The Link Between Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

The Link Between Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

Did you know that getting good quality sleep is just as important as eating a healthy diet and exercising? You can suffer from poor sleep for various reasons — sleep apnea being one of them.

At The Smile Agency, Karen Guinn, DDS and our dental team treat sleep apnea at both our Pasadena and West Covina, California locations. Not only can this condition cause you to lose sleep, but it can also be dangerous to your health. That’s why your sleep apnea should be treated by our experienced and knowledgeable professionals.

The link between type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea

Though obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has several causes, it’s been found to be most prevalent in diabetics. 

How OSA can cause diabetes

When your sleep is restricted, it can affect your blood sugar and reduce your insulin sensitivity. Studies show that 71% of OSA patients have type 2 diabetes. As a diabetic, it’s vital to focus on your diet and exercise, but your sleep quality is just as important. 

When you have OSA, your airways collapse periodically while you sleep, which causes paused breathing. This disruption in your sleep can promote a carbon dioxide buildup in your blood, leaving you with several negative impacts on your health, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

How diabetes can cause OSA

When you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas produces enough insulin to keep your blood sugar levels where they need to be, but your cells don’t respond well to the hormone, so you convert less sugar into usable energy, and the sugar builds up in your blood.

Obesity is one of the most common reasons for developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that if you’re obese and have type 2 diabetes, you can have an increased risk of experiencing sleep apnea.

Identifying your symptoms

Symptoms of OSA include:

If you have a bed partner who alerts you to symptoms while you sleep, take note of their concerns and make an appointment to have a sleep apnea test to confirm your diagnosis.

Treating your symptoms

We treat sleep apnea in a couple of ways. We provide you with an oral appliance that shifts your jaw into a position that allows your airways to stay open so you can easily breathe while you sleep.

As a diabetic, you may also want to use the CPAP machine as an option. It delivers consistent airflow through your airways to keep them open throughout the night.

To learn more about sleep apnea and its treatment, call to schedule an appointment at either one of our locations, or book your visit online today. We can also answer questions before we see you.

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