Excess belly fat may affect breathing by pushing on the diaphragm and chest wall, making it harder for the lungs to fill with air. Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a condition in obese people in which poor breathing leads to lower oxygen and higher carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
The condition is believed to result excessive weight (due to obesity) against the chest wall. This makes it hard for a person to take a deep breath. As a result, the blood has too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen. People with OHS are often tired due to sleep loss, poor sleep quality, and chronic low blood oxygen levels. People with OHS are usually very overweight.
Sign and Symptoms:
• Bluish color in the lips, fingers, toes, or skin (cyanosis)
• Reddish colored skin
• Signs of right-sided heart failure (cor pulmonale), such as swollen legs or feet, shortness of breath, or feeling tired after little effort
Tests used to help diagnose and confirm OHS include:
• Arterial blood gas
• Chest x-ray or CT scan to rule out other possible causes
• Pulmonary function tests
• Sleep study
Doctors can tell OHS from obstructive sleep apnoea because patients with OHS have high carbon dioxide levels in the blood when awake.
Surgical: Surgical treatment options are aimed at weight loss (loosing approx 80% of Excess Body Weight, which can not only reverse OHS but also other obesity related disease like Diabetes, Hypertension etc which if untreated lead to increase chances of morbidity (Complications) and mortality (Death).
Non surgical: The treatment involves breathing assistance using special machines (mechanical ventilation). Options include:
• Non-invasive mechanical ventilation (BiPAP or other modes) through a mask that fits tightly over the nose or nose and mouth (mainly for sleep)
Complications of Obesity and OHS :
• Depression, agitation, irritability
• Increased risk for accidents or mistakes at work
• Sexual dysfunction
• Heart problems, such as: Hypertension, Right-sided heart failure (cor pulmonale) and Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)