Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Can't Lose Weight? That common complaint may may mean you have a sleep disorder.

Control of metabolism is closely tied to the quality of sleep. Patients who find it very difficult to lose weight should consider being evaluated for sleep disorders. Poor sleep can cause weight gain and make weight loss all but impossible.

There are many mechanisms for these metabolic changes. Growth Hormone is produced primarily during our first period of Delta Sleep. If our sleep is disturbed from snoring, apnea or other causes at this crucial time production of Growth Hormone (GH) can be decreased of eliminated. In adults GH is responsible for converting fat to muscle.

Other hormones affected by sleep include insulin, cortisol, leptin and grehlin.

Insulin determines sugsr metabolism and poor control can cause weight gain and excessive hunger. Cortisol is a stress hormone and eating is freuently used to control stress when cortisol is not maintained at proper levels. Leptin and Grehli control hunger and satiet, both the desire to eat and the relief of hunger.

Patients with sleep apnea have less oxygen and metabolism is disturbed by oxygen desaturation.

Sleep apnea, Insomnia and insufficient sleep can all contribute to weight gain and make weight loss difficult or impossible.

Sleep apnea is dangerous not just because of cardiovascular consequences but also due to hormonal disturbances that frequently are caused by sleep disordered breathing.

Patient Response: The word Insomnia originated from the Latin word Insomis meaning sleepless. To put it in a better way it is a condition where one is unable to obtain sufficient sleep. For me Insomnia meant feeling stressed, lost, sad and feeling worthless.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 11:20 AM