Friday, March 2, 2012

Sleep Apnea and Weight Loss

It’s Friday and spring is in the air. I did end up going to the doctor last Friday. We discussed my various issues and health concerns and I am awaiting insurance company approval for some tests that may help.
I have long known I was a loud snorer and my husband has described witnessing me cough/gag/choke several times a night – a strong indication that I have sleep apnea. This problem causes you to stop breathing in your sleep and the brain responds by waking you so that you’ll resume breathing. It can happen multiple times a night or even per hour and puts considerable strain on your heart. The person who has it doesn’t fully wake during these episodes. So here I am, thinking I’ve been sleeping all night when in reality I’m waking numerous times. No wonder I feel fatigued all the time.
After answering her questions, the doctor said I had all the classic symptoms and she recommended a sleep study to confirm. She said my difficulty breathing during waking hours, my fatigue and even the couch could be results of sleep apnea. Just having a possible diagnosis has relieved my stress tremendously.
I have been berating myself up for not exercising more and feeling like a failure when I tried and become too winded to continue. Now I know I am not crazy, or lazy or whatever. I also know sleep apnea is aggravate by obesity. So I need to lose weight to reduce the risks of the apnea and I need to treat the apnea so I can lose weight.
In the meantime, I have worked hard to make better food choices and do what I can to lose a little weight until I can deal with the medical aspects. I am watching my carbs and keeping an eye on calories just as a guideline. Some days the numbers are still much higher than my target range but overall they are substantially lower than even a few weeks ago. And the good news is that it is showing. This morning I stepped on the scale and I am back down to 257.5. That’s a 5.3 lb loss from 11 days ago when I hit a 12-month high of 262.8
My advice to anyone struggling with weight loss issues is to see your doctor. Talk openly about all the issues you are having because some could be hindering your efforts and making you feel bad about yourself when in actuality, without treatment, there is little you can do.


Debbie Henthorn said...

I agree that exhaustion from apnea probably has a huge effect on weight loss. No energy - this whole thing is a vicious circle. The apnea could be related to the weight, but not sleeping contributes to the weight.

Marie Anne said...

Even without the carb addiction factored in, when I'm tired, I eat. Constantly. When the dogs get me up at night and I can't get back to sleep, the next day is almost always harder for me to watch what I eat.

I'm glad you're exploring the apnea issue.

Kathy Foust said...

I've thought for a long time that I had this problem. My snoring is bad enough to even wake ME up. I get up several times during the night too. I know I should do something about it, but I hate the idea of trying to sleep with a mask on :(

Meagan said...

It's hard enough to lose weight, without having a medical problem on top of it. But I'm glad that you're on your way to finding a solution for it!

My boyfriend has lived with me for a few years, and our toddler sleeps in our room. His snores, and that choking/waking thing, have woken her up since she was a baby.

I'm sure that he has sleep apnea as well, since I saw it for years in my brother. But since we don't have insurance, he just has to deal with it. But it's scary for the other person in the bed, to hear someone wake from sleeping like that all night!

Good luck on getting this solved, and on your weight loss journey!

Shawn S. Lealos said...

This is all great information. My wife and I have both been lacking in sleep time lately and have both been having trouble with our weight loss programs.

Lana Bandoim said...

Theresa, it definitely sounds like you need a sleep study. I hope they can get it figured out.

Nancy said...

Theresa, I'm glad your problem was correctly diagnosed and I have heard that some people have begun losing weight simply by using the CPAP machine.

Rebecca Livermore said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement to take baby steps. This is so important in every area of our lives and is definitely true when it comes to our health.

Joanne said...

I have heard so much a bout sleep apnea lately. in fact my brother-in-law is going to have surgery to take out his tonsils and the added benefit (they hope) will be an end to his sleep apnea.
Blessings, Joanne

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