Gastric bypass for sleep trouble

Anon. writes:
I was feeling unusually tired and out of energy. My GP told me to diet and exercise, and take iron supplements. I tried this for months, but it wasn’t making much difference. I talked about it with my mom, and she told me she has sleep apnoea. She asked if I had considered this. I am a snorer and being overweight can make sleep apnoea more likely, so I thought this might be the problem. So I finally went back to my GP and got a referral to a sleep clinic.

After an assessment, I got to do a sleep study where I’m monitored throughout the night to see if I stop breathing. I talked to the doctor in the morning after the sleep study. It turns out I didn’t stop breathing in the night so they could rule out sleep apnoea, but he said he thought my weight could still be keeping my energy down.

So I asked him “If it’s not sleep apnoea, then how could my weight be affecting my energy the past few months when I’ve been this size most of my life?” He said he didn’t know, but people who lose weight usually “just feel better.” I told him that I have been making an effort; I had been restricting my calories to lose one pound a week and lost 10 pounds. He said that little amount of weight loss was unlikely to make much of a difference, and often after diets people just “balloon back”. He asked if I would like to be referred for a gastric bypass. I was shocked, and told him I thought that was a serious decision and it’s not one I would take so lightly.

At the time of the sleep study, I had a BMI of 36. I’ve lost another 10 pounds I’ve lost since then, and I have moved me from the “morbidly obese” BMI category to the “obese” category. It’s a challenge, but I’m still losing slowly and healthily. No gastric bypass required, thank you very much. Oh and it turns out the tiredness was due to seasonal affective disorder. I’ve got a sunlamp and vitamin D supplements and have since been feeling much better.

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