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  1. #1
    Senior Member OneLessFixie's Avatar
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    Sleep apnea and weight loss

    I was diagnosed with severe OSA in 2007. Since then, I will proudly say that I have achieved 100% compliance on the BiPAP (14/10 pressures, for anyone who's curious). I've heard that on the one hand, once you have sleep apnea, you have it. In fact, my prescription says, "Projected Length of Need: Lifetime (99 years)." On the other hand, I've heard that OSA can be cured, or at least greatly mitigated, by weight loss. Any of my fellow clydes have any experience with this?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneLessFixie View Post
    I was diagnosed with severe OSA in 2007. Since then, I will proudly say that I have achieved 100% compliance on the BiPAP (14/10 pressures, for anyone who's curious). I've heard that on the one hand, once you have sleep apnea, you have it. In fact, my prescription says, "Projected Length of Need: Lifetime (99 years)." On the other hand, I've heard that OSA can be cured, or at least greatly mitigated, by weight loss. Any of my fellow clydes have any experience with this?
    Yes I have. 18 months ago at probably around 300 pounds, I could not sleep because of apnea. I would drift off to sleep, then a few minutes later I would have to wake up to breathe. I HATED THAT! Tired all day, unrested, hating to go to bed because I knew it would be a battle - AAARRRGGGHHH!! In August of 2011 I started riding, then in January 2012 started on Weight Watchers (at 275 pounds, hence the starting weight in my sig). The apnea stopped in November or December of 2011, and it was only because of weight loss and exercise. Nowadays I fall asleep right away, sleep soundly all night, am rested and energetic all day long and don't need naps. The difference is acute. I have had no medical treatment or diagnosis.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    I had sleep apnea when I was 352. After I started riding and lost weight down to 275 it pretty much went away. I would wake up gasping for breath feeling like I was having a heart attack. Very scary.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

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    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    Mrs. has apnea, lost a lot of weight going to the CPAP machine. When you don't rest properly, apparently your body thinks it's in survival mode, so it milks all the calories it can from your food, and spurs you to eat more. When properly rested, this returns to normal. Not saying that will happen in your case. Just an observation.

  5. #5
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I was diagnosed a long time ago - maybe 12 or 13 years. I was on a CPAP for about 4 or 5 years, and it was handling things well. Then on a regular visit to the doc to have the CPAP data evaluated, he took another look in my throat and decided that a UPPP might be effective for me. I'd never had my tonsils out, and between them and the other soft tissue in my throat, the cross section of available airway was like looking at your pinky from the end. He said UPPP typically has a success rate of only about 50% but because of the amount of tissue in my throat he put my chances at closer to 70-80% if it was done with a tonsillectomy, so I went for it. It worked great, and subsequent weight fluctuations, up or down, have had no effect. I sleep fine now, no breathing irregularities, no snoring. I did have to kind of relearn how to swallow, though, and sometimes I'll still have problems with that if I'm not concentrating a little bit on what I'm doing while drinking.
    Craig in Indy

  6. #6
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    I was diagnosed when I was over 300 lbs (cpap and all) - I'm down in the 260s now and the doctor has explained that I need to get under 27 - 28 body fat percentage prior to it going away. So I believe I have about 60 more lbs to loose prior to kicking the machine for good.

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    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonJones View Post
    I was diagnosed when I was over 300 lbs (cpap and all) - I'm down in the 260s now and the doctor has explained that I need to get under 27 - 28 body fat percentage prior to it going away. So I believe I have about 60 more lbs to loose prior to kicking the machine for good.
    Well done. Keep up the good workout.

  8. #8
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I had sleep apnea when I was obese. Now, my BMI is 22 and I still have sleep apnea. It is great if it goes away but it might not. I think I had sleep apnea for years, even before I was obese. I probably have a structural defect.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tallteacher's Avatar
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    I have obstructive sleep apnea for years....so says my wife. I Have a cpap and don't snore at all with it on. I was hoping for the big energy gain instead of feeling tired all the time. Having a 15 month that doesn't sleep through the night doesn't help. But I can tell if I don't put it back on and try to sleep without it. Plus I get hit and told I'm snoring again!
    I'm 6'5 and my heaviest was 272...at about 235ish now...

  10. #10
    Junior Member hanes's Avatar
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    As someone with severe sleep apnea, I have to make a comment here, lest anyone mistakenly get the impression that sleep apnea can be cured simply by losing weight.

    It can not.

    While it is true that OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) can be affected by weight, it is not true that weight loss can cure it, or even that weight loss will predictably lead to an improvement in OSA events. A surprising number of us are not obese, or even overweight. I know a petite woman who weighs less than 105 pounds who has moderate OSA.

    Best medical opinion is that you cannot cure OSA, but fortunately it can usually be treated so effectively by diligent and proper use of CPAP machines so as to eliminate the symptoms (apneas) while using CPAP. But it is not considered "cured" because if you stop using the CPAP the symptoms will return. It's similar to eyesight: the fact that I can have 20/20 vision when wearing my glasses does not mean my near sightedness has been cured; it has been effectively treated, but only while I wear my glasses. So too sleep apnea with CPAP.

    Lose weight by all means - it can help your health in many ways. But curing OSA is, unfortunately, not one of them.

    {dismounts from my high horse and slinks back into lurking mode**

  11. #11
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Personal experience: I was diagnosed with OSA about 4 years ago and have done very well on CPAP. Two nights ago my CPAP machine failed and, being I live in a rural area, it won't be replaced until Monday or Tuesday. Since I started using CPAP I have lost 80+ pounds, going from over 300 pounds to about 220 and in much, much better shape. Without my CPAP the past two nights I have had a lot of trouble sleeping, began snoring again, and I have been waking up numerous times during the night when I usually sleep soundly for several hours at a time. When the machine went on the fritz I toyed with the idea of not replacing it, but after just a couple of nights I can't wait for a day off so I can run into the neighboring city to get it replaced.

    Anyone who has trouble sleeping, snores, or is unexplainably tired during the day should have a sleep study IMHO.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  12. #12
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanes;15282555I
    know a petite woman who weighs less than 105 pounds who has moderate OSA.
    And here is another!

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