How does treatment for sleep apnea help people with diabetes?

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When people with diabetes who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea get treated for that condition, their blood sugar levels may also improve, according to Howard Braver, MD, medical director of the Sleep Diagnostic Center at Baptist Medical Plaza at Miami Lakes.

A small study reported in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine looked at 20 people who had both sleep apnea and poorly controlled blood sugar. They were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Their nighttime blood sugar level dropped about 20 points, and they also saw significant improvement in their A1C levels (their average blood glucose levels over three months).

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Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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