The connection between Sleep Apnea and Diabetes is real and scary. Studies published in the European Respiratory Journal and Journal of Internal Medicine tell us that up to 40% of people with Sleep Apnea will have Diabetes. Other studies show that up to 50% of those with type 2 Diabetes have Sleep Apnea. 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.
I myself have recently been diagnosed with elevated fasting blood glucose levels, also known as pre-diabetes. Fortunately, CPAP can help. According to recent studies, after seven weeks of CPAP therapy, blood glucose levels in diabetic patients fall, on average, 20 mg/dl.
If you haven't done so already, and you have Sleep Apnea, you should get your fasting blood glucose levels checked ASAP to determine whether the unfriendly hand of Diabetes has touched you yet. Screening tests are inexpensive and easy to conduct, and should be part of your routine physical examination.
Stay tuned -- the research on Diabetes and Sleep Apnea is in its infancy and much more will be revealed and understood over time.