Treating Sleep Apnea Helps Glucose ControlTuesday, May 21st, 2013, 6:20 pm
Glucose control is difficult for diabetic and pre-diabetic patients but a new study has found that treating patients who have sleep apnea significantly improved their glucose levels.
This is not the first time that sleep apnea and diabetes have been linked. It is important to know that about 2/3 of patients with type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnea. Most of the sleep apnea cases are not diagnosed however. Many of the same factors that lead to type 2 diabetes are also risk factors for sleep apnea. These include obesity and insulin resistance.
The small study of pre-diabetic patients with obstructive sleep apnea from McGill University showed that treatment with CPAP led to “significant improvements in glucose levels” said the researchers. Dr. Sushmita Pamidi continued “Our study adds to the current literature by demonstrating that CPAP treatment of sleep apnea in patients at risk for developing diabetes may lower this risk and and assessment for sleep apnea may be appropriate as part of the clinical evaluation of patients with prediabetes.”
CPAP is the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and it is highly effective. However, the study also notes that many patients often have “suboptimal results” with CPAP because of intolerance or insufficient use. About half of all patients find they simply cannot tolerate using CPAP. In fact, a patient is considered “compliant” with CPAP if they only use it for 4 hours per night – that leaves several house of sleep with untreated sleep apnea!
Oral appliances are a wonderful alternative to CPAP. Most patients find sleeping with an oral appliance to be comfortable and they are easy to care for. When properly fit and titrated by a dentist with special training in the care of sleep apnea patients they are highly effective at treating mild to moderate sleep apnea and can be used for more serious cases when the patient is CPAP intolerant.
Find out more about obstructive sleep apnea and your treatment options by contacting Toccoa, GA sleep apnea dentist Dr. Joseph Wilbanks at Wilbanks Smile Center today. We can be reached at 706-886-9439.
Category: Dental Sleep Medicine