Sleep Apnea, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Risks
Numerous studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, and even short life expectancy, says Jun. Why this connection? First, obesity is common in patients with sleep apnea and obesity increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack, he said. “In most cases, obesity is the main cause of both conditions. If you or someone close to you suffers from sleep apnea, call Dr. Montz, Dr. Maher, or Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South.
However, it is important to realize that not everyone with sleep apnea is obese. In addition, evidence suggests an independent link between sleep apnea and diabetes.
For overweight or obese people, weight loss is the key to treating or preventing sleep apnea. People who accumulate fat in the neck, tongue, and upper abdomen are particularly prone to sleep apnea. This weight reduces the diameter of the throat and pushes the lungs, which contributes to the collapse of the airways during sleep.
Women need to be careful with age. While premenopausal women are more likely to increase weight in the hips and lower body instead of the abdomen, this will change over time. Weight begins to accumulate in traditional “male” areas, such as the abdomen, and this leads to a greater likelihood of sleep apnea.
After menopause, hormones change, and women are more likely to begin to look like men gaining weight. It is time to pay attention to the risks of sleep apnea as women begin to catch up with men at the rate of post-menopausal apnea.
Oral aids, suitable for qualified dentists, are an alternative treatment for many patients who cannot or do not want to use CPAP therapy. They come in many different designs but are mostly made to order. The main purpose of the dentist is to keep the airways open during sleep to prevent them from collapsing and to prevent normal airflow during breathing.
At Houston Sleep Solutions, sleep apnea and its treatment is our specialty. If you or your loved ones have trouble sleeping, give us a call and make an appointment today!
Dr. Montz, Dr. Maher, or Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South will be able to help you determine if sleep apnea treatment is right for you.