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How Much of a Difference Does losing Weight Make to OSA?

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How Much of a Difference Does losing Weight Make to OSA?

Postby nextwhat » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:59 pm

Hi everyone, first post. I was diagnosed with OSA a few years ago, tried CPAP but just couldn't adjust to it. Over the last year my symptoms have become worse, including acid reflux which I fear is beginning to wear on my teeth.

One thing I've never tried to see how much of a difference it makes is losing weight. I'm currently 6 ft and 210 pounds, not crazy overweight, but my BMI test came out at 30, which is the border of obese. I don't exercise much, and have a lot of fast food in my diet.

Before I try CPAP again, I'm wondering if anyone had any significant improvement by losing weight.

Thanks!
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Re: How Much of a Difference Does losing Weight Make to OSA?

Postby Daniel » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:48 pm

nextwhat wrote:Hi everyone, first post. I was diagnosed with OSA a few years ago, tried CPAP but just couldn't adjust to it. Over the last year my symptoms have become worse, including acid reflux which I fear is beginning to wear on my teeth.

One thing I've never tried to see how much of a difference it makes is losing weight. I'm currently 6 ft and 210 pounds, not crazy overweight, but my BMI test came out at 30, which is the border of obese. I don't exercise much, and have a lot of fast food in my diet.

Before I try CPAP again, I'm wondering if anyone had any significant improvement by losing weight.

Thanks!


Weight loss is good for your overall health. Nothing definite for OSA........unless excessive weight was the definitive cause of your OSA.........ie initial weight X, increase to X + Y coincides with development of OSA.....a reduction to X, in theory, should clear up the OSA.

In your case, your condition has remained untreated for a 'few years' and typically has got worse. It seems unlikely that weight gain is the cause.

If you continue to leave the condition untreated it will continue to deteriorate and the risks of cardiac, renal and other conditions will increase. These risks (or damage to vital organs) have been increasing during the period the condition remains untreated.

You need to get your treatment regimen in place........first stop is a Sleep Doctor.


Daniel.
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Postby Rycharde » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:52 pm

nextwhat: Welcome!

Perhaps it would be better to ask how can using CPAP effect how nuch weight one can lose. In my case, 14 months ago, I had uncontrolled weight gain to over 300#. I am 6 ft even. My diabetes was out of controll, and my blood pressure was near stroke level. After CPAP, I lost 22# the first month, then the weight really started to roll off me. 14 months later, I am at 195# and 6 pants sizes smaller! =D> And yes, my pressure had to be changed to slightly higher, not lower.
To answer your question, losing weight to bring your AHI down without using CPAP is nearly impossible. Weight does not cause SA, the shape and tissue formation in your throat does. Oxygen deprivation from SA causes some hormones in your body to change their roles and that starts the weight gain. Acid reflux is a sign that your SA is getting worse. In two years there have been many inovations to the masks and machines, but mostly the masks. If it were me, I would have another sleep test to see where you are now in relation to two years ago, and get back on the CPAP! There is a mask or nasal pillows out there that will fit you so you can adapt to the therapy. It's your decision.

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Postby jrinker » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:12 pm

Also, sleep apnea and weight gain can be a "chicken or egg" thing. Weight gain can cause some degree of SA for some, but SA can also cause weight gain for some individuals.

Treating your sleep apnea may make it easier for you to lose weight. When you are feeling better, you feel more like being active. There is a "sticky" about the metabolic effects of SA which you should read. It will explain a lot about the effects of SA on your system.

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Re: How Much of a Difference Does losing Weight Make to OSA?

Postby Todzo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:28 pm

nextwhat wrote:Hi everyone, first post. I was diagnosed with OSA a few years ago, tried CPAP but just couldn't adjust to it. Over the last year my symptoms have become worse, including acid reflux which I fear is beginning to wear on my teeth.

One thing I've never tried to see how much of a difference it makes is losing weight. I'm currently 6 ft and 210 pounds, not crazy overweight, but my BMI test came out at 30, which is the border of obese. I don't exercise much, and have a lot of fast food in my diet.

Before I try CPAP again, I'm wondering if anyone had any significant improvement by losing weight.

Thanks!


Hi!

I have run across three people who tell me they got rid of OSA by loosing weight. It works, at least temporarily, for some people. The truth about diet and exercise is that 5% of the people maintain a 5% loss of weight over a period of five years (see: http://www.uwtv.org/video/player.aspx?m ... 1586900940 and 2 and 3). Since your untreated OSA makes you hungry while also knocking the stuffings out of your energy levels and reduces your abilities to focus, I think your chances of controlling OSA by weight alone are slim.

I have found that the acid reflux problem can be helped by raising the head of your bed a few inches. Concrete bricks or blocks are cheap at any home building supply store.

It may also help to do some positional therapy. Try sleeping on your sides and tilting your head back (as if you were looking up) and letting your lower jaw move down and a bit forward while pressing your tongue to and a bit through your now open teeth. If I had to go without xPAP I would do all of this, probably making a soft collar and perhaps obtaining a dental device. I think the raising of the head of the bed not only reduces reflux but also tends to make less fluid in the airway tissues due to most of the fluid wanting to go to the lower feet.

But hey, if fear of OSA actually motivates you to exercise and loose weight, well, go for it! Even if you fail it will do you some good.

OSA is death by a million tiny cuts (apneas, hypotneas, RERAs, complicated by complications). The sooner you end the cuts, the better off you will be. I too encourage to to get to the doctor and resume CPAP.

May we both win the battle of the bulge!

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