Deviated Septum and Weight Gain

Can the way we breathe affect how much we weigh?

Millions of people struggle with body weight issues. In the United States, alone, weight loss programs and products contribute to a multi-billion dollar industry. Visit a major bookstore or even the magazine aisle of your favorite grocery store and you will see entire sections filled with diet and weight loss publications. Standup comics create routines devoted to this universal struggle and countless therapy visits are spent attempting to repair weight-related self-esteem issues.

The focus of all that attention is almost entirely centered on what is put into our mouths. What if the answer to the inability to maintain ideal weight has more to do with the nose?

Does that sound a little far-fetched? Probably. Nevertheless, there may be more to this theory than you think. Many individuals with a deviated septum or other nasal structural blockage experience ongoing breathing or sinus problems, which affect sleep quality. We know that not getting enough sleep can cause problems with metabolism, which, in turn, affects the body’s ability to burn calories. Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain and studies have revealed that the increase in BMI (body mass index) is in direct proportion to the amount of decreased sleep. Those who got the least sleep were the ones who gained the most weight.

Not every claim of “I have a slow metabolism” is a legitimate explanation for someone being overweight. But, anytime that breathing is obstructed, sleep is affected, which then throws metabolism off and that does affect weight control. While many factors, such as the amount and type of food consumed, exercise, genetics and cultural tendencies play a role in health issues, improper breathing because of a deviated septum or structural issue cannot be dismissed.  

A deviated septum can be present from birth or as the result of an injury that causes the nasal septum, the bone and cartilage which separates the two nostrils, to be moved out of position. In many cases, this causes sleep apnea, snoring, sinus infections and headaches, as well as nosebleeds due to dryness.

Septoplasty is the surgical procedure used to straighten and reposition the nasal septum so that it divides the nose, as closely as possible, into two equal parts. This is done by trimming, repositioning and replacing cartilage, bone or both. It may be necessary for the surgeon to cut and remove parts of the septum before reinserting them in the proper position. The good news is that any symptoms caused by the deviated septum are often completely resolved.

It is known that nasal obstruction plays a role in serious conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart attack and stroke. Deviated septum surgery, which can reduce these risks, is almost always done as an outpatient procedure and can greatly improve the quality and even the length of your life. And, who knows, it may even allow you to finally lose those pounds that just won’t go away!

If you have ever been diagnosed with a deviated septum or struggle with breathing issues, you could not make a better decision than consulting with Dr. Geoffrey Tobias, New York City’s only plastic surgeon exclusively practicing rhinoplasty. His experience, compassion and dedication have combined to have him recognized 12 times as “best in his field” by New York Magazine.  To request a consultation, simply click here.  

Posted in: Rhinoplasty

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