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Type 2 Diabetes and Sleep Apnea
last updated:
Fri, 6/15/2012 8:39 AM

The majority of patients with type 2 diabetes also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when an airway is blocked or has narrowed during sleep.  While these two conditions are irrefutably linked, it is difficult to determine which one induces the other. A better understanding of the relationship may have important health implications for patients of either condition.

The interactions between obesity, OSA and type 2 diabetes are extremely complex and involve multiple pathways. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with alterations in glucose metabolism and therefore places patients at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Because sleep apnea increases stress on the body, blood sugar levels rise, which makes it very important for patients with type 2 diabetes to have OSA treated.  Undiagnosed OSA may interfere with lifestyle treatments for diabetes.

While it is uncertain where the relationship originates and which condition induces the other, acknowledging the link between type 2 diabetes and OSA enables health professionals to better inform and treat patients.

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes and have trouble sleeping, consult your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 to determine you best treatment option.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.



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Methodist Healthcare is an integrated health care delivery system, dedicated to the art of healing through our faith-based commitment to minister to the whole person. 1211 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 • (901) 516-7000