Welcome to the fourth installment of my eight-part blog series – “Keto Heals”. This series highlights the top health markers improved, reversed, managed, or completely healed through my Keto and Intermittent Fasting lifestyle.
When I started out on my journey, I absolutely loved reading success stories. The stories, like mine, on Diet Doctor kept me going throughout my entire journey. I hope my story will inspire you on your journey to better health and wellness.
(Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. I am writing about my personal experiences to encourage others to research a low-carb lifestyle. You should always work closely with a health care professional to manage your health. I work with three MDs to manage my health: functional medicine, cardiology, and sleep/pulmonology. They treat my metabolic dysfunctions along with monitoring my important blood markers routinely. Keto or LCHF may not be an appropriate way of eating for your metabolic health or other health needs. Please check with your personal health care professional before making any changes in your diet.)
SLEEP APNEA CAN ONLY BE DIAGNOSED BY A SLEEP SPECIALIST DOCTOR. YOU SHOULD FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S TREATMENT PLAN TO TREAT YOUR CONDITION. DO NOT STOP YOUR TREATMENT PLAN WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR’S APPROVAL. I will be emphasizing this point several times throughout my story.
My husband should be considered for sainthood. Any person who could put up with my chronic, loud snoring for years deserves some type of recognition. I snored like a freight train! Let’s all pause for a moment and appreciate the fact he didn’t place a pillow over my face.
My guy hung in there like a trooper and only complained a bit. Well, he actually complained a lot – but you would have, too. In fact, when my kids started telling me they could hear my snoring from their downstairs bedrooms (my bedroom is upstairs), they legitimized his complaints.
The whole household agreed I should visit a sleep specialist doctor. Considering how much I loved visiting a doctor to be reminded I needed to lose weight, I didn’t make this a priority. At all. I made my husband suffer for years, and I do truly feel bad about this (sorry husband)!
Backing up a bit, if you read my first blog in this series, “Exhaustion”, you may recall my disappointing trip to Colorado resulted in scheduling a sleep specialist appointment. My story about sleep apnea continues here.
Determined to get my health under control, I walked to the sleep doctor office – because exercise, you know?!? Plus, the sleep clinic is only two blocks from my home.
I liked my new sleep doctor a lot, even if he did tell me I needed to lose weight. Go figure! Based on my history and chronic snoring reported by my husband, he guessed I had sleep apnea. Only a sleep study can confirm a diagnosis, so I scheduled one right away.
Somehow, I survived the night of the sleep study. I am a horrible sleeper and add the strange bed and all the wires – pure misery! Fortunately, they were able to document the minimum number of hours needed for a successful study.
My diagnosis: Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
It’s important to know there are two main types of sleep apnea: Obstructive and Central. They are very different. If you have sleep apnea, you should know your diagnosis and understand the difference.
Let me reiterate the importance of this: SLEEP APNEA CAN ONLY BE DIAGNOSED BY A SLEEP SPECIALIST DOCTOR. YOU SHOULD FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S TREATMENT PLAN TO TREAT YOUR CONDITION. DO NOT STOP YOUR TREATMENT PLAN WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR’S APPROVAL. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Back to the story! With the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), they fit me with a CPAP machine. I used my machine faithfully every night because for once in my life I began to actually feel rested. I had one happy doctor due to my compliance.
Some of my brain fog and daily exhaustion disappeared. I say some, because even though I felt more rested, it didn’t compare to how I feel in my Keto lifestyle. Off to a good start!
Fast forward to the summer of 2017 – seven months keto and about a 65-pound weight loss since I began using my CPAP. I began experiencing dry mouth (probably a keto side effect) and unconsciously ripping off my CPAP mask during the night. My husband observed I no longer snored even without the mask. I excitedly scheduled a follow up sleep study to determine if I still needed to use a CPAP machine.
Diagnosis:NO more Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
My weight loss successfully reversed my OSA and my need for the CPAP machine. Freedom from those tubes! Woohoo! Yes, weight loss can reverse OSA!
My sleep doctor commented that he rarely had a patient reverse their need for the CPAP through weight loss. He lamente and wished more patients would take weight loss advice seriously. I told him to get them on Keto or LCHF stat!
The Nurse Practioner who treated me literally did the happy dance. She had never had a patient eliminate the need for use of the CPAP machine.
I did the happy dance with both of them! I’m sad I will never see either of them again, because they were both fantastic to work with.
Let me reiterate again! I ONLY stopped using my CPAP machine because my doctor told me I had reversed my OSA. I no longer needed to use a CPAP. My doctor made this decision only through my results from my repeated sleep study. DO NOT STOP USING your CPAP without your doctor’s advice!
SLEEP APNEA CAN ONLY BE DIAGNOSED BY A SLEEP SPECIALIST DOCTOR. YOU SHOULD FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S TREATMENT PLAN TO TREAT YOUR CONDITION. DO NOT STOP YOUR TREATMENT PLAN WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR’S APPROVAL.
This is one of my favorite benefits of my Keto lifestyle. I did appreciate the many benefits of using the CPAP machine, but it is wonderful not beingstrapped to a tube while wearing an uncomfortable face mask every night. Freedom! Traveling away from home is so much more enjoyable!
Do you have OSA? Are you anywhere near scheduling a follow up sleep study? I’d love to hear your stories about OSA.
Have you jumped on board the Keto or LCHF train? How can I help? Leave a comment below.
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