Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes:
A Vicious Circle

by Ralph Pascualy, M.D.

Screening

Many health-care providers are unaware of the association between snoring, sleep apnea, and diabetes, and without awareness, treatment opportunities are missed. Everyone with diabetes should be screened routinely for the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea. When people with diabetes and their sleep partners are asked the following three questions, nearly half will respond positively and can be expected to benefit from a referral to a sleep specialist:

  • Do you snore? (While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, just about everyone with sleep apnea snores.)
  • Do you wake up tired after a full night’s sleep?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?

If you answered yes to any of these questions but your health-care provider has not talked about sleep apnea with you, bring it up at your next appointment. Treating sleep apnea can have remarkable benefits: Not only will you sleep better, but your level of insulin resistance may decrease significantly and you may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

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