Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is sleep apnea a correctable cause of Pre-diabetes and hypertension ?

The common symptoms of  obstructive sleep apnea ( collapse of the upper airway during sleep resulting in decrease airflow and drops in blood oxygen levels (hypoxia) include ) ;

Snoring, daytime sleepiness , sleepiness driving a car , fatigue and is often associated with obesity and a narrowed upper airway. Your doctor may become suspicious of obstructive sleep apnea after listening to your symptoms and examining your neck and throat. Referral to a sleep specialist and/or having a home sleep apnea screening test done will help confirm the diagnosis. Consultation with a sleep specialist is recommended to help rule out the less common form of this disease , Central Sleep Apnea.

What about those subtle metabolic effects  associated hypoxia and intermittent  upper airy obstruction .

#1. increased insulin resistance
                (May correct within 2 days to 3 months depending on a persons weight with CPAP)
#2. prediabetes
#3. mild high blood pressure
#4. Vasovagal syncope ( occurrence  of "fainting "peaks at age 20  and 70 )
#5. probable link to cardiovascular disease and obesity


The diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is often delayed for years due to the vague non specific symptoms.  
Check in tomorrow for more details on the metabolic effects of sleep apnea and a review of a typical case.


Have fun Be Smart and diagnose a treatable  potential reversible  cause for Pre-Diabetes , mild high blood pressure and vasovagal syncope.


David Calder,MD

1 comment:

Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD