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Could Your Sleep Apnea Be Caused By Your Blood?

November 8, 2021


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) could be linked to triglycerides in your blood stream, a new study has found. A study in Australia looked at men of a healthy weight range that suffered OSA and found that each patient had elevated levels of triglycerides. This study could lead to a solution for OSA among sufferers that are already at a healthy weight.

“Obstructive sleep apnea metrics were positively associated with serum triglyceride levels in men with a normal waist circumference. Healthy weight individuals with OSA require clinical attention to improve cardiometabolic risk profiles.” (Dovepress.com)

Weight and Sleep Apnea

Weight is a leading cause of sleep apnea. “There is a linear correlation between obesity and OSA. In obese people, fat deposits in the upper respiratory tract narrow the airway; there is a decrease in muscle activity in this region, leading to hypoxic and apneic episodes, ultimately resulting in sleep apnea.” (NIH.gov)

To avoid or reduce sleep apnea symptoms, most patients could lose weight through lifestyle changes.

Sleep Apnea in patients of a healthy weight

Not all sleep apnea patients are overweight. For these patients, the “cure” is harder to find. Many of these patients find the cause to be in the way their anatomy handles breathing. Blocked nasal passages or a soft palate that is fleshy and blocking the throat can cause OSA. Even in these cases, obesity tends to cause the underlying issue.

The new study considers another reason: triglycerides in the bloodstream.


What are Triglycerides?

“When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals.” (Mayoclinic.org)


How do triglycerides enter the blood?

The body stores triglycerides in the bloodstream. “These fatty particles can’t move freely through the watery bloodstream. So they combine with cholesterol and protein to form lipoproteins. Your lipid profile lists two of these lipoproteins: low-density lipoprotein (better known as LDL cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (also called HDL cholesterol).” (Harvard.edu)


How do I lower my triglyceride levels?

First, a doctor should test your levels to ensure you are carrying a high level in your bloodstream.

The easiest way to lower your triglycerides is by managing your caloric intake. Track the calories of what you eat each day and compare it with the number of calories you burn. This is not necessarily the same as weight loss, although this is, of course, the theory behind your classic diet. By following this plan, you will be assessing exactly what goes into your body so that you can make better choices.

The following is an example of two similar menus with small adjustments to save 730 calories. As a point of reference, a man of average weight burns 730 calories after one hour of strenuous jogging.



If you think you suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, get in touch with us. We can walk you through the process of diagnosis and help you make the decisions necessary to sleep better. If you have already been diagnosed with OSA, get in touch for the latest treatments that would work for you.

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