Sleep apnea may be improved by slimming down. Sleep apnea is an obstructive disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing when you are asleep. It is often difficult to overcome, but researchers have identified a solution that may help: shedding some extra pounds. According to a new study, when obese men with sleep apnea were enrolled in a weight loss program and lost an average of 25 lbs. over the course of a year, symptoms of sleep apnea improved dramatically. Ten percent of the participants were even cured of the disorder, requiring no further treatment.
Men with more severe sleep apnea symptoms benefited from weight loss the most. In addition to the benefits seen for sleep apnea, the male participants also saw improvements in their lipid profiles and insulin resistance, with half of them experiencing complete resolution of their metabolic syndrome. Moreover, 20 percent of the men who had suffered from hypertension also eliminated that ailment, too.
This particular study used a very low calorie diet for nine weeks. Participants started with a 600 calorie per day liquid diet, then transitioned to a more normal diet of 1,500 calories per day. They also underwent a weight loss maintenance period for the next 43 weeks, which included clinic visits and group sessions. Overall, their health showed long-lasting improvements, although being on such a low calorie diet at the beginning of the study caused some adverse effects among the participants, most notably gallstones.
Before putting yourself on a weight loss regimen, especially any extreme low calorie diets or food group-eliminating diets, consult your physician and a registered dietitian for a safe approach to weight loss that is right for you.