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Sleep Apnea Treatment Improves Blood Sugar Levels

This post was originally posted on June 13, 2013 and updated on January 27, 2022.

As well informed OSA patients know, the body’s metabolism, venous system, and oxidation are inextricably linked to all of the long-term health risks of the condition. The link between these life-threatening conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes relative to these bodily systems is irrefutable and becoming clearer each day. Now, high blood sugar levels, one of the serious markers for development of diabetes in OSA patients, is revealing that treatment of the condition with CPAP therapy with any of today’s advanced systems like the ResMed S9 CPAP line of machines can help lower those blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar levels are just one of the many conditions associated with metabolic syndrome, which is endemic of OSA patients. Along with excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels, they increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

A new study shows that sleep apnea treatment is linked with better blood sugar levels among people with pre-diabetes. In the study, researchers had 39 people with pre-diabetes and sleep apnea undergo two weeks of either CPAP treatment or a placebo. At the beginning and the end of the study, they tested the participants for how their body’s used glucose via an oral glucose tolerance test. The resulting difference between pre and post- CPAP treatment study participants showed better glucose metabolism after the two-week treatment than the placebo participants.

With more than 28 million Americans with type 2 diabetes and the numbers paralleling the obesity rates higher, the correlation between diabetes, high blood sugar levels, obesity, and OSA have prompted further study of CPAP and glucose metabolism. One of the more recent studies from the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center at the University of Chicago suggests that CPAP therapy also reduces glucose levels in type 2 diabetics with OSA.

These studies also suggest that continued use of optimized and monitored CPAP therapy can decrease blood sugar levels even more dramatically over time in both pre-diabetic and type 2 diabetic OSA patients. With the most technologically advanced CPAP machines such as the S9 series of ResMed CPAP’s, physicians and sleep therapists can better monitor the patient’s apnea events via internal data monitors. This data allows them to make fine adjustments to the system in order to optimize the therapy benefits.

As researchers delve deeper into the human body and conduct larger and more specific research and trials surrounding OSA and CPAP therapy benefits in the short and long term, it will surely result in advances in treatment and therapy technology as well as prevention. What we already know for sure is that the earlier that OSA is diagnosed and treated in a person’s life, the healthier they will be over what can be a longer life.

For additional information on various topics concerning sleep apnea and CPAP products, please refer to our blog.  It gets updates frequently and offers free advice and information.  If you’d like to learn more about the quality sleep apnea products we carry, or if you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (866) 414-9700, or you can contact us through our website.

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.