Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

If you have diabetes, sleep apnea can make it more difficult to manage your diabetes. This is because when your breathing pauses while you sleep, there is an increase in carbon dioxide in your blood. This leads to: Insulin resistance so that the body doesn’t use insulin effectively

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What causes sleep apnea : Hypothyroidism Dr. Ronald Goldenberg MD, FRCPC, FACE Endocrinologist

Quiz: Do You Understand Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax and block your airway.

Explanation:
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax and block your airway, often causing snoring.
2

The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is hypothyroidism.

Explanation:
The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is being overweight or obese. Other causes of obstructive sleep apnea include hypothyroidism, excessive production of growth hormone, a deviated septum and allergies.
3

Shortness of breath can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.

Explanation:
Sleep apnea symptoms include loud snoring every night or almost every night, fatigue during the day, snorting or choking while sleeping and shortness of breath.
4

Having sleep apnea doesn't predispose you to high blood pressure.

Explanation:
Sleep apnea predisposes people to a variety of medical conditions. If you have sleep apnea, you're much more likely to experience high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and an irregular heart beat. It can also increase your risk of being involved in a car accident.
5

Surgery can be a good option for some patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Explanation:
Sleep apnea treatment options include weight loss, a CPAP machine, a dental device (also known as a mouthguard) and surgery.
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Paul Sweeney, RRT, discusses the most common treatment for sleep apnea and diabetes.

Paul Sweeney, RRT, discusses the most common treatment for sleep apnea and blood pressure.

Sleep Apnea - Most Common Treatment - CPAP - Diabetes

If you have diabetes and sleep apnea, then a sleep apnea machine might be a viable treatment option for you. The most common treatment for sleep apnea, surprisingly, is a machine that you have to wear at night.

It’s not pretty but it works. If there was a simpler way to do this, such as surgery, we would do it, but there’s not. So, the most common treatment is something called a CPAP machine. This is a small bedside pump that produces air, that hooks up to a hose, that is attached to a mask that you wear on your nose.

The pressure in the mask is blowing into your airway, and it prevents the tissue and the jaw from blocking your airway. Therefore, you go into a deep sleep, you feel rested, you wake up feeling refreshed.

It’s not pretty, but it works. Most people that try these machines, it takes a couple of weeks to get used to, but once they sleep with it and they feel better, then it usually validates the need for the machine.

If you think you have sleep apnea and you think that CPAP might be something that would be a treatment for you, the most common thing is to go to your family doctor. He can refer you to a sleep doctor or can refer you to a local provider.

And often a lot of these CPAP machines are given out on a trial basis, so you can try the machine, see if it’s going to work for you, see if you respond to treatment, see if a lot of your symptoms improve, and then it will validate if the machine is beneficial for you.

Presenter: Mr. Paul Sweeney, Sleep Specialist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Sleep Specialist

Local Sleep Specialists

Dr. Edmison

Dr. Edmison

Sleep Specialist
Ottawa, ON
Mr. Paul Sweeney

Mr. Paul Sweeney

RRT, Registered Respiratory Therapist
Sleep Specialist
Vancouver, BC
Mr. Onkar Rai

Mr. Onkar Rai

B.Sc., RRT, Registered Respiratory Therapist
Sleep Specialist
Vancouver, BC
Dale Nault

Dale Nault

RRT, Registered Respiratory Therapist
Sleep Specialist
Vancouver, BC

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person’s breathing to stop during sleep. Patients with sleep apnea can stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night, depriving the brain and body of oxygen. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax and block your airway, often causing snoring.

Causes & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea is a condition that is a lot less common than obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs because your brain doesn’t send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. The most common cause of both types of sleep apnea is being overweight or obese. Other causes of obstructive sleep apnea include hypothyroidism, excessive production of growth hormone, a deviated septum and allergies.

Sleep apnea symptoms include:

• Loud snoring every night or almost every night
• Fatigue during the day
• Snorting or choking while sleeping
• Shortness of breath

Sleep apnea predisposes people to a variety of medical conditions. If you have sleep apnea, you’re much more likely to experience high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and an irregular heart beat. It can also increase your risk of being involved in a car accident.

Sleep Apnea Treatments

Sleep apnea treatment options include:

• Weight loss. Studies show that losing weight is an effective long-term treatment for patients with sleep apnea who are overweight or obese.
• A CPAP machine, which blows pressure into your throat to prevent it from collapsing.
• A dental device (also known as a mouthguard), which pulls the jaw forward and stops snoring.
• Surgery to treat people who snore or have a blocked nose or nasal passage issues. If you undergo sleep apnea treatment, you may work with your physician, a sleep specialist, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) and/or a CPAP specialist.

Surgeons can do a procedure called a uvuloplasty, where they can cut out the top of your mouth and prevent some of the tissue from blocking the airway off. Sometimes in the pediatric populations, where kids have a more crowded throat, big tonsils, and more of a confined airway, sleep apnea surgery can be an option.

Talk to your endocrinologist if you’d like more information on obstructive sleep apnea. 

Visit HealthChoicesFirst.com for more videos and resources on diabetes.

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