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Sleep Apnea Can Lead to Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

Posted by Nirmala N.

According to researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, sleep apnea, a nighttime breathing disorder that disrupts sleep patterns, can result in an increased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure among pregnant women. The decrease in oxygen that occurs in the body at night can heighten the body's "fight or flight" response, which can lead to increased blood pressure. Also, hormones like cortisol are released, which leads to more glucose production and a decreased sensitivity to insulin, which can then lead to diabetes. Pregnancy during the third trimester, when weight gain is the highest, can particularly be taxing and affect sleep apnea. Also, if a mother's oxygen level drops, it can affect the oxygen level of the fetus. Solutions for this include continuous positive airway pressure, which sends air through a mask while the mother is sleeping.
Comments (6)
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I agree, if you have loud snoring at night, fitful sleep, and spend your days feeling groggy, you should ask your doctor if you might be suffering from sleep apnea!
i am over weight, but i cant sleep with out getting up to tolet and at the moment with all the stress im carrying im taking sleeping pills when ive got wrk next day as i cant sleep till after midnight.
i hate having to take sleeping pills, i wrk 2days on 2days off and on my off i sty up very late

I just posted  an article on sleep-breathing problems during pregnancy and pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. (That's not my wife in the picture.)

The descriptions of complications during pregnancy apply equally to males in terms of elevated cortisol, increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, edema, weight gain, as well as, deteriorating cogniton and memory, which is quite alarming to my husband (who has a history of sleep apnea for nearly 20 yrs., not well managed even with breathing appliances). As a nurse, the problem isnot lack of knowledge, but lack of appropriate medical concern and proactive care and attention.
Am trying to locate a medical expert or group practice for my husband (whether intern, pulmonologist, cardiologist) in Maine who will take a holistic approach to treating his chronic sleep apnea/heart health as a combined problem. We live in Augusta, but could go to Lewiston/Auburn or Portland--wherever the best expertise can be found.
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