titian
02-27-2007, 09:49 PM
Thanks JessicaBT! You sound like the voice of experience. I'm very leery and doubtful of the information doctors pass out these days and you have certainly opened up my eyes. Thanks for the website--I'll do some further research there. I'll keep you posted as to the results, and yes, maybe we should start a sleep apnea support group!!:)