A healthy lifestyle change along with the use of common sleep apnea treatment devices can be an effective combination.
If it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that sleep apnea is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in modern medicine, consider this even more astonishing detail—an estimated 10 million Americans who suffer nightly are left undiagnosed (1).
The most common sleep disorder, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the result of the throat muscles relaxing, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the rest of the body while asleep. This lack of oxygen triggers the brain to abruptly rouse from sleep, typically without notice, to reopen the airway. The continual interruptions in sleep can happen in OSA patients anywhere from five to a hundred times an hour per night, inhibiting a restful, restorative sleep.
Besides the constant daytime fatigue, drowsiness, and irritability that comes with an inadequate night’s sleep, sleep apnea can also increase the risk for high blood pressure and heart problems. According to theMayo Clinic, the sudden drops in blood oxygen throughout the night lead to an increased blood pressure and strain on the cardiovascular system. If left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk for stroke and vascular disease.
Looking for a Solution
Dr. Joseph Zelk, known to his patients as “Dr. Joe,” a sleep specialist based in Portland, Oregon, creates dental appliances to treat OSA. Dr. Joe started searching for a more permanent and effective solution. One of the major risk factors of sleep apnea is obesity, or having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. In addition, oral sleeping devices are only so effective for overweight or obese patients.
As Dr. Joe describes, “Your tongue is a lean piece of muscle, but when we start to gain weight, it becomes a big marbled fat piece of meat that creates an obstruction to normal airflow when you fall asleep.”
Obesity can be both a cause and a side effect of sleep apnea. Because they are so intertwined, losing weight can function as a tool for helping those with sleep apnea (2, 3). Dr. Joe says, “For overweight and obese patients, as little as a 10 percent loss in body weight can lead to a 20 percent drop in the severity of sleep apnea.”
A Turning Point
Everything changed when Patrick O. came into Dr. Joe’s office in Las Vegas, Nevada with a case of severe sleep apnea. When tested, Dr. Joe found that Patrick had an Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) of 57 apnea events per hour.
“I was being subconsciously roused from my sleep almost every minute,” Patrick said.
They started discussing the importance of weight loss, when Patrick revealed his past success with Isagenix. He’d been a long-time Associate who had fallen out of the Isagenix lifestyle, but was still very involved in coaching and building his business. As a source of motivation, Dr. Joe challenged Patrick to commit to one Isagenix 30-Day System.
Patrick immediately started the Isagenix 30-Day System, and began treating his apnea with a new medical device used orally. He found that even with a holiday cruise he was able to lose weight and was feeling more rested and energized. The symptoms of his once severe sleep apnea started to fade.
A restorative night’s sleep not only changed how he felt, but also made his weight-loss journey more efficient. Patrick found that with the new energy and focus he had he was more motivated to stick to his plan and incorporate workouts into his schedule. He continued on the Isagenix system and as of October 2014, he is down 45 pounds* and more motivated than ever.
Dr. Joe, already in relatively good shape, was enticed by the potential of building muscle with the products and found that, six weeks later, without any change in his workout routine, he’d gained 11 percent lean mass and lost 10 percent of his body fat. His results inspired him to share the products with his family and staff.
When an overweight client named James K. came into his office suffering from 112 (AHI) apnea events per hour a night, Dr. Joe immediately suggested Isagenix along with the CPAP breathing aid. Before Isagenix, James was eating sporadically or just one meal a day due to his busy schedule. After hearing about Patrick’s and Dr. Joe’s successes, he was willing to give it a shot.
In just a few days, James said he started seeing results. He was feeling more focused and rested throughout the day. Two months later he says he is sleeping soundly, has experienced successful weight loss, and is “still getting great results.” In the past, James had tried other systems and said he never felt full, but now “at the end of the day I feel satisfied, Isagenix is totally different.” He has now released a total of 70 pounds*.
Dr. Joe has now brought on 20 to 30 other overweight or obese sleep apnea patients to try Isagenix products for weight management. What he’s found is that lifestyle changes including use of Isagenix products along with treatment for sleep apnea through oral or breathing devices is an effective combination.
*Weight-loss should not be considered typical. In a study performed in 2012 by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers, subjects lost an average of 9 pounds with an average of 2 pounds of the loss from visceral fat after 30 days on an Isagenix system. The subjects also had a greater level of adherence and had more consistent weight loss from week to week in comparison to traditional dieting.
Yarlagadda, A., Kaushik, S., & Clayton, A. H. (2008). Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Hypoxia, and Metabolic Syndrome in Psychiatric and Nonpsychiatric Settings. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 5(8), 48–50.
Qaseem A, Holty JC, Owens DK, Dallas P, Starkey M, Shekelle P, et al. Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:471-483.
Tuomilehto, Henri et al. The impact of weight reduction in the prevention of the progression of obstructive sleep apnea: an explanatory analysis of a 5-year observational follow-up trial. Sleep Medicine. 15(3), 329 – 335.