Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

By Avera Latest Reply 2011-10-28 08:24:54 -0500
Started 2009-01-23 22:57:59 -0600

Today in the news on "Science Daily," a doctor, Naresh Punjabi, M.D., Ph.D., reported his findings from a study he did sactioned by the American Thoracic Society.

He reported that his research showed that sleep disordered breathing (SDB) was strongly associated with a decrease in the three major metabolic pathways that the body uses to metabolize glucose— insulin sensitivity, glucose effectiveness, and pancreatic cell function— independent of adiposity.

In other words, his research tells us that sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is characterized by multiple physiological deficits that increase the predisposition for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

So, I was just wondering, how many people on this site are Type 2 and also have Sleep Apnea. Let me know. I find this extremely interesting. Could it be that our Sleep Apnea might have had something to do with us getting diabetes? I have both.

46 replies

kaiya2465 2011-10-28 08:24:54 -0500 Report

The doctor I have told me flat out that is part of why I am supposedly pre-diabetic…but then again my doctor is an idiot. Sorry a little venting this morning.

ANNETTE - 25587
ANNETTE - 25587 2009-06-01 22:49:06 -0500 Report

I also have sleep disorder and type 2. Maybe this could also cause the neuropathy. My next trip to the sleep dr. I will ask about this

lisah - 55368
lisah - 55368 2009-08-10 22:33:15 -0500 Report

I have been a diabetic for sometime, but was just recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, although when I got married I told my husband that there were times that I would wake up trying to catch my breath. He told me years later that he was very scared, until he learned what to look for. And my diabetes is type II

P2putt 2009-06-01 19:12:07 -0500 Report

I do have Sleep Apnea and I do believe jt began when my b.s. wre totally out of control. Sorry to say that was for a long time. I wear a Cpap and it not all that effecive but it helps a little. Without it I wouldn't sleep at all. Thanks for the information. Pete

Turtle 2009-05-16 20:22:53 -0500 Report

I have sleep apnea as well. This is an interesting finding. I think the two could be related because I had the sleep apnea for years before I was diagnosed w/ the diabetes.

Two painful feet
Two painful feet 2009-05-15 23:38:09 -0500 Report

Hi! I'm type 2 diabetic. I use a bi-pap machine that breathes for me(a polio survivor). I have had sleep apnea for 25 years. I became a diabetic last October 2008.

Your Friend

hawk42usa 2009-05-13 19:04:20 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in 2004, and then diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in August of 2007. My Dr. told me he wasn't surprised when I was diagnosed with Diabetes because of my Sleep Apnea, and he said he has several patients that had Sleep Apnea like me and eventually came down with Type 2 Diabetes. Of course all of them, including myself are overweight. It is so wonderful to find other people who are going through the same things as I am, and that we are able to talk about it. Good luck to all of you.

bpeale 2009-05-12 12:23:27 -0500 Report

i was diagnosed with sleep apnea years before i was diagnosed as diabetic. since no one was checking my BS's then, i may have been diabetic then but was undiagnosed.

dj7110 2009-05-08 05:53:58 -0500 Report

I also have sleep apnea and use a CPAP. following my last heart stress test the card dr told me my heart was enlarged which also is a ssign of sleep apnea and told me to get get checked for it, He was unaware I already was diagnosed with it peviously

swub 2009-05-06 09:01:01 -0500 Report

I have both Type2 and Sleep Apnea. I was diagnosed Sleep Apnea first then later Type2. Using the CPAP seems to be helping. Sometimes I still feel really tired though.

rsimon 2009-01-26 22:22:07 -0600 Report

I am a physician with type 2 and sleep apnea. The latter was diagnosed during a 12 hour sleep pattern study at my hospital's sleep clinic, in which I was wired with 12 electrodes and breathing sensors. The finding was as follows:
1. My sleep apnea lasted for up to twenty to thirty minutes,
2. My blood oxygen content would drop to 30% during these episodes.
3. My heart rate would drop to 45

All these symptoms exacerbate diabetes as well as other heart related anomalies.
I am now on a forced air breathing system (C-PAP) and I sleep incredibly well with vivid dreams.
So I would advise anyone to look into the C-PAP with your physician.

maryka48 2009-01-27 07:02:18 -0600 Report

You said you were a physician do you have any idea why everything seems to be worse on the left side for me I can not tolerate a cpap machine they tried during my sleep study you suggest seeing a different type of dr and maybe my questions can be answered???

sparkysmom 2009-01-27 11:30:39 -0600 Report

Have you tried different masks? It took me about 4 or 5 masks before I found one I was really comfortable with.

cakeybakes 2009-01-27 21:20:47 -0600 Report

I have no doubt that the two are related somehow. I have sleep apnea (12 years) and Type2 (5 years). I averaged 40 "wakes" or apnea episodes per hour! I have yet to find a mask that is really comfortable, I have tried every one out there and finally settled for one that I "tolerate". You need to get with a really knowledgeable respiratory therapist who is willing to spend quite a bit of time with you. I also have chronic sinusitis and chronic pain that interferes with my sleep. So, the bi-pap helps, but it does not cure my sleeplessness. I have too many "brain wakes" from pain, but on the bright side the bi-pap has kept me from falling asleep at the wheel like I used to.

Avera 2009-01-27 21:55:56 -0600 Report

Well, I am glad that at least you can now drive. Before I got my C-PAP, I also used to fall asleep at the wheel. I had to take all kinds of meds to keep me awake.

What meds do you take for pain?

cakeybakes 2009-01-28 09:00:52 -0600 Report

I try not to take anything, but my dr. recently added neurontin for my nerve pain in my neck. When it gets so bad I can't sleep at all (that takes a lot of convincing by her and my husband) I will take Percocet, but it takes me over a year to go through about 30 pills and I haven't taken any in a few months because I can't stand the hungover feeling the next morning.

Avera 2009-01-28 22:11:04 -0600 Report

I also take Percocets for my Neuropathy. If you took them daily, that "hungover" feeling would pass and you would be able to function on them. That "hungover" feeling is a side effect of them when you first start taking them. Since you are only rarely taking them, you are having to go through the same side effect over and over.

Just a thought, even though I am aware that different pills effect different people in different ways. Hang in there!


cakeybakes 2009-01-30 06:01:25 -0600 Report

I'm too afraid to get hooked on it. But I will talk to my dr again when I see her next month about pain management. She knows I hate the hard stuff and thought the neurontin would be a good alternative for me. It seemed to work for the first several days and we increased to 2/day when it stopped working so well. Now she wants me to go to 3/day. I'll try it and see what happens, but I'm not liking the fact that I have to take so many meds. Thanks for the advice!

bpeale 2009-05-12 12:30:31 -0500 Report

I consider neurontin to be a wonder drug. I wouldn't be able to walk at all without it. I have nerve damage from taking lipitor and also had arthroscopic knee surgery which never healed well, and neurontin makes it possible for me to walk reasonably well.

Avera 2009-01-27 20:02:07 -0600 Report

My primary doctor also has Type 2 and Sleep Apnea. I agree with you concerning my C-PAP. I sleep really well with it and do have some very nice dreams.

maryka48 2009-01-26 21:28:12 -0600 Report

I also have sleep apnea and have type 2 diabetes also have hypothyroidism and diabetic neuropathy in my legs it is much worse on my left side…something elese very interesting is the fact that I had my eyes checked recently and was told the neuropathy is in my left eye everything is much worse on my left side anyone have any insight into any of the reasoning behind that???

highlandcitygirl 2009-01-26 21:34:28 -0600 Report

i wish i did! everything on my left side is worse than the right. two nights ago i had the most terrible cramps in the calf muscle of my left leg. it was awful!

shirleycc 2009-01-26 22:11:11 -0600 Report

Avera, I was diagnosed with Sleep
Apnea about four years ago and have been
a T2 diabetic for more than twenty years.
The CPap (in any form) I have been unable
to tolerate due to chronic sinusitis.
In the last year my sleep patterns changed, I no longer snore, I get at least 8 hours sleep a night and no one knows why.

Maryka, It's interesting that you said
what you did about everything being
worse on your left side. It used to be
a standing joke with my chiropractor because whenever I complained of pain, etc. we'd both say "mostly on the left
side" practically in unison! I also have
a cataract forming —in my left eye. Nobody can tell me why the left side, either. Sometimes I think they think I'm slightly crazy.


Avera 2009-01-27 21:53:28 -0600 Report

Wow Shirley!

That is amazing that you now have normal sleep. Maybe it could be a side effect of one of your medications. Write the Research Department at one of the major medical colleges. I bet there is a doctor somewhere who would love to do a case study on you. If we could find out what helped YOU, it might could help us.

sparkysmom 2009-01-26 10:39:03 -0600 Report

I have Type 2 diabetes, Insomnia,Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Restless Leg Syndrome. Have had all sleep disorders since before I was overweight.

Avera 2009-01-25 21:06:35 -0600 Report

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. I hope that more of you will let me know if you have both. Thanks in advance.


Petrea 2009-01-24 01:44:41 -0600 Report

I have sleep apnea and narcolepsy and Type 2 diabetes. My sleep apnea was diagnosed back in 1983 before the CPAP machines were authorized for use in the US. Back then they gave tracheostomies. I did not have diabetes at that time but was diagnoses with it within a year afterwards. My dr. who is one of the leading authorities in sleep disorders, has been studying the link between the two for several years.

jaclyncrystal 2009-01-24 00:55:59 -0600 Report

Type2 and yes to sleep apnea-confirmed by sleep specialist, he was interested in the overnight study but my dr. & I decided it was not needed yet. Then about a month later renewed diabetes, diet & excercise no longer worked. It was my husband who told me that he listens to me at night and I do stop breathing, think I might always have had a problem. Sedation at dentist office they had to keep telling me to take a breath. Fortunately not overweight, but would still like to lose to help my diabetes. jackie

jaclyncrystal 2009-01-24 01:07:20 -0600 Report

went and read the article, I will be telling my youngest daughter as she has sleep apnea and was actually the one that mentioned it to me, and then my husband concured that yes I had it too. thanks Avera. jackie

Avera 2009-01-24 00:31:34 -0600 Report

Hello Again Everyone!

I made a mistake and forgot to mention that this research is "Sleep Apnea Linked to Insulin Resistance, Independent of Obesity." I posted the article in the "News & Article" section for anyone who would like to read it.


daetura 2009-01-23 23:37:05 -0600 Report

I have sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. I have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea but I know that I have it… also experience out of body experiences when I am in that state. Anyone else have OOB experiences?

2catty 2009-01-23 23:40:55 -0600 Report

No not yet. But I wish I could that way I could get some sleep and do laundry at the same time.LOL What's your secret.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-23 23:29:40 -0600 Report

My oldest daughter has Type 2 and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is prevalent in people who are overweight, and a good percentage of overweight people are diabetic. There's definitely a connection between the two.

My ex also had Type 2 and sleep apnea. I know a number of people in this category. They are all overweight. My ex's doctors and my daughter's told them outright that if they would lose weight most of their health issues (numerous), if not all, would either go away or greatly improve, and I think we all know that this is very true.

I've never read or heard that sleep apnea causes diabetes, but that doesn't mean it doesn't. I do think the excess weight factor is the biggest link, however. It seems the 2 almost always go hand in hand if the patient is overweight.

2009-01-23 23:36:40 -0600 Report

That's not my problem. The two do not always go hand in hand. Although many people think that- just like with Type 2 diabetes. I know people that have sleep apnea and are not overweight and I know people with Type 2 diabetes that are not overweight.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-23 23:41:42 -0600 Report

I said "almost" always go hand in hand. I know they do not always. I just read the entire article on which this discussion is based, and it is very interesting. It states that the physiological occurences stated can lead to diabetes, independent of weight. If you all have not read it, it's very interesting.

2catty 2009-01-23 23:48:48 -0600 Report

Yes I know that is why I stated "true". I was simply stating that because it is a common stereo type of T2. Not everybody is overweight and still have it. I do need to lose a little now however.

2catty 2009-01-24 11:48:30 -0600 Report

well you don't have to get an attitude about. You didn't name a name so I didn't know. Plus Judy is correct, I agree with her. And I wasn't getting an attitude with you so I don't know what is up.

2catty 2009-01-23 23:39:34 -0600 Report

True, but also not all people that has sleep apnea is overweight. Children has it sometimes even at birth. Not all T2 is overweight either. I was 127lbs when I was diagnosed. I am sure I have had sleep apnea as a child. And I was a tiny child. I have T2 because of having children and my mother has it also.

2009-01-23 23:27:28 -0600 Report

I have sleep apnea and Type 2. Here's the kicker.. I've had blood sugar issues all my life (since age 6) either high or low but never stayed one way or the other until my 40's then it went high briefly (long enough to be diagnosed) and now fluctuates between highs of 180 after a heavy meal to lows of 50 during exercise.
The sleep doctors have determined from my medical history that I've probably had Central Sleep Apnea since I was a child which caused me to stop breathing in my sleep. This is a little different than Obstructive Sleep Apnea and I was also told in the last few years that there is a connection between either type of sleep apnea and diabetes.

Hmmm huh?

2catty 2009-01-23 23:20:03 -0600 Report

I have sleep apnea. I just did a 2 night sleep study. I was actually told by the specialist tending to me that there is a link between sleep apnea and diabetes. Makes ya wonder.

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