Untreated Sleep Apnea Raises Blood Sugar And Cardiac Stress: New Study

Even a few days of untreated obstructive sleep apnea can elevate blood pressure, glucose, fat, and cortisol levels, according to a new study.

“This is one of the first studies to show real-time effects of sleep apnea on metabolism during the night,” said researcher Jonathan Jun, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Twenty to 30 percent of adults experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition where the upper airway narrows during sleep, and temporarily inhibits breathing. OSA has been correlated with increased type 2 diabetes and heart disease risk, but whether OSA is a causal factor for these conditions has not been proven.

To determine OSA’s effect on our metabolism, Johns Hopkins investigators took several blood samples over two nights from 31 patients with moderate to severe OSA, and a history of consistent CPAP use. Each patient spent one of the two nights at the research lab wearing a CPAP. The second session occurred after CPAP therapy had been stopped for two nights. The sessions, done in random order, were separated by one to four weeks.

The patients’ overnight blood samples were tested for fatty acids, insulin, glucose, and the stress hormone cortisol. Their heart rates, brain waves, blood oxygen, respirations, leg, and eye movements were monitored as well. The average patient age was 50.8 years, most were overweight or obese, and 25 percent had non-insulin dependent diabetes.

On the night without CPAP use, patients experienced sleep disruption, higher heart rates, and lower blood oxygen. They also had elevated glucose, fatty acids, cortisol, and blood pressure. Glucose levels rose the most in those with diabetes. Additionally, patient arteries showed signs of stiffness after the non-CPAP night.

Although this was not a placebo controlled study, the researchers say their work offers more evidence that sleep apnea directly aggravates obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions. The study also highlights the importance of using CPAP, or alternative therapies to prevent the metabolic, and cardiovascular effects of OSA.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Photo credit: Cafetw

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Treatment of Diabetes Depends on if it Is Type 1 or Type 2

The treatment of Diabetes depends upon which type of Diabetes a person has....

Having elevated blood sugar can damage our body’s nerves over time.

Diabetic neuropathy is the generic term for all...

Modern fitness culture has popularized a wide range of high-intensity activities, from Crossfit and spin-class to marathon running and exercise...

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sadness and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression...

There have been numerous studies that have demonstrated the link between gut health and autoimmune diseases, immune system, mental health, mood,...

More Articles

Nerve damage affects about 50 percent of people with diabetes, according to the American Physiological Society. Numbness, tingling and pain in the...

Diabetes has no known cure, but there are many ways to control the disease and prevent the symptoms from interfering with daily life. One major...

There are a host of complications that come along with diabetes of either type. Among them are increased risks for amputation, cardiovascular...

There is no question that people with diabetes need a diabetes diet plans and...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your blood glucose. For instance, a half cup of raspberries...

Oil pulling therapy derives from Ayurveda, a holistic healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurvedic medicine maintains that...

It’s only been recently that doctors, including endocrinologists, have realized the starring role gut microbes play in our health. The unique...

Well-controlled diabetes may depend on medication, but nutrition is perhaps the most important factor. There are many foods that can be added to...

Sleep apnea — a condition that causes shallow or obstructive breathing patterns — is an unpleasant disorder that often goes hand in hand with...

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, and mucus...

Certain dietary supplements may play a beneficial supporting role in the prevention and management of diabetic neuropathy. Frequently...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose levels and blocked AGE glycation...

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

Diabetes can seem to have an almost limitless list of symptoms. Now headaches are added to the list. The ebb...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...