Saturday, 06 June, 2020

Losing weight from your tongue could help improve sleep apnea

A Fat Tongue May Be Blocking Your Airways While You Sleep Fatty tongues could be main driver of sleep apnoea
Gustavo Carr | 13 January, 2020, 22:39

According to scientists, tongue fat can be a potential therapeutic target for improving sleep apnea.

This finding might help researchers lay down one more piece in the puzzle that will lead to successful elimination of sleep apneaespecially in finding a solution that doesnt involve the current gold-standard remedy of a CPAP machine, which people who need to use it tend to really dislike (even when they love the results it brings of better sleep, more energy, and better health). He conducted the present study "to determine if weight loss would decrease tongue fat and improve sleep apnea". A 2007 study found that people with higher body mass indices (BMIs) accumulate a higher percentage of fat in their tongues than people with lower BMIs. New research has now zeroed in on the finer details of this physiological effect, revealing that a reduction of fat in the tongue appears key to lessening sleep apnea's symptoms.

The participants underwent a weight loss intervention, losing an average of 10 percent of their body weight over a six-month period, either through diet or bariatric surgery.

Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure how weight loss impacts the upper airway in obese patients.

"If we can show that [ultrasound] can do this, we can potentially do it on every person who has a sleep study to get a lot of data on the effect of tongue size and tongue fat, and its relationship to OSA", he said.

According to Tyla, chief of Sleep medicine at Pennsylvania Unversity Professor Richard Schwab said "Most clinicians, and even experts in the sleep apnoea world, have not typically focused on fat in the tongue for treating sleep apnoea".

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"Now that we know tongue fat is a risk factor and that sleep apnoea improves when tongue fat is reduced, we have established a unique therapeutic target that we've never had before". Overall, the participants' AHI scores improved by 30.7 percent as measured by polysomnograpy, or sleep study.

The study also found that weight loss resulted in reduced pterygoid (a jaw muscle that controls chewing) and pharyngeal lateral wall (muscles on the sides of the airway) volumes.

Both these changes also improved sleep apnea, but not to the same extent as the reduction in tongue fat, the scientists say.

The study is the first to show that weight loss reduces tongue fat in people with OSA. "If only fat tissue was removed, coblation could be more effective". Those exams have been performed the usage of MRI scanning.The scans confirmed that sleep apnoea ratings stepped forward by means of 31 consistent with cent on account of tongue fats relief.

The study was supported by the NIH. A co-author disclosed relevant relationships with BAROnova, Merz, and Novo Nordisk.