Advertisement

What respiratory problems are associated with obesity?

Dr. Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine Specialist

Sleep apnea, a condition in which people stop breathing for brief periods, interrupts sleep throughout the night and causes sleepiness during the day. It also causes heavy snoring. Respiratory problems associated with obesity occur when added weight at the chest wall squeezes the lungs and restricts breathing. Sleep apnea is also associated with high blood pressure.

What the Drug Companies Won't Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn't Know: The Alternative Treatments That May Change Your Life--and the Prescriptions That Could Harm You

More About this Book

What the Drug Companies Won't Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn't Know: The Alternative Treatments That May Change Your Life--and the Prescriptions That Could Harm You

From one of today's leading authorities on natural medicine comes a provocative look into how the pharmaceutical and medical industries have created our current health crisis and a practical guide to...

Obesity is strongly linked with respiratory symptoms and diseases, including exertional dyspnea, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and pulmonary embolism. Overweight and obese individuals are more likely to have respiratory symptoms than individuals with a normal body mass index (BMI), even in the absence of demonstrable lung disease.

Respiratory muscle function has been shown to deteriorate in obesity, in a pattern similar to that seen in chronic respiratory disease like COPD. This may also be related to a reduction in the overall fat free mass (FFM -- i.e., muscle mass).This deficiency may contribute to the additional oxygen demand required for ventilation and may heighten sensation of breathlessness in people with obesity. Obesity is also recognized as an important risk factor for the diagnosis of asthma and sleep apnea.

Overall, the influence of obesity in respiratory diseases is complex and goes beyond the obvious mechanical and physical consequences of weight gain and its associated inflammatory and metabolic disorders. It is important to recognize it early and attempt all measures to treat it.

Continue Learning about Obesity

Could You Have Prediabetes Without Knowing It?
Could You Have Prediabetes Without Knowing It?
In Tom Cruise’s 2013 Jack Harper movie, Oblivion, it’s hard to know who was less hip to what was going on—Earth’s beleaguered inhabitants or their sup...
Read More
What is being done to combat obesity in Native American communities?
dLife - It's YOUR Diabetes Life!dLife - It's YOUR Diabetes Life!
Native American culture does not view obesity as taboo, believing it to be ordinary and healthy. Thi...
More Answers
What is the difference between overweight and obese?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a n...
More Answers
What Is the Health Impact of Obesity?
What Is the Health Impact of Obesity?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.