CPAP Treatment for Sleep Apnoea Improves Glucose Levels in Prediabetes

glucometerSleep apnoea is a condition which is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. Shallow breaths or distressed breathing causes a number of problems in the body such as drowsiness during the day, altered body function and induced stress symptoms. Prediabetes is a condition characterized by higher than normal blood glucose but not high enough to cause diabetes.

Sleep apnoea is linked to abnormalities in glucose metabolism. Obstructive sleep apnoea may cause stress induced symptoms associated with production of hormones which may cause high blood glucose levels. Disordered breathing in sleep apnoea causes glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases which are conditions associated with prediabetes.

A new study indicates that treatment of sleep apnoea in patients with prediabetes improves blood glucose levels. This small study was done with a group of 39 adults who were diagnosed with both sleep apnoea and prediabetes. The study group was subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test to measure the ability of the body to metabolize glucose.

Subsequent to the glucose test, the group of 39 was placed into two groups. One group was placed under Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment while the second group was given a placebo tablet over the two week period. The group put on CPAP treatment was also made to sleep in the research facility to ensure 100% compliance to the treatment. CPAP treatment requires a sleep apnoea patient to wear a mask over the nose and mouth. This mask is connected to a tube that is attached to a machine that provides air pressure to keep the airways open.

Over the two week period, diabetes markers were measured to check on the condition and health status of the patients. These markers include insulin production, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance which are monitored alongside other body parameters such as heart rate, weight, blood pressure, hormone levels and energy utilization. Sleep quality and quantity was also monitored for the study group.

The research team lead by Sushmita Pamidi, MD, of the Department of Medicine at McGill University in Canada conducted the study. The team found that treatment of sleep apnoea with CPAP over a period of two weeks improves blood glucose levels significantly. The improvements are related to insulin sensitivity rather than insulin secretion since insulin secretion remains unaffected.

Low insulin sensitivity is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. CPAP treatment for sleep apnoea has an important health outcome especially in glucose metabolism. Further research and study can be done to determine if CPAP can be used as a first line intervention for Type 2 diabetes or even to prevent the development of diabetes.

Image courtesy of Praisaeng /

Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.