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Sleep Apnoea and How This Is Cured with Weight Loss Surgery

May 18th, 2017

Sleep Apnoea and How This Is Cured with Weight Loss Surgery  

Weight loss surgery, also referred to as bariatric surgery, seems to be totally unrelated to sleep apnoea. However, there is actually a strong connection between the two. If you are suffering from sleep apnoea, this may be the best option for you. There are several medical procedures that can be performed which can lead to weight loss. Some of the most common weight loss procedures used are adjustable gastric band, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. In some cases, a patient may lose up to a half of their body weight after weight loss surgery especially if they stick to an exercise routine and healthy eating habits.

What is sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is a common medical condition that is often not diagnosed. Persons with sleep apnoea often experience shallow breathing or pauses during breathing while they are asleep. After a pause in breathing, the individual may resume breathing with a choking sound or a loud snort. A lot of people may not realise that these things are happening to them because it must be noticed by someone else. So, if you sleep alone, you may never find out that this is happening while you sleep.

There are several risk factors that makes people more prone to sleep apnoea. Some of these factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Excess weight
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Narrow airway

However, most people who are diagnosed with sleep apnoea are overweight. In fact, more than half of all patients who are diagnosed with sleep apnoea are overweight. Clearly, the weight of an individual has a great impact on whether sleep apnoea will develop and/ or persist.

There are several other symptoms that are associated with sleep apnoea such as:

  • Loud snoring
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Sudden awakening with choking or gasping
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
  • Breathing pauses several times during sleep

Sleep apnoea and weight loss surgery

Obstructive sleep apnoea is caused by a blockage in the airways. In overweight people, this blockage is mostly fatty tissue in the upper airways. When you go to sleep, the muscles in your body will relax. This includes the muscle in your throat. As the muscles relax, the fatty tissue will collapse and block your airways, making it difficult for you to breathe properly. In order to correct this, you have to get rid of all of that fatty tissue. Getting rid of fat means losing weight.

If you are overweight and affected by sleep apnoea, you should seriously consider losing some weight. If you find it difficult to lose weight or you want to lose weight at a faster pace, weight loss surgery is a procedure that can help you tremendously.

After weight loss surgery, may patients often notice significant improvements with their sleep apnoea. For many patients, results are seen within the first 3 months after surgery and eventually most patients no longer suffer from this condition once their weight remains under control. Overall, the success rates for bariatric surgery relieving sleep apnoea are very good. However, weight loss surgery is a major surgery and it is typically recommended only after non-surgical treatments have failed to successfully treat sleep apnoea.

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