Pickwickian syndrome, also known as obesity hyperventilation syndrome, is a condition where blood oxygen falls during sleep, causing hyperventilation. Hypercapnia, or the increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the body occurs, as well as difficulty in breathing.
The symptoms present in pickwickian syndrome are sleep apnea, hypoxia, hypercapnia, weakness of the muscles and nocturnal ventilation. The main feature of this condition is snoring.
Pickwickian syndrome can be treated by weight loss, proper diet and exercise, as well as avoidance of foods that trigger obesity. Some patients need overnight mask ventilation to help widen the air passageways while they are asleep. This method has showed good results in treating the disorder.
The exact cause for the disorder remains unknown.
Measuring the patient's arterial gas levels is the method used to diagnose the disorder.