Snoring And Weight Gain

Wed, May 11, 2011

Patients often notice that they’ve begun to snore, or their condition has worsened, since they gained weight. 

This is not surprising.  In many cases, especially as we get older, some of the increased weight will be in the throat / neck region.  Suddenly we find we have a double chin and jowls, and need a larger collar size!

Though less apparent, the same thing is happening INSIDE the throat and neck.  Fat deposits increase the bulk of the tongue, soft palate, uvula and the soft tissue of the pharyngeal wall.  As a result, the airway becomes crowded and the airflow is impaired. 

Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t stop there.  There is very good scientific research which shows a ‘two way’ relationship between weight gain and snoring or apnoea.  

Specifically, when a person suffers from snoring, apnoea or any other form of  sleep disordered breathing condition, the impaired airflow often leads to a retarded metabolism.  As a result, the sufferer finds it easier to gain weight and harder to lose or keep it off.

This is the top of a slippery slope.  Whether caused by weight gain or not, the sleep disordered breathing condition retards the metabolism, which leads to weight gain, which exacerbates the snoring or apnoea, which retards the metabolism further, which leads to further weight gain … and so forth. 

The link between the conditions is so strong, we regularly get referrals from dieticians and nutritionists who tell their patients they can’t help them lose weight until they first get their sleep and metabolism under control.

For this reason, snoring and sleep apnoea will almost always worsen over time — so early diagnosis and treatment is the best solution.   The good news is that treatment of your snoring or sleep apnoea will often automatically result in improved metabolism and energy levels, and consequently reduced weight.  So not only are you a better bed partner, you’re a better looking bed partner too! 

Call and speak with one of the clinic staff if you’d like more information.  Call 1300 246 637 to chat with a friendly treatment coordinator, or

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