If you are suffering from the deadly sleep disorder called the obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) then you’re not breathing properly while you sleep because your airflow is blocked repeatedly throughout the night.

Almost one in four men and one in ten women suffer from sleep apnea. There are three different types of sleep apnea but obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common. And it goes hand-in-hand with type 2 diabetes.

Among all of the sleep disorders, OSA has the strongest association with type 2 diabetes. That’s even taking into account other risk factors, such as weight, sex and age.

The main risk factor for OSA is obesity. Excess weight deposits extra fat around the thorax, reducing chest compliance and functional capacity, while increasing oxygen demand.

¬†Nearly 86 percent of obese patients with type 2 diabetes have undiagnosed sleep apnea; 33.4 percent had mild OSA, 30.5 percent had moderate, and 22 percent had severe. Further studies have suggested that untreated OSA has a negative effect on blood glucose control. It’s also linked to depression, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and a multitude of other health problems.

It is really important to know if you have sleep apnea. A doctor will look at your medical history, and a physical and a sleep study will be required.

The good news is that OSA can be treated successfully. The prime therapy is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a small breathing device with a mask that you wear over your mouth and nose. The device pushes air into your throat while you sleep. Researchers have also looked into the effects of simply losing weight. Such studies have been limited so far, but they look promising.

Doctors need to stay alert for cases of obstructive sleep apnea as obesity and type 2 diabetes spread. Clinicians should increase patients’ awareness of the signs and symptoms of OSA and refer for sleep studies when appropriate.

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Filed under: Cardiovascular DiseaseCPAPCPAP TherapyDepressionDiabetesHigh Blood PressureHypertensionObesityObstructive Sleep ApneaOther DisordersSleepSleep ApneaSleep Apnea AwarenessSleep Apnea CoursesSleep Apnea DevicesSleep Apnea EffectsSleep Apnea SymptomsSleep Apnea TreatmentSleep Disordered BreathingSleep DisordersSleep ProblemsType 2 Diabetes

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