Rae’s Real Story
Rae was a 32 year old woman who was 105kg. She was overweight and tired all the time. She was also on some strong medication for a chronic rheumatoid arthritis condition, and fatigue was a known potential side effect of this medication. Her previous doctors had assumed that her fatigue was due to this medication and encouraged her to see a dietitian and lose weight. But she had no energy, and really struggled at work. She had caffeine and sugar all day to keep her awake and this was exacerbating her weight gain but obviously she felt she had very few options here because she needed to keep her job.
The first time I met her I asked about her sleep quality. She said it was “fine” and she was exhausted when she went to bed. But I probed further and it turned out she had many symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea. She snored, she fell asleep easily during meetings and watching TV, she woke with a headache sometimes and had borderline high blood pressure. She also had terrible habits around her sleep, often watching TV or looking at her phone until she nodded off and would eat near bedtime.
I organised a sleep study which confirmed she had “severe obstructive sleep apnoea” which we then treated using a machine called a CPAP machine that goes on your nose whilst you are asleep. I saw her two weeks later and she came in bouncing. She said she had not felt this awake in years, and she had so much energy again and felt clear headed and a stronger will.
From here it was easy. She stopped the sugary foods to keep her awake, she exercised more and she naturally lost weight quite easily.
The moral of the story here is – look at your whole body, mind and life. Treat the root causes, not the symptoms.