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Can Losing Weight Help Sleep Apnea?

Can losing weight helpAs summer is fast approaching many folks begin to think about losing weight in order to look better on the beach . Well, losing weight can not only help suffers of obstructive sleep apnea look better it may even help them improve their condition.

Henri P.I. Tupmilehto , M.D., PhD., of the department of Otorhinolaryngology (this is a branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck disorders) at the Kuopio University Hospital in Finland, recently studied the effects of losing weight and subsequent improvement in sleep apnea symptoms.


In this  study patients were subjected to a combination of a very low calorie diet combined with active lifestyles counseling.  For those that loss the weight and kept it off for a year saw markedly lower symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.  Dr. Tuomilehto noticed that the greater the change in body weight or waist circumference the greater was the improvement in a patient’s sleep apnea.  The biggest improvements were found in patients who were able to lose more than 33 pounds.


Aside from the positive benefits of treating sleep apnea there were also marked  improvements in hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes not to mention improvement in cardiovascular health.


It is important to note that although this study shows a relationship between weight loss and the resulting improvements of sleep apnea symptoms, it is not recommended that this be the first treatment approach to be considered in treating sleep apnea. Furthermore, such a calorie restrictive program as discussed in this study should only be conducted with the supervision of physician

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