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This Month In Health
  • Small Weight Loss = Big Benefits
    Health experts report that losing just five percent of your total body weight is enough to radically improve your health. For a 200-pound person, that’s only 10 pounds. Here’s what could happen to your health if you put in the effort to make it happen. Read >>
  • Are You COVID Positive?
    So you’ve got a fever and a cough. Now what? Where should you go and what type of test can you expect? Keep reading to find out. Read >>
  • Have a Snoring Problem?
    Sleep apnea doesn’t just make it difficult for you and others to sleep. It can also put your health at risk. If left untreated, here’s what may lie in store for you down the road. Read >>
  • Kids and COVID
    Scientists have now uncovered the risk of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children and teens ages 2 to 15. Abbreviated MIS-C, this condition can be serious, but it’s also quite rare. Here’s what to watch for in your children and what a MIS-C diagnosis means. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Have a Snoring Problem?

Sleep apnea may or may not cause loud snoring, but it does increase your risk for several serious health conditions.

Do you wake in the morning with a headache, feel extra sleepy during the day, or snore loudly at night? Then you may have sleep apnea. An estimated 20 percent of overweight people have this condition, many without knowing they have it, and you could be one of them.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in your upper airway relax during sleep, closing off the airway. When this happens, you may stop breathing for 10 or more seconds until the airway reopens. These pauses in breathing may happen as many as 30 times an hour. As a result, you may wake up gasping or choking for air, but you may not notice any usual symptoms at all. While you may not wake up, the frequent interruptions in breathing keep you from getting a restful night’s sleep and can lead to dangerous health problems.

Sleep apnea doesn’t just make it difficult for you and others to sleep. It can also put your health at risk. This is why a correct diagnosis and prompt treatment are important. See your doctor if you suspect you may have sleep apnea. If left untreated, here’s what may lie in store for you down the road.

Heart Disease

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you have a greater chance of developing heart disease. The variety of problems you may face includes heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmias, and atrial fibrillation. Sleep apnea causes low oxygen levels, making it difficult for your brain to control blood flow. Low oxygen also triggers the production of stress hormones, which increase blood pressure—a major contributor to heart disease.

High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea worsens high blood pressure, and high blood pressure worsens sleep apnea. They make a dangerous combination that feeds off one another. Both are linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. When left untreated, high blood pressure is harmful to your heart, arteries, brain, kidneys, and eyes. Up to half of people with high blood pressure also have sleep apnea.


Overweight people are more likely to have sleep apnea since extra fat around the neck can put pressure on your airways. The condition can also make you gain weight, making it more difficult to lose weight when you try. Why? A lack of quality sleep affects the hormones responsible for appetite. When you’re tired, you’re quicker to reach for unhealthy snack foods and your metabolism slows down.

Obesity is dangerous to your health for a number of reasons, including but not limited to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, certain cancers, and osteoarthritis.

Type 2 Diabetes

There may not be a direct link between apnea and diabetes, but not getting enough sleep and having low blood oxygen levels interfere with the body’s ability to process insulin. Over time, increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance may lead to diabetes. Low oxygen levels also lead to oxidative stress, which hinders the body’s ability to heal damage. This is another contributing factor to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes.

An estimated 70 percent of people with type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnea. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can lead to heart disease, blood vessel disease, stroke, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease.