Is Obstructive sleep apnea causing your diabetes to be out of control?

Uncontrolled obstructive sleep apnea directly affects your blood sugar.  First let's review obstructive sleep apnea and then I'll help you understand how sleep affects your diabetes.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a reversible intermittent closure or partial closure of the upper airway.  Symptoms are usually divided into daytime and night time symptoms.

Common daytime symptoms include headache, irritable, depression, excessive sleepiness, memory problems.  Frequently occurring  night time symptoms are loud snoring, non-refreshing sleep, difficulty staying asleep, restless sleep and waking up to urinate multiple times during the night.   Here’s why insurance companies might charge you higher premiums.

Difficulty breathing at night is associated with drops in blood oxygen level, a condition called hypoxemia.  Hypoxemia leads to hypertension, heart disease, strokes and cognitive dysfunction.  In addition, Struggling to breathe during sleep stresses the body.  In response to stress, the body releases stress hormones.  Stress hormones prepare the body for flight or fight.  You are probably familiar with two well known stress hormones are epinephrine and cortisol.

"Stress hormones increase insulin resistance and this causes elevated blood sugar level.”

If you have obstructive sleep apnea and your blood sugar is higher than your doctor's recommendation or your hemoglobin A1C is greater than 5.4 make sure you are using your positive airway pressure machine at least 5 nights for no less than 4 hours.  Increasing usage of your machine may improve your blood sugar levels