Monday, August 11, 2014

Link between diabetes and poor sleep

Recent research shows a link between diabetes and person having poor sleep.

In the June 6, 2014, online edition of The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers concluded there appears to be a confirmed link between sleep apnea and the risk of developing diabetes.

The study notes the risk of developing diabetes increases by over 30 percent with the occurrence of severe obstructive sleep apnea. The study analyzed 8,678 adults who were tested for obstructive sleep apnea (median age was 48 years, and 62 percent were male) over a period of seven years, from 1994 to 2011. Nearly 12 percent of the study group developed diabetes during the 67 months of follow-up.
“This study is significant because I believe it represents the first time any research has shown a direct correlation between sleep apnea and diabetes. Of course, it’s a well known fact that sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even depression,” says Shad Morris, DMD, a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, a diplomat of the American Academy of Sleep and Breathing, and CEO of Premier Sleep Solutions LLC. [Morris was not involved in the study.] “Simply stated, the research findings indicate to me that if we can treat sleep apnea in its early stages, we may be able to help many people avoid diabetes,” he adds.
Morris states that the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea has traditionally been in the form of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. “While CPAP machines have been used for years, recent research has shown that in many cases, custom-made oral appliances can be as effective as CPAP in treating sleep apnea. Plus, in my experience, a substantial percentage of patients find CPAP machines to be so cumbersome and uncomfortable that they eventually refuse to use them regularly, and as a result, their overall health suffers.”
According to Morris, dentists with experience in oral appliance therapy are most familiar with the various designs of appliances, and can help determine which is best suited for a patient’s specific needs. A board-certified sleep medicine physician must first provide a diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment approach. Then, a dentist with experience in treating obstructive sleep apnea may provide treatment and follow-up. Follow-up care serves to assess the treatment of the patient’s sleep disorder, the condition of the patient’s appliance and the patient’s physical response to the appliance.
Most insurance companies now cover oral appliance therapy and the oral appliances. Morris notes that Medicare is leading the way relative to standards of care within the industry.
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