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The Link Between Being Overweight and Sleep Apnea

The Link Between Being Overweight and Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people across the globe. It causes people with the condition to stop breathing for short periods repeatedly. This happens because the condition causes the muscles in the back of your throat to fall, blocking your airway as you sleep and disrupting your breathing. Research shows a link between sleep apnea and being overweight, and many studies suggest that weight management can help prevent and manage sleep apnea symptoms. At Rapha Health and Wellness in Sugar Land and Houston, Texas, Dr. Nneka Edokpayi and her team understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to weight management. That's why we offer a personalized approach to weight loss, working with you to develop a plan tailored to your unique needs and goals. We offer various services to help you achieve your weight loss goals, including nutritional counseling, meal planning, behavioral modification, and weight loss medication management. Learn more about weight and sleep apnea below.

Understanding sleep apnea and how it’s linked to excess weight

Sleep apnea is a disruptive condition that’s linked to fatigue, irritability, decreased libido, headaches, and daytime sleepiness. If untreated, sleep apnea can lead to severe health complications like hypertension, stroke, depression, and liver problems. According to research, more than 70% of people with sleep apnea are overweight or obese. While not everyone who's overweight will go on to develop sleep apnea, a large percentage of people tend to have excess fatty tissue in their necks and throats. This puts pressure on your airway, making it challenging to stay open as you sleep.

Can weight management help with sleep apnea?

The short answer is yes. Keeping your weight in check reduces the volume of fatty tissue in your throat, helping to prevent sleep apnea or ease its symptoms if you've already developed the condition. Studies show that even a slight reduction in weight in people with sleep apnea significantly alleviates symptoms of the condition.

How to manage your weight

The first and most crucial step in healthy weight management is seeking medical guidance, which you get here at Rapha Health and Wellness. We help you develop a personalized weight loss plan that is safe, effective, and sustainable. The next important tip is making healthy nutrition choices. This means consuming foods, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. You should also avoid processed foods that have high sugar and salt content. Exercising regularly is also essential for healthy weight management. Aiming to get in at least 30 minutes of movement daily would be best. This could be by walking, cycling, swimming, or any other physical activity you enjoy. Strength training exercises can also help you build muscle and boost your metabolism. 

If you’re struggling with weight management or sleep apnea, it's time to take action and book an appointment with us at Rapha Health and Wellness. You can also call 281-207-0461. We are here to help you achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall health and wellbeing.