The main symptom of sleep apnea is manifested by more or less severe sleep disorders. Daytime sleepiness, hypersomnia, restless leg syndrome are examples. These disorders can have adverse effects on type-2 diabetes. Conversely, these sleep changes may be the result and manifestation of type-2 diabetes. The correlation between sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes is therefore clear.
Correlation between sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes
Several studies attest to a link between sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes. First, as with sleep apnea syndrome, the main risk factor for type-2 diabetes is being overweight.
Indeed, people with apnea or type-2 diabetes are often obese. At the same time, diabetics and apneics very often suffer from other pathologies. They usually share cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure and heart failure. It is estimated that nearly 50% of patients with type-2 diabetes have chronic attacks of sleep apnea. It is the same in the other direction. There are indeed high rates of type-2 diabetes in many people with apnea. More than 30% of people with sleep apnea are now screened for type-2 diabetes
In addition to sharing these many symptoms and pathologies, recent studies indicate that sleep disorders predispose to type-2 diabetes. Sleep apnea and various sleep disorders disrupt carbohydrate metabolism. A significant drop in insulin production during sleep apnea attacks is reported by various studies. This decrease in insulin levels is accompanied by a weakening of insulin action.
The researchers also explain that during sleep, the body secretes a hormone (leptin) which brings a feeling of satiety to the person. Lack of sleep and sleep disorders result in feeling hungry more often. Individuals suffering from sleep apnea therefore have a predisposition to eat more. By gaining more weight, their chance of developing type-2 diabetes is increased. Finally, a lack of sleep over long periods often causes hyperglycemia. This leads to diabetes.
It is important to note that sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes have reciprocal effects. If until now, we have seen the consequences of sleep disorders on diabetes, it should be remembered that diabetes also has effects on the quality of sleep. Indeed, the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism due to diabetes often alters the quality of sleep. Sudden fluctuations in blood carbohydrate levels are usually responsible for significant sleep disturbances.
Sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes are truly linked. Diabetes is a severe disease with potentially serious consequences. It is therefore essential to screen for it in people suffering from sleep apnea. Similarly, an effective treatment of diabetes must take into account the diagnosis of the various sleep disorders.
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