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Archive for May 2017

Obesity: A Leading Cause of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that continues to grow, and a lot of it has to do with the obesity epidemic. The worst part is that not only does obesity have an association with sleep apnea, but sleep apnea tends to cause people to eat more, too. It’s a difficult situation in which each condition can add to the other. So, what’s the solution? Losing weight and seeking treatment.

A Look at the Numbers

The statistics are alarming! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. From 1980 to 1999, the number of obese adults jumped from 15% to 27%. And, in 2000, more than 15% of children ages 6 to 19 years old were overweight, which is three times higher than in 1980. We should wonder, “why are we getting fatter as a nation?” Our levels of physical activity have plummeted, and our caloric intake has increased when it should be declining.

Why Does Obesity Lead to Sleep Apnea?

Obesity is a leading cause and side effect of sleep apnea. By adding on weight, it raises the risk of sleep apnea, while losing weight can help cure sleep apnea. When people are severely overweight, they can fail to breathe rapidly enough or deep enough. When this occurs, it results in low blood oxygen levels and high blood carbon dioxide levels. And when this happens, many people who are obese stop breathing altogether for short periods of time during sleep. In return, extreme strain is placed on the heart, which can lead to symptoms of heart failure.

Lose Weight Now

It is important to take charge of your health and life. Begin making smarter choices to lose weight. Sleep experts suggest the following:

  • Make healthy choices for your meals
  • Start exercising consistently
  • Examine your sleep schedule

Weighing yourself on a scale isn’t the answer to improving your weight because muscle often weighs more than fat. To find out what your body mass index (BMI) is, visit the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s website.

Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster to learn more about sleep apnea and what steps you can take to begin losing weight.

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4 Signs of Sleep Apnea to Watch Out For

Oh no, not again! Is your partner complaining about your snoring again? Are they tired of hearing a freight train next to them every night? While snoring can be extremely annoying for your bed partner, it can also be detrimental to your health. Loud snoring might a sign that you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). To help you better understand sleep apnea, let’s take a closer look at four obvious signs you won’t want to ignore.

You Wake Up Thirsty

Have you ever woken up and your mouth is as dry as the Sahara Desert? If you wake up every morning (or even throughout the night) and think you just woke up in the middle of Arizona because your mouth is so dry, you might have a more serious condition. A sign of sleep apnea is dry mouth and the need to drink more water. Snoring can cause a dry mouth and a sore throat, so be on the lookout for this.

Morning Headaches

Poor sleep can lead to morning headaches, which can lead to a very unproductive day. Waking up with a headache is never fun, so pay close attention to when these headaches occur. If you suspect your headache is caused by your sleeping condition, it might be time to contact us for further information. Don’t just deal with morning headaches in hopes they will just go away. Reach out and get help.

Sensitive Teeth or a Sore Jaw

While you’re sleeping, you might be clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. This typically occurs because your body is trying to force enough air through the airway. Pay attention to your jaw and teeth when you wake up, and even throughout the day. Do you feel soreness or sensitivity? It might be time to visit and seek treatment.

Frequent Nighttime Bathroom Breaks

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Or maybe even a couple times throughout the night? Interrupted sleep can lead to more frequent urges to use the bathroom. Pay attention to how frequently you are waking up throughout the night. If it is far more than once or twice, it is important to receive a diagnosis.

Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster to learn more about sleep apnea and what to look out for. Your health is important, and so is your sleep.

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