Sleep apnea- May be due to fat tongue

Sleep apnea- Maybe due to Fat tongue.

Sleep apnea may be due to tongue fat. It is a serious sleep disorder. Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. That may result in less oxygen available for the brain and body. Thus creating an impact on physical and mental health. Sleep apnea is the risk factor for many diseases like- high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, stroke, etc.

Can sleep apnea be due to a fat tongue?

Sleep apnea can be due to a fat tongue. A recent study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine suggested that reducing tongue fat is a primary factor in lessening the severity of OSA ( Obstructive sleep apnea). Scientists including those from the University of Pennsylvania used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the effect of weight loss on upper airways in obese patients. The participant’s sleep apnea scores improved by more than 30% after weight loss by this measure.

It was found that on reducing weight by overweight patients. Tongues also get smaller. And the changes occurred due to slimming down and reduction in tongue fat- The symptoms of sleep apnea also get reduced.

There are two types of sleep apnea:-

Sleep Apnea- May be due to fat tongue
Sleep Apnea- May be due to fat tongue
  1. Obstructive sleep apnea ( OSA ):- It occurs when muscles that support the soft tissues in the throat (such as the tongue and soft palate)- temporarily relax. When the muscles relax, airways are narrowed or closed and breathing gets cut off momentarily. A fat tongue may aggravate symptoms of sleep apnea.
  2. Central sleep apnea:- In central sleep apnea. The brain fails to send signals to muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.

Global impact of sleep apnea.

Global impact of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea global impact

As per a study published in the journal -The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. Approximately one billion people between the ages group of 30 to 69 around the world. Suffer from Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

What are the symptoms of Sleep apnea?

Some of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are as below:-

Symptoms of sleep apnea. Which may be due to fat tongue.
Symptoms of sleep apnea.

What are the associated health effects of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can be due to a fat tongue. Reducing obesity reduces the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. On the other hand- sleep apnea may also lead to obesity. It is because sleep deprivation associated with sleep apnea leads to a decrease in leptin ( an appetite-suppressing hormone). And an increase in ghrelin ( an appetite-stimulating hormone). Which may increase the craving for calorie-dense food. Studies indicate that insufficient sleep leads to overeating. Thus causing obesity which is the risk factor for many health problems. Following are the associated health effects that may be caused due to sleep apnea:-

Associated health effects of sleep apnea. Which may be due to fat tongue.
Effects of sleep apnea on health.

How to reduce tongue fat and lower the severity of sleep apnea?

As per Michael W. Calik, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Sleep and Health Research- There is no way to lose weight and focus the fat loss solely on the tongue. You have to lose weight throughout your body to see results in the tongue.

Thus maintaining a healthy BMI ( Body mass index) may help in relieving symptoms of sleep apnea. Obesity is measured with body mass index (B.M.I.) and waist measurement. Body mass index is the ratio of a person’s height and weight. Healthy BMI is generally between 18.5 to 24.9. A BMI between 25 to 29.5 is considered overweight. Whereas a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Healthy waist measurement is under 40 inches for men and under 35 inches for women.

Obesty may be a risk factor for sleep apnea
Obesity may be a risk factor for sleep apnea

Guidelines to reduce obesity:-

Following are the few guidelines to reduce obesity:-

Staying active:- Leading an active life. Adopting yoga and meditation. Fixing a daily exercise schedule, under consultation with your healthcare provider, may help maintain a healthy BMI. A sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of obesity. And other associated health conditions like- high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc. For more details, about-How a sedentary lifestyle affects people’s health globally? Please click on the link-

Eating Healthy:- Consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans and peas) in daily diet. And limiting animal protein intake. Avoiding fast foods and sugar-added beverages may help in reducing obesity and overweight. For more reading about- Vegetables- The ultimate source of nutrition and protection. <<= Please click.

Limit alcohol consumption:- Alcohol consumption may lead to weight gain. It stops your body from burning fats, It is high in kilojoules. ( kilojoules or calories are the units of energy the body gets after consuming food or drink). Alcohol drinking can make you feel hungry and lead to unhealthy food consumption. Which may add extra kilos to your body weight. Moreover, alcohol consumption may also impact the quality of sleep. If you drink alcohol. Then limit the consumption to one unit for women and two units for men per day. And avoid consuming unhealthy food.

Taking proper rest:- Taking proper rest is important. Quality and quantity of sleep can be achieved by fixing the sleeping and waking up schedule. Avoiding watching electronic screens in the bedroom. And reading some good books, may induce sound sleep and provide the body with much-needed rest. Fatigue may lead to unhealthy food consumption. Which may lead to weight gain and obesity.

Few more suggestions:-

  • Drink a glass of warm water with lemon in the morning.
  • Exercising enough to break a sweat- as a daily morning routine.
  • Adopting the daily practice of 5 to 15 minutes of yoga and meditation to alleviate stress – the main cause of obesity. For more details- How to cut down stress levels? <<= Please click.
  • Eating three meals a day at fixed hours and avoiding snacking and fast foods.
  • Eating seasonal food as per the surrounding region.
  • A little walk after each meal helps in digestion stimulation.
  • Fixing sleeping hours and adopting an early to bed and early to rise practice.

For your health-related problems, please consult your physician.

Wishing all a healthy life.

For awareness purposes only.

Surinder Bhalla.

Surinder Bhalla

Blogger & Marketing consultant

40+ Years of experience in the healthcare industry

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Maansi Survival Aid Foundation.

Maansi Survival Aid Foundation is committed to serving ailing humanity. We promote healthy living and Ayurvedic concepts through our blogs. We organize free health camps. Have 40+years of experience in the health care industry (Modern medicine & Alternate medicine).

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Ben

    What about sleep apnia symtoms, while using the computer, internet, smart phone?

    Also, as a joke, your not comparing “fat tongue” to hot dogs, are you?

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