Sleep Apnea…..zzzzz

Snoring. It sounds like a whistle, or a grunt, or a roar sometimes & one of the worst cases I heard produced enough decibels to compete with a revved up motorcycle…..I promise I read it somewhere…….and snoring is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea.

We caught up with a old Filipino friend who now resides in Vancouver….and he looked so very fit….he has probably dropped about 40 lbs & he looked youthful in his jeans and tight (obviously he can afford to wear it now) T-shirt. What caused this new look? Sleep apnea. I kid you not.

It started out with a trip to the doctor’s for a high blood pressure problem.  He was then referred to a doctor specialising in sleep disorders to help understand the physiology behind his ailment i.e. how his body came to develop the high blood problem.  True enough he was diagnosed with sleep apnea and this was caused by his weight problem. 

Let me give you a layman’s explanation. You see, the excess fats in the throat  become relaxed when you sleep thereby narrowing and sometimes constricting your breathing passage. So this causes snoring. For severe cases, the breathing function is compromised as the oxygen intake is not enough and what does the body do? The heart pumps faster to compensate for this and this can lead to another ailment, high blood pressure.

So the solution…… lose weight.

Well the problem was, our friend was already laying off pork, laying off red meats ….. eating mostly fish and vegetables….ahhhh….but he had not laid off his simple carbohydrates bread, rice and noodles.  Apparently that did the trick and ouila….he is a ‘hunk’ now. …..with lower blood pressure of course…..(In all fairness, it is rather difficult for Asians to exclude rice, noodles etc from our diet what with wantan mee’s, har mee, pan mee, chicken rice etc….of which carbohydrates form the bigger chunk of the meal….sigh….but if it helps, it proves to be an effective weight loss method in this particular case)

How to know you have sleep apnea? 

1. Do you snore?

2. Do you stop breathing momentarily, choke or gasp when you sleep? (Get someone to monitor your breathing when you sleep?)

3. Do you always feel sleepy and doze off in the afternoons even after a good night’s sleep?

4. Do you suffer from high blood pressure along with all the above?

Well…if you have answered YES to all the above, you probably might have sleep apnea and time to pay the SLEEP DOCTOR a visit….that is if you can find one in Malaysia!!!!!

p.s. Don’t worry, apparently up to 90% of people suffer from sleep apnea without even knowing it.   


7 responses to “Sleep Apnea…..zzzzz

  1. Guilty at all charge. No wonder I kept choking when I almost dozed off at night. This is bad!! Thanks for the tip. I guess I have to eat wan tan without the noodles from now onwards.. and swear off twice-monthly my nasi lemak.

  2. KY: Yeah….it’s real tough….tried making one plate of rice go two ways between Fat Dragon and I as a start, last weekend…but both of felt hungry most of the time…. sigh…

  3. Sigh!! Nowadays they are coming out with many complex medical terms which appears to confuse people even more. Sleep Apnea? In the old days, it was probably called a chronic snoring problem.

    Wan Tan without the noodles is like the big O without the foreplay.

  4. Interesting question. I elaborated on the relationship of sleep apnea and obesity on my blog today at:

  5. Hello, I am Benjamin, I am 36 years old. I was recently diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I am working on a website to tell my story and hopefully make enough from the ads on it to buy a machine. This disease effects so many people and it is hard to make people understand the deblilitating effects it has. I have insurance but they will not pay for the bipap.

  6. Your comment, saying, “Don’t worry, apparently up to 90% of people suffer from sleep apnea without even knowing it,” is dangerous. Why? Because sleep apnea is a serious health condition that can lead to many serious health conditions, including death. Other health conditions, such as diabetes, memory loss, hypertension (high blood pressure), congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and more.


  7. Thanks Dave for your comment. I do apologise for the wording “don’t worry” and do not mean to lighten the seriousness of the ailment.

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