Common sleep apnea symptoms such as loud snoring and poor sleep quality, when left untreated, can lead to long-term health problems such as heart disease or stroke. In particular, it can be especially harmful in people with type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea can increase blood sugar levels, promoting insulin resistance, which is a factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. Not only can it increase the problems in people with type 2 diabetes, it is actually a risk factor for contracting the disease.
The connection between type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea has to do with how sleep cycles and stages of sleep are altered. There are studies that show interrupted sleep stages decrease growth hormones, which play a role in body composition. In turn, this can increase the body’s inability to use insulin, which leads to diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes, be on alert for symptoms of sleep apnea. If you have mild symptoms such as snoring and frequent awakening during the night, lifestyle changes such as losing weight and avoiding alcohol can help decrease the problem. If your snoring and sleep interruption are severe, however, you should seek professional help. The good news is that treating sleep apnea can improve glycemic control and insulin resistance. You’ll also notice it is easier to control your diabetes once the stress hormones caused by interrupted sleep are removed.
There are several options to consider to treat your sleep apnea, such as a CPAP machine or a dental device. Contact our office to set up a consultation appointment to discuss your particular case. There is relief for sleep apnea; call us today.