One of the pillars of good health is rest, but our sleep quality often goes up and down, depending on our age, hormone levels, stressful events, and more. 

A health condition that severely affects your quality of rest is obstructive sleep apnea. This is when the upper muscles of your airway relax when you sleep, causing your airway to be compressed. 

Consequently, you don’t get adequate air as you sleep, since you stop breathing for 10 seconds or more, many times per night. Your reflexes get you breathing again, but when this happens so often, you definitely aren’t going to feel well rested in the morning. 

Dr. Mandeep Walia and Gain Wellness Team approach your care holistically, meaning that they realize a problem like sleep apnea upsets your body’s overall equilibrium and puts you at risk for serious health problems. Their goal is to treat your sleep apnea by analyzing all the modifiable factors that may contribute to it, as well as the nonmodifiable ones you can’t control. 

Sleep apnea: What it is and who it impacts

Sleep apnea affects a significant part of the population — about 22 million people. An alarming fact is that 80% of those who have moderate or severe sleep apnea aren’t aware of it. 

We talked about what happens at night when you have sleep apnea, but a host of other symptoms also define the condition. These include daytime tiredness, concentration problems, frequent headaches, and irritability. You may also awaken frequently with a dry mouth.

At night, you may also have trouble falling asleep or be aware that you’re gasping for air when your airway is pinched. 

Unless your partner notices the heavy snoring and breaks in breathing that accompany sleep apnea, you may have no idea why you’re feeling so tired. 

You might wonder who’s at risk for sleep apnea. Several factors increase your likelihood of suffering from it: 

  • Being male
  • Being over 50 years of age
  • Being a smoker
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Living with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a thicker neck circumference than is average

Additionally, tranquilizer, sedative, and alcohol use can exacerbate your sleep apnea if you have it. 

Serious health conditions that stem from sleep apnea

Untreated sleep apnea puts you at risk for some serious health conditions, including:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome (mix of hypertension, abnormal cholesterol, high blood sugar)

This frightening array of conditions can develop as a result of the problems to which sleep apnea leads: consistent low oxygen levels, carbon dioxide level changes, chest pressure variations, and increased inflammation.

Get sleep apnea diagnosed and treated, avert larger health threats

The Gain Wellness Center team feels privileged to help patients learn whether they’re living with sleep apnea or not and then treat it so they can avoid a more serious diagnosis down the road, get a better night’s sleep, and enjoy more productive days. 

Our approach is truly patient-centered in that we offer a complete wellness evaluation to our patients. It’s a deep dive into your health history and current concerns — both physical and mental — with a goal of uncovering a condition that may be impacted by many others and lead to more still, as is the case with sleep apnea. 

Part of this discovery process is discussing your rest patterns and sleep quality with you and assessing your health on a cellular level, your nutrition, and your activity levels, as well as other potential contributing factors. 

We believe in the power of functional medicine, which is based on the idea that a health problem like sleep apnea doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It impacts your body’s functioning, and other conditions you may be living with influence the development of sleep apnea and its severity. 

There are a variety of treatments that might be recommended to you if you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea. We can help you with:

  • Enhancing your nutrition
  • Supervising your weight loss
  • Assisting with smoking cessation
  • Working toward moderation with alcohol and recreational drug use
  • Discovering the role stress may play in your self-care

It may also be necessary to use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, which delivers air at the right pressure to prevent your airway from collapsing — and the gasping and waking that follow. The machine is attached to a mask that you wear over your nose and mouth while you sleep.

With relief, you can experience a good night’s sleep again and remove a big risk factor for life-altering health conditions. 

Call the Gain Wellness Center office at 858-216-2129 to schedule your wellness consultation, or book one online

Author Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP, is the founder of Gain Wellness Center in San Diego, California. At the wellness center, one of Dr. Walia's, greatest goals, as a health care provider, is to provide her practice members with alternative, but healthy and safe choices that will enhance their health and well-being. She likes to motivate and educate her practice members to take charge of their health by providing them with evidence-based information so that they can make informed decisions regarding their own personal health and take control of their health. Dr. Walia was born in India and raised in Canada before moving to San Diego. She attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada for her Master of Science degree with specialties in Biology and Physiology. She had various publications in research articles during her time at McMaster University funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. She has three kids and enjoys cooking, hiking and going to the beach with her family.

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