Obstructive Sleep Apnea Link to Diabetes, With Dr. Stuart Rich, Dentist with Sleep Solutions Northwest in Auburn, Washington
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a diabetic condition as far as your body is concerned, says Dr. Stuart Rich. The chronic oxygen deprivation is causing some of the problems that mimic insulin resistance, he says.
If your blood sugar control is poor, your kidneys respond by trying to remove that excess sugar into your urine. People with untreated sleep apnea find themselves getting up to go to the bathroom multiple times a night, resulting in fragmented sleep, in addition to the already fragmented sleep from the sleep apnea, compounding the effect.
When Dr. Rich started studying sleep apnea in his practice, Sleep Solutions Northwest, in Auburn, Washington, a physician explained to him how your body reacts during a sleep apnea event. He says that with sleep apnea, your body is reacting the same was as if someone was choking you multiple times a night, increasing one's heart rate and blood pressure and causing the body to go into "flight or fight" mode. If that's happening all night long, your body is releasing a ton of adrenaline, which your body has to metabolize and in turn, turns it into sugar, says Dr. Rich.
Dr. Stuart Rich is a dentist with Sleep Solutions Northwest in Auburn, Washington. He is a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, providing online, on-demand, sleep disorder breathing video content.