Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which you have too much glucose or sugar in your blood. The pancreas circulates the hormone insulin into the blood stream and creates a pathway for sugar to enter into your cells. The glucose or sugar is the energy that supplies your muscles and tissues that make up your organs. There are 3 types of diabetes type 1 usually begin in childhood or adolescents (linked to genetics), type 2 diabetes can develop at any age and is preventable, and the onset of gestational diabetes beginning during pregnancy. They have varying causes but the American Diabetes Association states 25.8 million US citizens suffer from it.

Other Medical Conditions Assocaited to Diabetes

Sleep apnea • Heart disease • Obesity • Hardening of the arteries
High blood pressure • Stroke • High blood cholesterol 

Sleep apnea is a disorder where the airway slackens during sleep and closes during sleep. Normally, the muscle tone that supports the airway relaxes during sleep to a slight degree. This process becomes problematic when the relaxation of the airway narrows the breathing passage so much that it makes breathing difficult. The airway becomes so restricted that the brain senses this difficulty and increases the breathing effort. Eventually, the increased effort awakens the brain to stimulate the relaxed muscles and reopens the breathing passage. This process becomes repetitive throughout the night and disrupts the sleep, causing daytime sleepiness symptoms.

Facts About Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

  • The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that 40% of people with sleep apnea will have diabetes.
  • The IDF states that up to 58% of diabetes may have a some type of sleep disordered breathing.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea may have effects on glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Screening diabetics for sleep apnea is beneficial as is screening sleep apnea patients for diabetes.
  • The treatment of sleep apnea reduces health risks, especially for those with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  • In the treatment of sleep apnea, weight management should be the first treatment plan.
  • The optimal treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea may be continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Sleep Apnea Testing

To find out if you have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about the symptoms you have. Diagnosis of sleep apnea is determined by an overnight sleep study. This test looks at your sleep stages, breathing, limb movements, heartbeat, and oxygen level. A physician trained in sleep medicine studies the data from the test in combination with the history and physical from your referring doctor to diagnose and recommend a treatment plan. We recommend using an accredited sleep center to ensure appropriate diagnosis and recommendations are made.