Are you aware of the connection between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and type 2 diabetes? There are many people with OSA who also have type 2 diabetes. The two conditions are connected by elevated glucose levels (high blood sugar). Also, they have several risk factors in common like high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. At Marcus Dental Practice, we can treat sleep apnea and help prevent the associated risks connected to this condition. If you believe you’re at risk for sleep apnea, click here to take our quiz.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea interrupts breathing repeatedly during sleep. The pauses in breathing prevent oxygen from getting to the brain. People with sleep apnea are awakened every time regular breathing stops. As a result, they’re prevented from reaching the restful phases of sleep, which leads to excessive daytime sleepiness.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the airway becomes blocked. The blockage happens when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse during sleep. OSA is more commonly linked to diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness affecting the way the body metabolizes glucose (blood sugar). Glucose serves as a vital source of energy for cells, and insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) controls glucose levels in the blood.
For type 2 diabetics, the body still produces insulin, but it responds to it abnormally by causing blood sugar levels to rise. This response makes the pancreas work harder to produce more insulin, but the extra strain prevents the pancreas from producing enough insulin to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Sleep apnea sufferers repeatedly stop breathing at night. As a result, the body sends adrenaline each time to restart breathing. The increased adrenaline causes the body to turn carbohydrates into glucose, which results in high blood sugar levels. Then, the body’s response to the elevated blood sugar levels is to release insulin.
Insulin makes the body store the sugar as body fat for energy. During sleep, the body repeats the cycle each time breathing stops. This connection between sleep apnea and insulin resistance may benefit sleep apnea treatment. Treatment can help type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar and possibly prevent non-diabetics from getting type 2 diabetes.
We offer several solutions to treat sleep apnea. If you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea such as snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, or morning headaches, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Chicago, Illinois, and the surrounding areas.