Nearly 70% of adult patients suffering from sleep apnea are considered medically overweight or obese. It’s well known that weight gain can cause sleep apnea by creating tension and extra tissue around the throat and palate. However, not everyone with the disease is overweight; there are some world-class athletes that suffer from sleep apnea. Could it be that sleep apnea is responsible for the weight gain seen in many of its victims? The answer appears to be yes.
Thousands of studies have linked a lack of sleep to a myriad of health problems. In particular, less sleep can wreak havoc on your hormone levels. By disrupting hormone signals that your body depends upon to function properly, sleep apnea can cause unhealthy changes in your perceived hunger and can even change the way your body processes energy.
As hormones such as ghrelin and leptin become off balance due to sleep apnea, you may feel less satiated more often, despite eating the same amount as usual. This can lead to excess food consumption and weight gain. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can also cause an insulin imbalance, increasing your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. Needless to say, this can mean real danger for your health if left unchecked and untreated.
To make matters worse, sleep apnea can prevent you from being as active as you would like. Daytime fatigue and minor breathing disorders due to the disease can make even the simplest physical activities feel impossible. This inactivity in itself can lead to weight gain. It greatly affects your health since you are not getting proper oxygen to your brain and body several times throughout the night.
Our Gleb Burnie dentist can do a simple exam to help you determine if you may have sleep apnea. The solution may be as simple as a custom-made oral appliance to wear at night. The appliance takes your jaw and shifts it into a position that opens up your airway.
Don’t let sleep apnea weigh you down. Contact our office to learn more about solutions and reclaim your overall health.