Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that prevents nearly 22 million Americans from getting the high-quality sleep they need to function. This disorder can also contribute to a host of health conditions that can affect your physical and mental health.
At OakBend Medical Group, we specialize in bariatric surgery to help you lose weight more effectively in the treatment of your sleep apnea.
Our bariatric surgery experts Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS, Steven M. Thomas, MD, FACS, and Genna Lubrano, MD, can determine if you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery, so you can lower your risk for sleep apnea and obesity-related complications.
Understanding sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder that triggers loud snoring and causes you to stop breathing for periods of time while you sleep.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where your throat muscles relax too much and cause pauses in your breathing. Common causes of obstructive sleep apnea can include:
- Alcohol use
- Narrowed airways
- Nasal congestion
- High blood pressure
- Family history of sleep apnea
Obesity can also contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. When you’re overweight, fat deposits that surround your upper airway can interfere with your breathing and make you wake up gasping for air throughout the night.
Complications of untreated sleep apnea
If your body isn’t able to take in the oxygen it needs to function, you’ll likely feel tired and weak throughout the day. You may also be at increased risk for complications that affect both your physical and mental health.
Here are six serious health conditions that untreated sleep apnea can cause:
1.Type 2 diabetes
Obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk for insulin resistance that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
2. High blood pressure
Poor blood oxygen levels due to sleep apnea can increase your blood pressure and lead to chronic high blood pressure (hypertension).
3. Heart issues
The high blood pressure that results from sleep apnea can put you at risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In some cases, these issues can lead to debilitating complications and sudden death.
4. Liver problems
People with sleep apnea may develop liver dysfunction and may be more likely to have scarring from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
5. Mental health issues
Sleep apnea can increase your risk for depression and other mental health disorders. People may also experience mood swings because of sleep disruption and relationship issues because of loud snoring.
6. Weakened immune system
A persistent lack of good-quality sleep can weaken your immune system and make you vulnerable to infections and illness.
Interestingly, obesity not only contributes to sleep apnea, your weight can also increase your risk factors for these same health conditions. If you’re not able to lose weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise, our team can determine if bariatric surgery is an option you should consider.
Weight-Loss Surgical Solutions
With our specialized techniques like the Lap-Band® procedure, gastric sleeve surgery, and the Orbera® intragastric balloon, you can lose weight efficiently and safely, so you can avoid sleep apnea and other long-term complications.
Schedule a bariatric surgery consultation online or by calling OakBend Medical Group today.