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From New Orleans, Louisiana, USA:

I am 35, have Type 1 diabetes (diagnosed two years ago) and have been using an insulin pump for just over a year. Six months ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and I am now using a CPAP machine. Since I began using the machine, my energy level is way up, I have not had a cold or flu, and my blood sugars have been extremely consistent (5.7 HgA1c).

I'm wondering about the relationship of sleep apnea to diabetes and, specifically, whether the effect of lack of sleep on the immune system could be a contributing factor in the onset of diabetes and how lack of sleep affects blood sugar levels in general.


Sleep apnea is indeed a recognised complication of a number of endocrine conditions including Type 1 diabetes. It is thought to be due to an autonomic neuropathy which is again one of the long term complications of diabetes.

There is a significant medical literature on the subject and you could look into this at home using PubMed and searching under 'sleep apnea and diabetes'. Or if you could get to a medical library you could get one of the librarians to help you search MEDLINE and you would probably be able to look at a helpful review article called 'Sleep apnea in endocrine diseases' by Rosanow.F., et al. in the Journal of Sleep Research Vol 7, page 3, 1998.


Original posting 20 Sep 1999
Posted to Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:06
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