OXYGEN AND OBESITY
May 23, 2017

As epidemics go, obesity looks like it is here to stay. The weight loss industry is counted in the billions of dollars. The most common pulmonary complaint of obese patients is shortness of breath with activity (exertional dyspnea). Obesity influences breathing patterns, called respiratory mechanics, and metabolic rate. A low oxygen level can also be a manifestation of obesity. The exact reason this occurs is not totally clear. Hypoxia, which is the medical term for a low oxygen level, may occur for at least 3 reasons in the obese patient: first, obese patients can have the so-called “obesityhypoventilation syndrome”, which occurs when obese patients cannot exhale all of the carbon dioxide in their breathing; second, many obese patients have co-morbidities, such as heart failure; and the third reason is more difficult to explain but here goes. Obesity can actually affect your lung volumes. The exact volumes and how they are measured are too complex for a discussion here, but involve calculating something called the closing capacity. The bottom line for all of this is that obesity can cause a reduction in blood oxygen levels. Unfortunately, it does not do it consistently. This means that pulmonary function studies and measurements of blood oxygen levels are important. It should come as no surprise that the treatment for obesity patients is oxygen, when needed, and a firm commitment to weight loss. Weight loss is difficult, but the benefits, not only to pulmonary health, but to health in general, make it a priority.

Lung Disease Center of Central Pennsylvania
"The Official Sponsor of Peace of Mind"

LDC Ads

The Buzz by Dr. Z

George M. Zlupko, MD, FCCP

Timothy A. Lucas, MD, FCCP

Alan J. Kanouff, DO, FCCP

Dr. Michael C. Zlupko, MD

Address:
800 Chestnut Ave
Altoona, PA 16601

Phone:
814.946.2845

Fax:
814.946.1273

Email:
SherriS@altoonalungspecialists.com

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Each of our physicians has office hours several days per week for patient visits. For an appointment, please call 814.946.2845 and our staff will schedule the next available day and time.

If you are not able to keep a scheduled appointment, please advise our office as soon as possible in order to provide another patient this time to meet with the physician and, if necessary, receive treatment.

If you have an emergency, please call 911.

*****************************************
For your complementary copy of Breathe Magazine, please click on "Health News" at the top of the page then "Breathe Magazine". You can view the entire publication on line or request a copy be mailed to you.

*****************************************
Are you a candidate for a Sleep Study? Click on "Sleep" at the top of page to learn more.