Can Sleep Apnea Make You Gain Weight?

Unexplained weight gain can be a frustrating thing to try and battle. If your diet and activity levels haven’t changed significantly, but the scale keeps going up, it could be due to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can lead to weight gain, but weight gain can also lead to sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea’s Affect on Metabolism

One of the reasons sleep apnea is so detrimental to the quality of life is because of the subsequent sleep deprivation it causes. Jolting awake because you’re not getting enough oxygen disrupts the sleep cycle. According to the International Journal of Endocrinology, “Laboratory studies have clearly shown that sleep deprivation can alter the glucose metabolism and hormones involved in regulating metabolism. ” 

Regular interruptions in a person’s sleep cycle interfere with their ability to metabolize nutrients. Sleep apnea can cause:

  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Diabetes

Weight Gain-Sleep Apnea Cycle

Not only can sleep apnea contribute to metabolic issues that lead to weight gain, but weight gain can also lead to sleep apnea. Increased pressure on the airways from fatty deposits can lead to decreased neuromuscular control of the lungs and even collapse. 

Additionally, obesity is one of the three top risk factors for sleep apnea next to age and being male.

Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea and excessive weight gain can be particularly dangerous, especially when combined. Risk for diabetes, a compromised immune system, and breathing ceasing during sleep increase exponentially when someone is managing both. Worse still, the majority of people living with sleep apnea are undiagnosed. 

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Beaufort, SC

The most effective treatments are those that begin the earliest. If you’re struggling with managing your weight and believe it to be a result of sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Wallace today by calling (843) 410-0345 or visiting our contact page. 

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