Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea Question

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Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea Question

Postby lisasister » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:01 pm

I am cancer survivor who gained weight after treatment. About 5 months ago, I noticed that no matter how much I slept, it was not restful. I felt depressed and exhausted. I confided to my doctor about this issue. He happens to have sleep apnea too. He referred me to a sleep specialist who said I have moderate sleep apnea. I am not familiar with all the terms and lingo yet, but I took a sleep test without the mask in January then another one in February with a mask which was set in automatic and it turned out it did not work. Just last week, I took another sleep study with the manual mask which was very heavy and uncomfortable. I did not feel any better. I felt worse with the mask on . I don't get my final results into a few days.

My question is to those who had sleep apnea because of weight issues and have lost the weight, did the weight loss cure you from this condition? I am told because I am in the early stages that if I lose 40 pounds I can reverse it. What's your experience? I really don't want to wear the mask the rest of my life, so already I have lost 12 pounds and have noticed a difference. I actually feel more rested now since I lost weight than I did when I wore the mask on last week. I feel the mask is not helpful.

Thanks for any info you can provide.

Lisa
lisasister
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:50 pm
Year Diagnosed: 2012

Re: Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea Question

Postby Daniel » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:53 pm

lisasister wrote:I am cancer survivor who gained weight after treatment. About 5 months ago, I noticed that no matter how much I slept, it was not restful. I felt depressed and exhausted. I confided to my doctor about this issue. He happens to have sleep apnea too. He referred me to a sleep specialist who said I have moderate sleep apnea. I am not familiar with all the terms and lingo yet, but I took a sleep test without the mask in January then another one in February with a mask which was set in automatic and it turned out it did not work. Just last week, I took another sleep study with the manual mask which was very heavy and uncomfortable. I did not feel any better. I felt worse with the mask on . I don't get my final results into a few days.

My question is to those who had sleep apnea because of weight issues and have lost the weight, did the weight loss cure you from this condition? I am told because I am in the early stages that if I lose 40 pounds I can reverse it. What's your experience? I really don't want to wear the mask the rest of my life, so already I have lost 12 pounds and have noticed a difference. I actually feel more rested now since I lost weight than I did when I wore the mask on last week. I feel the mask is not helpful.

Thanks for any info you can provide.

Lisa


Hi & welcome,

Weight loss may or may not 'cure' your apnoea.......depends on what caused it in the first instance.

A well respected respiratory sleep physician defined this a few years back.....If person A weighs 12 stones and does not have sleep apnoea, who then increases their weight, over a short enough period, to 14 stones and finds that they have sleep apnoea....it is fairly certain that weight gain is the cause of their condition. He maintains that should person A reduce their weight to 12 stones, then this weight loss will cure their apnoea.
There are a few 'issues' here......no other conditions that might influence things, that sleep apnoea wasn't in evidence at the outset.

In losing weight (I have lost 2 stones over the past year or so.....and it hasn't effected my apnoea treatment), one should not crash diet or attempt to lose weight quickly, as it is more likely to come back on again......you will also have to keep the weight off and keep an eye on the possibility of developing sleep apnoea at a later date. There is also the question of how will your apnoea be treated while you are losing the weight ??......this is very important as apnoea will deteriorate if it is left untreated.

Having been diagnosed with this condition, and prescribed a CPAP to control it, you should continue with the prescribed therapy while losing weight. After losing about 10% of your body weight (or your 40 lbs target)you should have another sleep test to see if your apnoea has gone away. This is the only way that you will know for certain.

Many of us have comfort issues in the early stages of treatment and often feel that we get a better nights sleep without CPAP......this is not true. You may feel better, but what is better ? Better than you originally felt ?...But I doubt you feel as good as you should do, if your condition was under control.

Best to stick with CPAP, for the present or until such time as you get the weight off.

Daniel.
The untreated Sleep Apnoea sufferer died quietly in his sleep..
Unlike his three passengers who died screaming !


The first 40 years of childhood are by far the hardest
Daniel
 
Posts: 6006
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:49 am
Location: Ireland
Machine: Philips Respironics System One Auto
Mask: ResMed Micro Nasal Mask
Humidifier: No
Year Diagnosed: 1993

Re: Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea Question

Postby lisasister » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:56 pm

Thank you for taking the time to respond. This is so new to me and you helped a great deal. I have cut back on portions and by doing so I've lost some weight. I am trying to be careful and not crash diet. I am choosing healthier and eating less. I'm not a smoker and I don't drink caffeine products, so I am unsure if it's related to my cancer diagnosis years ago and its side effects. I am waiting on my 3rd results and I hope I will finally have an answer from my doctor. I was reading that acid reflux may be correlated with sleep apnea. I do have this issue and noticed when I stopped taking the mediation (unwise) six months later I had sleep problems.

Thanks again. I feel so much better talking about this issue to someone who understands.
lisasister
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:50 pm
Year Diagnosed: 2012

Re: Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea Question

Postby Daniel » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:10 pm

lisasister wrote:Thank you for taking the time to respond. This is so new to me and you helped a great deal. I have cut back on portions and by doing so I've lost some weight. I am trying to be careful and not crash diet. I am choosing healthier and eating less. I'm not a smoker and I don't drink caffeine products, so I am unsure if it's related to my cancer diagnosis years ago and its side effects. I am waiting on my 3rd results and I hope I will finally have an answer from my doctor. I was reading that acid reflux may be correlated with sleep apnea. I do have this issue and noticed when I stopped taking the mediation (unwise) six months later I had sleep problems.

Thanks again. I feel so much better talking about this issue to someone who understands.


Forgot to mention in my earlier post......you might like to look at an Oral Appliance ?
Have a look through the Oral Appliance section of the forum.

If going down this route.....the dentist is the most important part of the treatment. You must seek out a qualified person who knows what they are at.

Kind regards,

Daniel.
The untreated Sleep Apnoea sufferer died quietly in his sleep..
Unlike his three passengers who died screaming !


The first 40 years of childhood are by far the hardest
Daniel
 
Posts: 6006
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:49 am
Location: Ireland
Machine: Philips Respironics System One Auto
Mask: ResMed Micro Nasal Mask
Humidifier: No
Year Diagnosed: 1993

Re: Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea Question

Postby poster999 » Wed May 09, 2012 2:37 pm

I am trying to treat my apnea with a combination of an oral appliance and weight loss. When originally diagnosed with apnea about half a year ago, I was about 25 pounds overweight and had an AHI of 40. I tried cpap but had a hard time getting used to it. My doctor said that an AHI of 40 was too high for an oral appliance to work, but my research shows that depending on how you define successful treatment, an oral appliance can be an option. While there are no rules, from what I have learned oral appliances can do a pretty good job with an AHI in the 30's. They don't typically get your AHI close to 0 like cpap, but they often do a pretty good job at getting people down to mild apnea or better. Since I was not that overweight to begin with, I am pretty sure that weight loss alone cannot get my AHI down to what I consider an acceptable number. However, I am now only 10 pounds overweight, so I hope my weight loss has put me in a position where an OA can get my AHI under 10. This is just my experience, but I find my OA to be much easier to tolerate than cpap. I don't know what AHI I have now, but my wife says I never snore anymore, and I feel more rested than I have in many years. In terms of how tired I feel, I am perfectly happy to carry on like this. My concern is the stress on my heart if my AHI is still too high. I am getting retested in a couple of weeks, so I will know how this combination has worked in about a month.
poster999
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:02 am
Year Diagnosed: 2011

Re: Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea Question

Postby Daniel » Wed May 09, 2012 4:19 pm

poster999 wrote:I am trying to treat my apnea with a combination of an oral appliance and weight loss. When originally diagnosed with apnea about half a year ago, I was about 25 pounds overweight and had an AHI of 40. I tried cpap but had a hard time getting used to it. My doctor said that an AHI of 40 was too high for an oral appliance to work, but my research shows that depending on how you define successful treatment, an oral appliance can be an option. While there are no rules, from what I have learned oral appliances can do a pretty good job with an AHI in the 30's. They don't typically get your AHI close to 0 like cpap, but they often do a pretty good job at getting people down to mild apnea or better. Since I was not that overweight to begin with, I am pretty sure that weight loss alone cannot get my AHI down to what I consider an acceptable number. However, I am now only 10 pounds overweight, so I hope my weight loss has put me in a position where an OA can get my AHI under 10. This is just my experience, but I find my OA to be much easier to tolerate than cpap. I don't know what AHI I have now, but my wife says I never snore anymore, and I feel more rested than I have in many years. In terms of how tired I feel, I am perfectly happy to carry on like this. My concern is the stress on my heart if my AHI is still too high. I am getting retested in a couple of weeks, so I will know how this combination has worked in about a month.


Congrats.
You are taking a fairly controlled approach to your condition. Having the retest is extremely important, if your condition isn't being treated effectively it can deteriorate.

Please keep us up to date and let us know how your retest goes.

Best of luck.

Daniel.
The untreated Sleep Apnoea sufferer died quietly in his sleep..
Unlike his three passengers who died screaming !


The first 40 years of childhood are by far the hardest
Daniel
 
Posts: 6006
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:49 am
Location: Ireland
Machine: Philips Respironics System One Auto
Mask: ResMed Micro Nasal Mask
Humidifier: No
Year Diagnosed: 1993



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