Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing while you sleep. What many people do not know is this condition could be linked to having diabetes, especially type 2. Research shows that these two are strongly linked together as they share some of the same underlying problems. So how are these two exactly related? Let's get to that.
How Sleep Apnea and Diabetes Are Related
The idea that sleep apnea and diabetes are related may come as a surprise to many; however, it is more common than you might think as 71% of people with diabetes may also have sleep apnea. There are studies out there that show that there is a strong correlation between sleep apnea and diabetes. Researchers found that those with severe sleep apnea have a high chance of having or developing type 2 diabetes.
Although there is evidence to prove that there is a strong link between sleep apnea and diabetes, researchers do not know exactly how sleep apnea leads to diabetes as they also think there are other underlying conditions that cause both disorders. Those conditions could include cardiovascular disease or obesity.
Having sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but also having heart problems can lead to sleep apnea. Obesity is another risk factor to develop heart problems, as studies found that out of 306 obese patients, 86% of them had sleep apnea and never knew it.
How Sleep Apnea and Hypoxemia Can Lead to Diabetes
Hypoxemia, or when the concentration of oxygen dips below normal and having sleep fragmentation are two main consequences of sleep apnea at night. Hypoxemia leads to the body having an excess amount of molecules called relative oxygen species which disrupt the body's ability to repair itself at night. All of this put together can also lead to having insulin resistance. Sleep fragmentation of any kind can result in a person’s body being pushed into a state of stress which results in the release of a hormone that alters one’s metabolism. Waking up repeatedly throughout the night can also result in an insulin resistance just like hypoxemia which is where diabetes can come in.
Awareness and Prevention
Just because you have sleep apnea or diabetes does not mean you will for sure develop the other. It just puts you at a greater risk as the two are connected. To prevent yourself from getting the other, it is important to pay attention to the risk factors and try your best to live a healthy lifestyle.
Sleep apnea and diabetes are more related than people may think. But knowing what to look out for and living a healthy life, is going to decrease your chances of developing the other. If you have diabetes and are interested in learning more about sleep apnea so you know what to look for and how you can treat it if you do develop it, visit our website.