A Good Night's Sleep


What is a good night's sleep worth….and more importantly why don't you always get one?

There is a condition known as "Sleep Apnea" which many morbidly obese patients suffer from.  Many of these patients don't even know they have sleep apnea….all they know is they never really feel fully refreshed after a night's sleep.  Or maybe they can't stay awake during the day…..falling asleep in meetings, or while driving.  Or maybe you wake up in the middle of the night short of breath and gasping for air.  Or your spouse is telling you that  you "snore really loud", or maybe your spouse can't even sleep in the same room with you anymore, on account of how loud you snore.

All of the things I've mentioned are telltale signs or symptoms of a condition called "sleep apnea".  Of the signs and symptoms I mentioned in the previous paragraph, most are just annoying (to your spouse, mostly), but not particularly dangerous (except the falling asleep while driving part….try to avoid that!).

Don't be fooled however, sleep apnea is not just an inconvenience, it can cause real medical problems.  What happens with sleep apnea is that your airway gets temporarily blocked and you can't breathe, when the oxygen level in your blood gets low enough you wake up gasping for air (many patients don't even remember the waking up part, however).  This chronic low oxygen level while sleeping can damage  your heart over time, and also affect the blood vessels that go to your lungs!

In our country the most common cause of sleep apnea is obesity, specifically when a person has excess fat in the neck area (there are other causes however, like enlarged tonsils for instance).  The good news is that losing the weight will almost always dramatically improve (and for many patients, completely cure) their sleep apnea.

If you have sleep apnea you may have been given a "CPAP" (continuous positive airway pressure) machine which, if used properly, can increase the oxygen level in your blood.  However, if you have sleep apnea and you are obese, I would recommend treating the real underlying cause…the obesity.  Using a CPAP machine is treating the symptom (the sleep apnea) rather than the real cause of the problem (the obesity).

The medical studies which have been done show that between 80 and 90 percent of patients who had sleep apnea no longer have it after weight loss surgery!  This is great news indeed, and another example of just how many medical problems can be resolved with weight loss surgery!

Free Informational Seminar

This Wednesday, February 3rd,  I will be having my usual (every other week) free informational seminar at the office for anyone interested in finding out about weight loss surgery.  It starts at 6:30 pm and usually ends between 7:30 and 8 (depending on how many questions there are!).  If you, or someone you know, would like to attend please just RSVP at 973-218-1990 to reserve a spot.

Support Groups for February

Support Groups this month will be:

Wednesday February 3rd for patients who had gastric bypass less than one year ago
Wednesday February 10th for gastric band patients
Wednesday February 17th for patients who had gastric bypass more than one year ago

The topic this month is "Dining Out" and we will be reviewing restaurant menus.  This is frequently a dilemma for patients….what can I order off this menu that is healthy and compatible with my surgery?

Yoga Class

Our monthly yoga class will be on Monday February 8th starting at 7:30 pm.  This class is free to any of our patients and is specifically designed for bariatric patients.  Please don't feel intimidated or that you "can't do it".  Whatever level you are at, you will find it useful!

Well, that is it for this week folks. As always, thanks for reading and trusting me with your healthcare.

Michael Bilof

Contact Information

web site address: https://www.gsbwc.com
phone: (973) 218-1990

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