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Thread: Sleep apnea

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Sleep apnea

    I feel that Mark should make a topic dedicated to sleep apnea. For most people (particularly quite a few Paleo eaters; a couple of success stories mention sleep apnea here on MDA), losing weight is usually the key to freeing themselves from their CPAP machines, as excess fat is a major factor in blocking their airways at night. But the misguided notion that you have to be an overweight, middle-aged heavy snorer is too prevalent that potentially leads to an under-diagnosed disorder that can go undetected for years. Even the majority of doctors won't suggest a sleep study if you're skinny, young or don't snore, and this can be a huge mistake that puts chronically fatigued people at an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks and straight-up death (not even mentioning the disastrous effects of chronic sleep deprivation). Plenty of people here at MDA have had or still have sleep apnea, and the ones who are stuck with their CPAPs tend to have anatomical issues (which, when you get down to it, are the main factors behind sleep apnea), such as a deviated septum or a smaller lower jaw.

    Unrefreshing sleep is one of the worst and most frustrating things you can experience, and for many who are following sleep hygiene tips to a T and are still experiencing sleep problems, they may never even consider sleep apnea to be a culprit. All it takes is a sleep study to find out, but awareness needs to be made about sleep apnea and the fact that anybody can have it at any point in their lives. It's not exactly a hot topic, I know, but I really believe that more people should know the real facts behind sleep apnea in order to reach for a potential diagnosis. It's not something you can really know unless you get tested because, well, you're asleep! I'd love for something this insidious to be examined and explained in detail, with tips and therapies (ie. CPAP, oral appliances, surgery, etc.) that can help those who have tried every sleep remedy, and are living Primally, yet finding their sleep still suffers with no light at the end of the tunnel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Tempe, AZ
    I agree! Also this should be a topic covered particularly because so many people seeiking primal start out obese and having apnea makes it hard to lose weight and puts your body in chronic stress. Weigh loss can really help apnea though if too much fat in the throat is causing the obstruction!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I am male, maybe 13-14% body fat, so not overweight at all. I have significant sleep apnea issues. So it is not a condition related only to obesity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Washington, DC
    Last edited by I_EAT_COWS; 11-26-2013 at 09:29 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    I agree! My normal-weight adolescent daughter suffered sleep apnea for years, and it wasn't diagnosed. I didn't realize young non-obese people could have it. We thought she was depressed; one doctor diagnosed her with ADHD (because sleep deprivation interfered with concentration). Large adenoids and a deviated septum were the cause - neither of which will be cured by eating habits. More power to those who can discard their CPAP machines as a result of paleo, but don't do it without a sleep study.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    MA, USA
    I was underweight as a kid and slept really poorly. In college, I was on the low end of a normal BMI and started waking up gasping every now and then. I have a healthy physique, but lots of bad pollen allergies that I think contributes to the mild sleep apnea. I know I don't have a deviated septum. I've never had a sleep study done, I just sleep without a pillow (when lying on my back) and that works well.
    Current interests - Starting Strength (reading it very slowly)

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