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The Link Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Does your significant other say that you snore as loud as a locomotive and wake up gasping? Do you feel sleepy during the day and have trouble staying awake in meetings? You may have sleep apnea, a disorder in which you stop and start breathing frequently during the night. 

The most common form of the disorder is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With OSA, your throat muscles relax too much and block your throat when you sleep, leaving you waking up struggling to breathe. 

There are several causes for OSA. Sometimes your tonsils are too large for your throat and block your airway. Other times your air passage might simply be narrow and highly arched. 

Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea

One of the major risk factors for OSA is obesity. Obesity is an epidemic in America today. Over 70% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. 

The link between sleep apnea and obesity is clear. Approximately 70% of adult OSA patients are obese. The ratio increases as the body mass index (BMI) moves higher. The higher your BMI, the greater the chance that you have sleep apnea

If you have OSA, you’re likely not as healthy as you should be. OSA is associated with many serious medical conditions

About 50% of those with OSA have high blood pressure; when untreated, it can be fatal. 

If you have OSA and are overweight, your sleep apnea makes it more likely that you’ll become obese. With OSA, you don’t get enough sleep and then begin to gain weight. Sleep deprivation is linked to higher caloric intake. Hormones that regulate hunger become out of sync when your body doesn’t get adequate sleep. 


At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, we help patients with sleep apnea who are overweight or obese. Our board-certified surgeons provide specialized surgical solutions for weight loss; they also perform general surgery.  

Treatment for sleep apnea with a CPAP machine

A first line of defense to help you breathe better at night is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which helps keep your airway open. But this involves wearing a device over your head that covers your nose and mouth; it looks something akin to a gas mask. 

The device is connected to a machine that pumps air into your throat. Many people find this constricting and uncomfortable, so you’re likely to be right back where you started with your OSA. 

Treatment for sleep apnea through tonsillectomy

If your tonsils are enlarged and are blocking your airway, Turnquest Surgical Solutions can 

perform a tonsillectomy to help you breathe better. But if you’re overweight or obese, you’ll receive the most benefit from losing weight. 

Treatment of OSA through weight loss procedures 

Perhaps you’ve tried many diets and failed in the attempt . Now you’re tired of the failure cycle. 

Our managing director, Dexter G. Turnquest, MD, is committed to helping you return to health. He’s provided weight loss surgery options for his patients for more than 15 years with no major complications. 

At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, we use the latest robotic surgical techniques, ensuring surgical accuracy and quicker recovery. Depending on your situation, we perform the following surgical procedures for weight loss

Call or book an appointment online at one of our two Houston locations for expert treatment for sleep apnea and weight loss surgery.

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