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By now you have probably already experienced many of the benefits of CPAP therapy such as better sleep patterns, more alertness during the day, improvements in productivity, and decreases in stress levels (1). In addition to the perceivable results, a recent research study by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has concluded that CPAP machines can also positively impact the nighttime glucose levels of type II diabetics (2). How? When one has an apneic event, stress hormones are
released, hormones that are known to increase glucose levels. Utilizing a CPAP machine helps eliminate these episodes, keeping users' glucose levels constant throughout the night and has been theorized to help with heart functions and the lowering of blood pressure (1). Diabetics suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), who used the machines for just one to three months showed dramatic decreases in their glucose levels, all the while keeping everything else (diet and diabetic treatments) the same (3). By keeping glucose levels consistently lower diabetic patients are less at risk for eye complications and even death (3). These advancements indicate a better long-term prognosis for type II diabetic patients suffering from OSA, and demonstrate just a few benefits of CPAP treatment.
Diabetes in Real Life and on Our Forum
Studies featured in medical journals often offer hope and new insight for patients. But how often do you or someone you know experience the same results? In a world of "Results Not Typical", how do we know what really works? After opening up a discussion on our CPAPtalk.com forum about Diabetes and CPAP therapy, it quickly became evident that results vary significantly by user, but that there are still some encouraging stories.
Take Araminta, who was diagnosed with borderline Type II Diabetes in February 2006, and then with moderate Sleep Apnea in October 2008. When the Sleep Apnea began to be treated in January of this year, Araminta felt "a tremendous sense of relief and renewed energy". A few weeks ago when Araminta's numbers were tested, they came back "much improved". It is hard to declare CPAP therapy the sole cause of the results, as Araminta's number aren't tested frequently, but should still be an encouraging tale for CPAP users.
To read more about diabetes and CPAP therapy, or to share your own story, visit our thread.
(1) "Sleep Apnea" - University of Maryland Medical Center, March 2009, University of Maryland, 2008 (source).
(2) "CPAP Improves Sleeping Glucose Levels in Type 2 Diabetics With OSA" - Doctors Guide, 15 Dec 2008, March 2009 (source).
(3) "CPAP Improves Sleeping Glucose Levels In Type 2 Diabetes Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea" - Science Daily. 15 Dec 2008. March 2009 (source).