CPAP has reversed the effects of diabetes in some of Dr. Park's diabetic patients, I learned tonight on the conference call he held with Dr. Mack Jones. I knew of the connection between sleep apnea and diabetes, but had no idea that when sleep apnea is properly treated in patients with diabetes, it can actually "cure" the patient's diabetes.
We'll have to wait for Dr. Park to chime in on the specific circumstances of the patients he's observed this happen with, but essentially, Sleep Apnea causes intermittent shortages of oxygen in the body and fragmentation of sleep, which in turn causes physiologic stress which then wreaks havok on glucose metabolism and the development of insulin resistance. This article on sleep apnea and diabetes contains more information on the connection.
Were the sleep apnea patients overweight and lost any weight in conjunction to using the cpap? I could see the connection there.
In what ways do just cpap usage help control diabetes?
Although I have seen diabetics get better to the point of not having to take medications, in most cases, treating OSA typically improves a patient's blood sugar levels but usually doesn't "cure" them. The more severe the diabetes, the less likely the effect. If you're pre-diabetic, then the effects of OSA treatment can be more dramatic.