Taking Control of Your Health, Starting with Weight

Dr. Avi Weisfogel is Blazing a Trail in Sleep Dentistry

Obesity is running rampant across the United States. In fact, America is the fattest nation in the world. At least we are number one in something, but unless all-you-can-eat buffet eating is going to be turned into an Olympic sport, we may want to fix this problem. Almost forty percent of all adults are obese and twenty percent of children. In addition, every three out of four men are overweight. There are several negative connotations that are attributed to overweight people in our society. While these can be very hurtful, there are also other things to worry about.

With great weight comes great health problems. Ever wonder why the health insurance premiums are rising every year? It’s because all the health issues that accompany such an overweight population. And if you are not overweight yourself, there is a good chance that you are paying higher health insurance rates to cover everyone else that is. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

There are serious health concerns to be aware of if you or someone you love is overweight. There are the smaller issues like aching bones, fatigued muscles from carrying around all that excess weight, being tired all the time, and just a general less active lifestyle. (Actually, all those sound like pretty horrible things to be experiencing.) Below are some of the more serious health problems that can lead to a shorter lifespan because of being overweight or clinically obese.

Heart Disease

To put it simply, the extra weight you are carrying around increases the risk for abnormal heart function and multiple other cardiovascular concerns. High blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol can definitely lead into heart disease and a heart attack. Someone that is obese will have their heart working twice as hard, and that will place additional stress on the heart. There is a reason you don’t see many obese old people around. It is because they die off before their time. There are medications that someone suffering heart disease can take, but losing weight can help just as much.

Type 2 Diabetes

Most people that have Type 2 diabetes have it because they are overweight or obese. And 90 percent of people that have diabetes has Type 2 diabetes. It is a serious condition that brings on many other health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and nerve damage. The nerve damage can be so severe it can lead to amputation. There is excellent news though. It has become very apparent that those suffering from Type 2 diabetes can eliminate it by changing their sedentary lifestyle. They must change how they eat by going with a low-carb and low-calorie diet. Plus, get off the couch, stop watching the tv, and incorporate exercise into their everyday routine.

Sleep Apnea

Going through these major health risks that go hand in hand with being overweight or obese, you may feel like that you can skip over sleep apnea. Perhaps it does not sound as serious as the others. Rest assured though, sleep apnea is a serious disorder that is linked to being overweight.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes someone to snore heavily and stop breathing during sleeping. The breathing may stop for just a few seconds or for several minutes. This happens frequently every single night. Sometimes literally hundreds of times a night. It is not something to be ignored. Sleep apnea can lead to heart disease and stroke. Plus, it will lead to a restless night of sleep with your body constantly being deprived of oxygen.

Losing weight can often help improve sleep apnea. People who are obese have four times the risk of having sleep apnea. The fat deposits around the throat and neck can often obstruct the breathing while sleeping. If you know you are suffering from sleep apnea and you are also overweight, change your diet and exercise.

But there are also other reasons someone might have sleep apnea, and losing weight will not help the problem. People that have a thicker neck sometimes have narrower airways. Or you may just have been born with a narrowed airway and throat. Enlarged tonsils can also block the airway. These can all lead to a serious case of sleep apnea.

There are ways to fix this problem. Dr. Avi Weisfogel, a dentist from New Jersey, started recognizing many of his patients were suffering from sleep apnea and were not even aware of it. After fifteen years of running a successful dental practice, Dr. Weisfogel decided to make a huge change. He left his practice behind and opened up a sleep clinic to help people deal with sleep apnea.

While Weisfogel was passionate about diagnosing and treating those suffering from this serious sleep disorder, he did not realize that there would be such a problem with getting the patients through his doors. It is difficult to notice when you are the one suffering from sleep apnea because you are asleep while it is happening. Plus, many people mistakenly believe that it is just mostly loud snoring. People needed to realize sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences.

After two years and a couple millions of dollars, Weisfogel was able to market everything correctly. He had created oral appliances that would open the airway and not allow the obstruction to occur while sleeping. He now treats numerous patients and instructs other medical professionals on how they, too, can help diagnose and treat those suffering from sleep apnea.

Make the Lifestyle Change Needed

Most of these serious health problems can be totally avoided by staying aware of your health and fitness. There are so many things that cannot be avoided in life, but being overweight or obese can definitely be evaded. Having a more active lifestyle can go a long way into having a more productive life. Being able to play with your kids or grandkids instead of being tied down to a couch is a goal that everyone should have.

Read more about Dr. Avi Weisfogel’s accomplishments and strides in the medical field here and here.

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About Erica Smith 173 Articles

With several years in the medical field—both as a practitioner and an administrator—Erica has a unique perspective on the health industries. From medical technology to cancer research, she covers our health industry.

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