Many people all over the world suffer from both Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes. To be specific, it’s estimated that 22 million Americans are diagnosed with sleep apnea and 100 million suffer from diabetes. These two conditions are very often diagnosed together, creating numerous health complications. Research shows that those with severe OSA are 30% more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those without. Unfortunately, OSA is often gone undiagnosed, making those left untreated more at risk for other potential health problems. This is why at Maestro Dental Wellness we practice dentistry with this oral-systemic link in mind.
So, what is the connection?
There is a clear relationship between sleep apnea and diabetes. With sleep apnea, you go through a complete cessation of breathing for more than 10 seconds at a time. During these episodes, your body struggles to survive with the lack of oxygen available. This causes your brain to do what is necessary to oxygenate and usually wakes you up abruptly to re-establish the very necessary flow of oxygen. The lack of oxygen and awakenings that occur have the ability to cause daytime sleepiness, headache, heart disease, arterial disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, GERD, automobile accidents, train crashes and in extreme cases, death.
The poor quality sleep you get from untreated sleep apnea leads to a condition known as insulin resistance which causes blood sugar levels to raise. When this happens, elevated blood sugar levels can interfere with attaining good quality sleep in addition to issue and organ damage. Clearly, OSA and diabetes together create a vicious cycle of poor health.
Even though both these diagnoses seem worrisome, there are excellent treatment options that can help you to manage these conditions over your lifetime.