Many studies have shown that those who suffer
sleep apnea have a much greater risk for developing type 2
diabetes. This is why it is so important to treat this sleeping
disorder before it leads to serious health problems, such
as depression, hypertension, and many others.
problem is that of the approximately 18 million Americans who suffer
from sleep apnea, less than a quarter of them have been properly
diagnosed, and even fewer actually seek proper treatment.
fact, many sleep organizations are dedicated
to spreading knowledge
about sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders in order to educate the
public and allow those with this disorder to be properly diagnosed and
receive the treatment that they need before their sleep apnea leads to
other conditions, of which diabetes is just one.
of the main reasons that there is such a strong connection between
sleep apnea and diabetes is that there are several similar factors that
put a person at high risk for both conditions, the most obvious
of which is being
large percentage of
individuals with sleep
apnea are overweight or obese and this can lead
to more blockages and obstructions of the nasal and throat air
passages, which is the cause of obstructive sleep apnea.
In addition, being overweight also significantly increases your risk
for developing type 2 diabetes, which is one of the reasons that the
two are so closely linked.
a person is overweight, excess
begins to build up around the chest region, making it more
for them to breathe. Excess fat also builds up around the throat, which
can cause the esophagus
to not be able to expand as it should when
breathing and all of this can be a significant factor in obstructive
Most studies have found
that as many as one
quarter of men with diabetes also have obstructive sleep
apnea, although women seem to have a much lower risk, as both
conditions are only prevalent in around ten percent of women.
many others studies have shown an even
stronger correlation between some form of sleeping disorder and
diabetes, with as many
as half of diabetes sufferers also suffering from a mild
to severe form of sleep
disordered breathing, and around a third of these people
are thought to have a form of sleep apnea severe enough to
studies have shown an even stronger link
when looking at the problem the other way around, with up to forty
percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea having a
reason for all of this goes both ways, as both conditions seem to
be able to cause the other.
have shown that poor quality of
sleep due to sleep apnea and the lack of oxygen associated with it can
lead to glucose intolerance and poor glucose regulation, which can then
lead to type 2 diabetes.
poor glucose regulation can also result
in a person gaining more weight, which can in turn cause the sleep
apnea to worsen. This cycle is so strong that it seems that the
severity of the sleep
apnea can directly result in increased glucose intolerance, especially
in obese patients. This means that the more severe a
apnea is, the more severe
their diabetes is also likely to be.
for Sleep Apnea and Diabetes
you are overweight and have been diagnosed with either sleep apnea,
type 2 diabetes, or both, then probably the first thing that your
doctor will recommend to treat these conditions is to lose weight
through proper diet and exercise.
if you only have sleep apnea and
haven’t developed diabetes, losing weight is the best way to reduce
your sleeping disorder and allow you to breathe properly while
sleeping. If you are significantly overweight, then the best way to
treat one or both of these conditions is to lose weight.
if you have been diagnosed as having moderate to severe sleep
apnea, weight loss will help, but it may not be enough to treat the
sleep apnea on its own. For these people with more severe forms of this
sleeping disorder, it is usually necessary for them to sleep with a
CPAP machine, which blows a constant stream of air into
their nose and
mouth, forcing its way past the obstructions into the lungs and
allowing the oxygen concentration levels in the blood to remain at or
near optimal levels.
use of a CPAP machine is considered to be the
effective treatment for severe sleep apnea, but it has
been shown to be effective in reducing type 2 diabetes as well, since
it is linked with decreased oxygen concentration in the blood.
fact, even for those who do not have severe sleep apnea, treatment
of the sleeping disorder has repeatedly been shown to have a positive
effect on diabetes. For people with less severe forms of obstructive
sleep apnea, there are many
other treatment alternatives to using a
CPAP machine every night.
options include anti
snoring devices such as
and chin straps.
All of these
sleep apnea devices have been shown to be effective in at least
reducing the severity of sleep apnea, meaning that they may also be
useful in limiting the effect or severity of type 2 diabetes.
if you have diabetes, it is recommended that you see a sleep
specialist or an ear, nose, and throat doctor to see
whether you might
be suffering from a sleeping disorder that is contributing to your
diabetes. If so, then treating the sleeping disorder may also help to
treat your diabetes.
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