Friday, April 11, 2014

Obesity and Sleep Apnea: the Dangerously Real Connection

Tossing and turning at night can have more dire consequences on your health than you might realize.  Aside from making you cranky and groggy in the morning, inadequate sleep can actually wreak havoc on your overall health.  This is especially true if you have sleep apnea and you leave it untreated for too long.  In fact, recent studies have actually found that sleep apnea and obesity are linked in a real and dangerous way.  Due to the fact that millions of people suffer from sleep apnea and even more deal with being overweight, understanding the correlation between the two ailments is essential to maintaining optimal health.

What is Sleep Apnea?
There is a big difference between insomnia and sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a common chronic breathing disorder that occurs when a person is asleep.  It affects people of all ages and it is treatable if you know what you are doing.  There are three basic types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed.  This dangerous disease causes folks to suffer from brief pauses in breath while they snooze.  Over long periods of time, a person with sleep apnea can start to suffer from things like heart disease, lung disease, depression, and even obesity. 

When is a Person Diagnosed as being Obese?
According to the Obesity Action Coalition, a person is said to be obese when they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more.  Because of certain genetic and environmental factors some people are more susceptible to developing obesity than others.  However, things such as lifestyle choices and circumstance can cause a person to gain dangerous amounts of weight as well.  Obesity actually increases a person’s chances of developing sleep apnea; and moreover, having sleep apnea increases a person’s risk of developing obesity. 

How does Sleep Apnea cause Obesity?
When a person is unable to get adequate amounts of sleep at night they are more likely to stay up munching on snacks in front of the television or computer.  More so than that however, sleep apnea can cause obesity because of the way it negatively affects the hormone levels in the body.  Obstructive sleep apnea is quite common in individuals who are morbidly obese due to the fact that their massive weight often blocks airways.  Sleep apnea and obesity are connected in a real and dangerous way. 

What are the Dangers Associated?
People with sleep apnea not only snore loudly but they also run the risk of suffering from morning headaches, sore throat, night sweats, and even eventual heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and depression.  Those who have to deal with being obese obviously live an uncomfortable life but they also put themselves at risk for similar ailments and more.  Both sleep apnea and obesity should be treated by a knowledgeable professional as soon as possible to prevent any long-term health problems. 

Are there any Treatments?
There are a myriad of effective treatments for obesity and sleep apnea, some natural and some more invasive.  Preventative maintenance is the key to avoiding both of these health related issues; but sometimes that just cannot be done.  In addition, talking to your healthcare professional is one of the best ways to gather the information that you need to make a conscientious decision regarding your sleep patterns, weight, and overall well-being.  Because sleep apnea is often caused by unwise diet choices and lifestyle habits, it is possible to change the course of your nighttime routine with just a few simple adjustments.  However, if you let your sleep apnea run a muck, obesity can be the result and that is much more difficult to fix. 

Robert J Hudson is a chief writer for Daily Supplement Deals, passionate nutritionist and personal trainer. Over the years he has shared his experience by writing for many different health and fitness magazines, blogs and review websites. Connect with him on Google+.

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