National Diabetes Month: Type 2 diabetics have high risk for sleep apnoea

November is National Diabetes Month in the USA, and their National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project is advising everyone with Type 2 diabetes to be aware of his or her high risk for obstructive sleep apnoea.

Glucometer with medication and a syringe

 

It is part of the Healthy Sleep Project’s “Stop the Snore” public education campaign. They wish to increase knowledge amongst those people with symptoms of sleep apnoea about their risk for this chronic disease. The key objective is for them to get treatment – quickly.

The latest research shows that seven in 10 people with Type 2 diabetes also suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea, a dangerous condition characterized by episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep. The major warning sign for sleep apnoea is snoring, especially when it is combined with choking, gasping or silent breathing pauses.

Similar results are to be found in the United Kingdom and numbers are increasing.

“People with Type 2 diabetes are much more likely to have obstructive sleep apnoea and should discuss their risk for sleep apnoea with a doctor,” said Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and national spokesperson for the Healthy Sleep Project. “Common symptoms of sleep apnoea include snoring, gasping or choking sounds during sleep, as well as daytime fatigue or sleepiness.”

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 28.9 million Americans aged 20 years or older suffer from diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 per cent of all these diagnosed cases. Further non-diabetic sufferers are thought to total around 25 million but often go undiagnosed.

A University of Chicago study showed that treating sleep apnoea might have as much of an effect in some diabetes patients as prescribed oral diabetes medications. In the study, one week of CPAP treatment lowered average 24-hour glucose levels and improved post-breakfast glucose response in Type 2 diabetics with obstructive sleep apnoea. The ‘dawn phenomenon’, which is an early-morning increase in blood sugar in people who have Type 2 diabetes, also was reduced by 45 per cent as a result of the CPAP therapy.

The major problem is that sufferers object to CPAP for longer periods and find it difficult to continue using it without supervision; they find it uncomfortable and unpleasant to use because of the many side-effects such as extremely dry mouth, or other problems such as claustrophobia.

A key solution to those objecting to CPAP is to use an oral appliance – a simple mouthpiece popped in place at night and this prevents the snoring problem, and prevents apnoeas too, by slightly re-adjusting the position of the lower jaw. It moves the jaw forward and this opens the airway.

These new clinical solutions have been developed with great success. Papworth Hospital is Britain’s leading hospital for dealing with sleep disorders and cardiovascular problems, and is world-renowned for its work. Their recent testing of oral appliances recommends the SleepPro Custom as the leading appliance to use for both snoring, and for cases of mild to moderate sleep apnoea. Not only was it the most efficient in tests, but also it was also the most cost-effective – particularly when compared to a selection of leading specialist bespoke dental solutions.

To mark this recommendation, SleepPro have temporarily halved the price of their bespoke Custom appliance to ensure a purchasing opportunity for as possible of those who snore heavily or suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnoea. This offer is for a limited period and is available by phone or on their website.

John Redfern

About the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project was initiated in 2013 and is funded by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The collaborative project addresses the sleep health focus area of Healthy People 2020, which provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. The sleep health objectives are to increase the medical evaluation of people with symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea, reduce vehicular crashes due to drowsy driving and ensure more Americans get sufficient sleep.