Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome: An Overview

Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome - Healthlifenews

Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome: An Overview

Sharing is caring!

In some obese adults, a respiratory disorder is known as Obesity-Related Hypoxemia (OHS) or Pickwickian syndrome develops, causing elevated carbon dioxide levels in the bloodstream. Hypoventilation causes low oxygen and high carbon dioxide levels in the circulation. Your lungs aren’t pumping enough air into and out of your body, which is known as hypoventilation. Obstructive sleep apnea can make it difficult to fall asleep.

Understanding the major signs and symptoms of sleep apnea obesity:

  • Degradation in sleep quality
  • The desire for daytime slumber.
  • A depressed state of mind
  • Headache
  • Inability to do daily things

Sleep apnea

The following are some of the most common obesity hypoventilation syndrome causes:

Pickwickian syndrome’s specific cause is unknown to doctors and researchers. Pickwickian syndrome has several theories, including:

  • An obese person has a BMI of 30 or over, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI).
  • the inability of your brain to manage your breathing effectively
  • Extra weight around the chest affects respiratory system function, making it more difficult for your lungs to get oxygen from the air. A lack of oxygen to the brain and heart is causing these vital organs to malfunction.

The diagnostic tests involved in identifying obesity hypoventilation:

Your healthcare professional will diagnose your symptoms of obesity hypoventilation syndrome by taking a detailed history, including sleeping habits, calculating your BMI, and measuring your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

Pulse oximeter:

A blood sample from your artery, generally your wrist, is taken to determine your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. The amount of oxygen (but not carbon dioxide) in the blood can be estimated using a pulse oximeter (a sensor loosely connected to the finger).


To rule out any other causes of your breathing problems, a chest x-ray, and pulmonary function tests may be performed. While a sleep study (also known as polysomnography) is regularly performed to diagnose OHS, it is not required in all instances. If you have OHS, you should determine whether or not you have sleep apnea and how severe it is.

Here are the various choices for the obesity hypoventilation syndrome treatment that may be recommended 

Losing the excess weight:

Obesity hypoventilation syndrome is a condition in which the indications of obesity are irritated by inadequate ventilation. Obesity exacerbates Pickwickian syndrome, although decreasing your BMI to a healthy level can help. Compared to the general population, people with Pickwickian syndrome have a greater accumulation of adipose tissue. 

Your body relaxes and your breathing returns to normal after you lose weight. You should also get back into the habit of moving about and going for walks. Make informed diet decisions after careful consideration. Pickwickian syndrome is associated with a wide range of serious health issues and even mortality, thus decreasing weight is essential.

PAP (CPAP) treatment:

Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is the most prevalent treatment for Pickwickian syndrome’s breathing problems. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may be prescribed by your doctor. A motor pumps oxygen into a tube connected to a mask worn by the user’s nose and mouth.


Your doctor may recommend a tracheostomy if these therapies fail and your condition continues to deteriorate. A tube is inserted into your trachea, or windpipe, to ensure that you can breathe normally.

Weight loss surgery:

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, may also be recommended by your doctor to help you lose weight. Gastric bypass and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding are two typical weight-loss surgical procedures. If you decide to have one of these procedures, you may have to make some major alterations to your daily routine.


Obesity is on the rise around the globe. Obesity-related symptoms and diseases can now be treated with a wide range of options. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) are two major kinds of disorders that cause severe damage to the sleep cycle.

Preventing Pickwickian syndrome, which is marked by abnormally low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, is critical. When the brain and other essential organs aren’t getting the oxygen they require, there are catastrophic repercussions. You should seek treatment for sleep apnea as soon as possible. See an obesity specialist right away if you suspect you have Pickwickian Syndrome. 

Weight loss is the mainstay of treatment for sleep apnea, as it lowers the number of occurrences, improves blood gas levels, and lessens daytime sleepiness. Using positive pressure airflow during the night can be really beneficial. A small number of patients may require a windpipe incision (tracheostomy). If treated, the syndrome can be reversed.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *