Sleep apnea can be diagnosed in even the healthiest of people, but those who are overweight may find that their excess pounds may further aggravate the situation. In fact, being overweight puts some patients at a higher risk of suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that can be caused or worsened by pockets of fat within the neck and throat area.
Studies have shown that out of all patients diagnosed with sleep apnea, 60%-70% of them also suffer from a weight problem. In patients who are overweight, treatment is dual-sided.
Can Losing Weight Cure Sleep Apnea?
If you could eliminate sleep apnea from your life, wouldn’t you? One of the common misconceptions floating around is that losing weight can cure sleep apnea. Although this isn’t entirely false, it’s not the case for every patient. Weight loss alone rarely cures sleep apnea. However, patients who develop sleep apnea as a result of weight gain may potentially resolve their condition with the right amount of weight loss. In the majority of sleep apnea cases however, losing weight will improve the condition, but not cure it.
Which Sleep Apnea Diet Works Best?
Patients with sleep apnea who need to lose weight may benefit from a low-energy diet combined with traditional treatment options for sleep apnea. Because being overweight can further harm a patient already suffering from sleep apnea, weight loss is a crucial part of a successful treatment. In fact, a study conducted at Karolinska Institute found that a low-energy diet (Cambridge diet), exercise, and proper counseling all benefited patients diagnosed with sleep apnea. The finished study went on to show that out of all of the participants, after losing weight for a year, 48% did not use CPAP anymore, but only 10% of participants saw their OSA disappear.
Patients with sleep apnea who are overweight, according to this study and many others, will benefit not only from traditional sleep apnea treatment methods but also weight loss. Since only 10% of patients cured their sleep apnea, it’s still important to tackle your sleep condition from two sides for the most successful treatment possible. One side is using some sort of treatment while you sleep such as an oral appliance or CPAP and the other side is making lifestyle changes like losing weight and quitting smoking.
As for the best sleep apnea diet for weight loss, it varies per person. A recent study did not find that the type of diet makes any difference in sleep apnea cases. Sleep apnea conditions improved with weight loss, not because of a specific diet. In the end, it’s the diet that one can stick with consistently and that helps the patient achieve weight loss.
Get Sleep Apnea Treatment in Omaha
By using a sleep apnea treatment at night, it will first help improve your symptoms such as fatigue or lack of energy. Once you regain your energy, you will feel more motivated to eat healthily and exercise regularly. The combination of using your sleep apnea treatment consistently paired with eating right and exercising will help you lose weight and improve your condition overall.
If you are overweight and have sleep apnea, it is critical to find the sleep apnea treatment that is right for you. Work with our sleep dentists to learn more about sleep apnea, treatment types, and what you can expect after treatment.