sleep apnea and obesity

SLEEP APNEA AND OBESITY
MORE COMMON-SENSE MEDICINE

Sleep Apnea Obesity

Andrea Cannata – Pixabay

The first line of defense against obstructive sleep apnea should be weight loss, according to new guidelines from the American College of Physicians.  Drug therapy has been tried, using a range of medications, but evidence was insufficient to conclude that any of them worked.  Cherry picked from a recent issue of MedPage Today, as reported in the October 1 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine

In an age of pills, potions, lotions, and enough surgical procedures to make your head swim, it is refreshing to hear the faint voice of common sense coming through the haze (see the quote above).  The ACP’s “About Us” page says that, “Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness.”  But does it really take a ‘specialist’ to make us understand that being overweight or obese will seriously affect our sleep?   Of course not.   Unfortunately, the more obese you are, the worse your problem is likely be.  With 70% of our country’s adult population categorized as overweight, and over half of those falling into the “obese” category, none of this is really a surprise.  Nor is it ‘new’ information.
According to our government’s National Institutes of Health, “Sleep Apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.  Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.”  Studies have estimated that 10% of middle aged women, and nearly one quarter of middle aged men have Sleep Apnea.

Nearly five years ago, the most prestigious medical institution on the planet (Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland) published several studies on the cause(s) of Sleep Apnea, and listed three things that are heavily associated with this common problem.

  • LIVER DISEASE:  The number one form of Liver Disease is “Fatty Liver”.  The number one cause of Fatty Liver is not alcoholism, but obesity.
  • OBESITY ITSELF:  It only stands to reason.
  • SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE:  After reading the article called, “Sitting is the New Smoking,” I completely understand.

Here is the deal folks.  Lack of quality sleep is one of the great destroyers of health (HERE).  Combine that with THESE amazing statistics on Sleep Disorders in America, and you’ll begin to understand the magnitude of this problem.  Sure; CPAP machines can be a great help to those who struggle with Sleep Apnea.  But if you are truly interested in getting to the bottom of the situation and LOSING THE EXCESS WEIGHT, I have a whole section on the topic. 

The verdict is in.  You have to take charge of your health. You doctor cannot do it for you.  One of our government’s dirty little secrets is that Obama-Care is not the savior it was portrayed to be.  Since most diseases are diseases of lifestyle, drugs and surgery are not the answer.  Never were.  Sooner or later you will figure this out if you desire to live a long and productive life.

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