Friday, April 18, 2014

Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

Last week I addressed the link between obesity and sleep apnea. This week I will throw diabetes into the discussion.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a statement last year concerning diabetes (and hypertension). Basically, practitioners that have patients suffering from diabetes type 2 are advised that they should also have their patients evaluated for sleep apnea.

There is an enormous body of research that shows the relationship between diabetes and sleep apnea. There are several other co-morbidities such as hypertension and obesity. In other words, conditions that are usually coexistent and contribute to death.

This chart is shows the connections of other conditions and sleep apnea.

People that suffer from sleep apnea are at significant risk for developing diabetes (or any of the other conditions) and vice versa. Attempting to  treat diabetes through medications and other therapies without also addressing sleep apnea will undermine a successful outcome.

This chart shows the percentage of other conditions in patients that suffer from sleep apnea.

Adequate sleep is necessary for proper regulation of many biochemicals such as insulin. Insulin allows transportation of glucose from the blood stream and into the cells.

Patients that do not exhibit proper glucose metabolism will retain more glucose (sugar) in the blood. This in turn will increase the fluid within the blood stream which will result in more frequent urinating in the middle of the night, thereby interfering with sleep.

Many patients that are diabetic are also obese. Refer to my previous blog on the link between obesity and sleep apnea. These conditions are all connected! One condition leads to the other.

My father passed away in 2001 from a stroke. He also suffered from diabetes and hypertension. I can recall nights when I was growing up that my father snored quite a bit. If we would have known then what we know now, he would probably still be alive.

If you or anyone you love suffers from any of the above conditions, I strongly urge you to visit your doctor.

Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit

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