Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

Diabetes is a disease in which one has too much glucose in their blood.

There are basically 3 types of diabetes: Types 1 and 2 and Gestational.

Type 1: Affects 10% of the people with diabetes – This is when the pancreas cannot produce insulin.
Type 2: Affects 90% of people with diabetes. The pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body doesn’t effectively use the insulin that is produced.
Gestational: This occurs during pregnancy and is a temporary condition. It affects 2-4% of all pregnant women.

Those who are sleep deprived and suffer from such conditions as Sleep Apnea are more prone to suffering from Type 2 Diabetes: In fact, Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes often co-exist.

A Relevant Statistic
Almost 50 % of Type 2 diabetic patients have Sleep Apnea. Many diabetic patients are obese and if you remember from the blog posted on January 6th, 2014, obesity is strongly linked to Sleep Apnea.

Another Relevant Statistic
Obese – Type 2 diabetic patients have a prevalence of Sleep Apnea estimated at 86%. As one can see, obesity is common to both Sleep Apnea and Diabetes.

Individuals who are tired eat more because they need to get their energy from somewhere. Consuming sugar increases your energy, but over time too many carbohydrates can also lead to obesity and diabetes.

As we saw in the last blog, it appears that Leptin receptors in the brain become resistant to the effects of Leptin if the system is overloaded with it.

Regarding type 2 diabetes, it is well established that individuals who suffer from the disease have insulin resistance. The insulin receptors in the brain become resistant to insulin. Sleep Apnea appears to have an effect on the glycemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The Role of C.P.A.P
Continuous positive airway pressure, that is used to treat sleep apnea, improves insulin sensitivity and this improvement is seen right after beginning treatment.
C.P.A.P is generally regarded as the gold standard for the treatment of Sleep Apnea, especially when the diagnosis is moderate to severe. But, as mentioned in previous blogs, many patients cannot tolerate their C.P.A.P machines and we look to Mandibular Advancing Devices (M.A.D’s) to help treat their Sleep Apnea.

You can refresh your knowledge of M.A.D’s by reviewing the blogs posted on July 29th and August 12th of 2013.

In the next blog, we will look at the link between depression, smoking and alcohol and Sleep Apnea…Until then.

Dr. F. Keshavarz Dentistry

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