October 2018

The Link between Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes

Snoring Aids

Dangerous Sleeping Disorders

Individuals who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes should realize the fact that they are a greater risk of developing a dangerous sleeping disorder, known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which people experience regular pauses in their breathing patterns when they are asleep. In most cases, the breathing of sleep apnea patients gets disrupted for around a minute, but it can be more than one minute in some cases.

A recent study conducted by sleep analysts and experts in the field of medical science revealed that people who with Type 2 diabetes have a greater chance of developing sleep apnea at some point in their lives. The Director of the Diabetes Translational Research Center at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and the President of healthcare and education at the American Diabetes Association, David Marrero, Ph.D., shared a few valuable points on the connection between Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea.

He said that people who have fallen prey to sleep apnea should understand that the sleeping disorder would not just worsen diabetes, but also lead to many other serious health conditions such as cardiac problems, high blood pressure, and even stroke. Dr. Marrero said, “Untreated sleep apnea is associated with increases in glucose and poor quality of life stemming from chronic fatigue. It’s also associated with cardiovascular disease, which is why it’s so important for people to get their sleep apnea diagnosed and treated.”

Another interesting thing to note is that Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea often coexist in some people due to shared risk factors including obesity. As per the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the level of glucose control in untreated sleep apnea patients will be poor. So, if you or your partner is suffering from sleep apnea, get in touch with a healthcare provider to get proper medical assistance as soon as possible.

The Risks of Sleep Apnea

As mentioned, sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing when you are asleep. These breathing pauses or episodes, which are called as apneas, might wake up the person, as he/she is gasping for breath. This will lead to chronic tiredness and poor sleep, which will gradually affect your performance at school or office. Moreover, you will fall sleepy throughout the day, which increases the chances of accidents.

OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. The airways of individuals who are suffering from OSA will be very weak and will collapse during sleep to block free flow of air. Some of the commonly reported symptoms of OSA are loud snoring, morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, mood changes, and reduced libido.

Stop Snoring

Snoring Related Issues

A recent survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation identified that more than 18 million people in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. The survey also pointed out the fact that thousands of such cases go undiagnosed, as people are not seeking help for their sleeping disorders. According to Dr. Marrero, this is because “many people aren’t aware that they’re struggling to breathe at night. Unless you recognize your symptoms, you can go for years without knowing you have it.”

The Link between Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes

Dr. Marrero said that the culprit behind sleep apnea and how it links to Type 2 diabetes actually has a lot to do with obesity. Several people who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, obese, and they usually have large deposits of visceral fat in their body. This extra weight forces the tissues in the throat and neck of such patients to fall during sleep, which in turn blocks the airway.

As per Dr. Marrero, sleep apnea may also considerably increase the blood sugar level in patients due to the stress associated with abrupt awakenings when they are asleep and chronic sleep deprivation. He said, “When you get stressed, your body releases stress hormones that can do things like release stored glucose into your liver.” He also stated that the rise in blood sugar levels of patients might also lead to insulin resistance.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Another study conducted by expert healthcare providers revealed that sleep apnea episodes, which happen during the REM or rapid eye movement, had relatively more detrimental effects on the long-term blood sugar control of patients. However, the good news is that studies have also found that wearing an anti-snoring mouthpiece for approximately 8 hours will considerably reduce the chances of diabetes and it will improve the blood sugar levels in your body.

If your snoring or sleep apnea related issues are not that severe, then making a few lifestyle changes and avoiding alcohol at least a few hours before going to sleep will help you to reduce or stop snoring. However, it is best to seek the help of an experienced healthcare provider to find out the right treatment plan for you.

The Distinctions between an Oral Appliance and Snore Guard Therapy

Snore Guard

Snore Guard Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is one of the non-invasive ways to treat mild to moderate cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the sleep disorder characterized by loud snoring. Usually, Continuous Positive Airway Therapy (CPAP) is used to treat severe cases of OSA. However, not everybody can tolerate CPAP or may not be comfortable putting on CPAP masks and/or listening to machine sounds. Besides, when its mask leaks air, it leaves the patient with a dry mouth, so some apnea patients tend to quit the therapy due to that too.

Oral appliances, although used to treat mild to moderate apnea, can also be used in combination with CPAP in order to treat severe cases of the sleep disorder. Commonly, such kind of medical approach is called a combination therapy.

Oral appliances in the market may resemble anti-snore devices, but it is important to keep in mind that oral appliance therapy differs to snore guard therapy when it comes to treating sleep-disordered breathing conditions like snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and OSA.

Both a snore guard and a dental appliance work on a similar principle though, that is, to advance the mandible or lower jaw to create more breathing space in the airway. This is what brings a better flow of air during sleep. Another type of oral appliance retains people’s tongue via a suction device worn at the mouth’s front, but it is rarely prescribed.

A snore guard is usually used to treat the breathing disorders in sleep such as snoring. Note that not all anti-snore guards in the market are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but some are. In fact, the FDA-approved ones can be very effective when it comes to alleviating snoring and putting an end to its side effects.

A dentist, who is trained in sleep medicine, will have access to the best snore guards. They use it as a therapeutic approach to treat snoring. Similarly, when discussing an oral appliance’s use with a sleep specialist, you can be sure that they will prescribe FDA-approved stop snoring devices. As for those over-the-counter oral appliances that do not come with the federal agency’s approval, they get withdrawn from the market sooner or later. This is because such dental devices fail to provide the proper therapy that sleep apnea patients need.

Both snore guards and oral appliances are usually made up of sturdy and hygienic raw materials, which are safe for use in people’s oral cavity. Since snorers and apnea patients tend to grind their teeth and clench jaws, an anti-snoring device is subject to wear and tear. Therefore, it is important to invest in durable devices.

A snore guard is typically easier to make, with fewer moving components. Some devices are prefabricated ones and may not provide a custom-fit. If a device is clinically approved and is customizable, it is relatively safe to use it to treat snoring. Still, it may not be built durable enough to maintain greater jaw advancement, which can be required to treat apnea.

Stop Snoring

Snoring Related Issues

An oral appliance is usually more durable than an anti-snore guard is. It is typically built to advance one’s jawbone with a hinge mechanism, offering support. It often uses a mechanism to titrate or adjust the jaw advancement level to make sure the ideal fit for the user and effective treatment. Such kinds of mechanism can be an adjusting key or a latex band to hold the appliance in place. This adjustability makes it possible to even test an oral appliance’s effectiveness in a sleep center’s laboratory or a controlled environment to prove the respective therapy is working.

Snore guards do not necessitate several moving parts, so they are not as complicated to make as oral appliances. A close observation in a sleep center by dentists with sleep medicine expertise or sleep specialists may be required if you are using an oral appliance, but not so if you are using the over-the-counter device to treat apnea. Due to that, it is more affordable to buy the anti-snore guard as opposed to a dental or tongue retaining appliance prescribed to treat it.

Nowadays, insurance companies are realizing the advantages of an oral appliance to curb the sleep disorder, irrespective of its severity. They wisely offer medical plans with reimbursements in order to cover oral appliances as a first-line approach to treat sleep apnea. So such insurance plans will often cover frequent medical visits to fit a device, maintain it, and test it for therapeutic effectiveness.

Positive results for treatments are now the most important aspect for doctors, patients, and insurance payers. Treating apnea in a patient-centered environment is also no different. In case an apnea patient cannot keep on with the commonly prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Therapy, the oral appliance therapy option could be the one to treat the condition. Yet again, it is important to ensure patients work with medical professionals to get the right diagnosis and FDA-approved devices for their particular health concerns.

The Vicious Cycle of Obesity and Snoring

Chin Strap For Snoring

Snoring Related Issues

Prof. Peter Cistulli, who is one of the most renowned sleep experts in the world, recently stated in an interview that more and more individuals are falling prey to sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea. He believes that the sudden increase in the rate of these sleeping disorders is due to the global obesity epidemic.

Of course, obesity is one of the most severe health issues in the country today and the percentage of obese people in the country has considerably increased in the recent years. Another important thing to note is that people who are obese might develop heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and other health disorders, and not just snoring and sleep apnea.

The Risk Associated with Sleeping Disorders

Prof. Cistulli said that one out of every five couples all over the world is forced to sleep apart due to the irritating and disturbing snoring sound made by either of the partners. If your bedmate is a loud or regular snorer, then you will surely find it extremely hard to enjoy a good night’s sleep. This will surely affect your work productivity because you will feel sleepy during the daytime.

The good news is that you will be able to avoid such hassles and issues by asking your partner to seek medical assistance from an expert sleep analyst or health care provider. If your partner is obese, then the health care provider will probably ask him/her to reduce weight by engaging in activities such as running and jogging.

On the other hand, if your partner is not obese, then he/she will be advised to make a few lifestyle changes and cut down dairy products from the diet. The health care provider might even ask them to stop smoking and to avoid drinking alcohol at least a few hours before going to the bed. If none of these methods work, then your partner will have to use a chin strap for snoring. This will surely help them to reduce or stop snoring.

The Extent of Sleep Disorders

Sleeping disorders like snoring and sleep apnea were once considered as disorders that commonly affect middle-aged men. However, recent studies and surveys conducted by experts in the field of medical science reveal that snoring affects approximately 50 percent of adult men whereas the condition of sleep apnea is found in 25 percent adults.

Another important thing you need to realize is that both sleep apnea and snoring are often linked to chronic health issues such as dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. According to Prof. Cistulli, “In some ways, sleep apnea could be a missing link in our understanding of lots of chronic diseases that were previously unrecognized, or under-recognized – that is feeding into the development of these diseases.”

How Does Being Obese Make you Snore

Sleep Apnea

Anti Snoring Remedies

It is significant to realize the fact that the excess fat in the body of obese or overweight people does not just accumulate on their thighs or tummy. The excess fat in our body can get accumulated around the neck, jawline, and even on the face. The presence of excess fat around the neck will constrict the upper airway passages, especially when you are lying down, which in turn blocks the normal breathing cycle, and increases the risk of snoring.

In addition to that, the excess fat in your chest and middle areas of your body will put extra weight on the throat and lungs when you are lying down. This will also obstruct the airway passages and trigger the irritating and disturbing snoring sound when you are sleeping. However, if obesity is the major culprit behind your snoring issues, then you will be easily able to solve the issue by shedding a few pounds.

Snoring Remedies for Obese People

You might have probably heard about special weight loss diets and exercises to reduce weight from your family members, partner, or friends. You might probably find it very confusing and hard to figure out a diet that suits you. If that is the case, then simply follow the below regime.

  • Switch to a low carbohydrate diet
  • Eat dinner at least a couple of hours before going to bed
  • Avoid big meals and try to eat little

There are plenty of snoring remedies out there but it is best to consult with your health care provider before adopting any such technique. The medical expert will give you a clear idea on what snoring remedies are right for you and what actually works.

In most cases, regular and loud snorers are advised to wear anti snoring mouthpieces. These medically proven devices will bring your jaw forward while you are asleep, which will in turn prevent your tongue from falling back and causing obstruction in the airways. However, obese individuals are always advised to reduce weight for better results.