Something Stealing your Sleep?

A character from a French folk tale lends her name to a sleep disorder that many suffer from without even knowing it.

It is called Ondine’s Curse or in medical terms Central Hypo-ventilation Syndrome.

Ondine was a celestial nymph who fell in love with Palemon, a mortal, who promised to love her with every waking breath he takes. Ondine is overwhelmed and comes down to the earth to join her lover, giving up her Celestial home and Immortality forever. But the love story is soon to take a dramatic twist.

One day, Ondine finds her lover asleep in the bedchamber in the arms of another woman.

Seething in anger, Ondine barges into the room and curses Palemon. ‘So long as you are awake, you shall breathe. But should you ever fall into sleep, your breath will desert you!’

With that curse, Palemon is doomed to stay awake forever. For he knows that the moment he goes to sleep, he will be dead.

Interesting story?

Borrowing its name from this tale, Ondine’s curse is a disorder where a person stops breathing during sleep.

More than 10 million people in India are said to be suffering from it.

The condition is also called Sleep Apnea. It is a potentially serious condition in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep.

Due to the stoppage in breathing, the brain and other parts of the body are not supplied with adequate oxygen.

One of the most common forms of Sleep Apnea is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea and it is caused by the blockage of the airway when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep.

This happens involuntarily. So often, those suffering from Sleep Apnea do not know it.

They wonder why they feel groggy, sleepy and unrested in the mornings. Or often, they doze off to sleep during the day. The reason in many cases, is not having enough restful sleep at night.

One of the most common causes of Sleep Apnea is Obesity.

Excess fat accumulation around the throat, air passages and lungs can cause the condition.

Males above 40 who are over-weight are in the highest risk category.

Obesity is not just the weight on your body. It is also the weight on your lungs and air passages. Increased fat around the throat can cause breathing difficulties and disorders like Sleep Apnea.

Obesity is determined by calculating the BMI or Body Mass Index of the person.

Eg :  if one’s height is 175 cm and weight is 70 kg, the BMI would be calculated as follows :-

BMI = 70 / (1.75 * 1.75) = 22.86


When one’s BMI is 30 or more, one is said to be Obese.

People use many ways to tackle obesity including diet and exercise. However, often such attempts end up being futile because root cause of obesity such as over-eating and excess absorption of food by the intestines is not easy to win over with just diet and exercise.

Bariatric Surgery is a scientifically proven, tried and tested alternate method for weight loss and obesity with much higher success rate compared to conventional methods.

Known also as Weight Loss or Obesity Surgery, it is a procedure to induce weight loss amongst people who suffer from Obesity. Particularly amongst those for whom other weight loss measures have not worked.

Bariatric surgery involves reducing the active size of the patient’s stomach with the help of a gastric band also known as a lap-band. Alternatively, a part of the stomach is surgically removed. In one more type of surgery, food pathway is rerouted.

All these three options in Bariatric surgery result in reduction of food intake or less absorption of fat and sugars or both, to help long term weight loss. Your Doctor will advise which of these three options are best for you.

Post the bariatric procedure, one is required to have small frequent meals. As the stomach size is reduced, one tends to feel full with smaller quantities. The food intake will thereby reduce on its own.

The impact of bariatric surgery becomes apparent within the first few weeks of surgery.

The procedure is performed through laparoscopy i.e. through the key-hole method. This involves miniature incisions. As a result, there will be no major scars of surgery and recovery is painless and quick compared to open surgery.

Bariatric Surgery involves risk just like any other surgery. But it is important to understand that as with any other surgery, the surgeon’s skill and expertise reduce the risk involved.

The success of a surgery and the patient’s experience depends mostly on the experience, skill and expertise of the surgeon. It is therefore necessary that one approaches a top bariatric centre with vast experience in performing bariatric and laparoscopic surgeries.

Apart from Sleep Apnea, Obesity is associated with increased risk of several physical health disorders including diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, arthritis, infertility, heart disease and thyroid amongst others.

It is also a major cause of mental and psychological problems like Depression, Anxiety, etc. caused due to social seclusion and isolation.

Bariatric Surgery may be the answer to end your battle with Obesity and the multifarious problems that come along with it.


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