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[News] Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics
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Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics
Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics

Researchers urge primary care doctors to screen those with type 2 disease for the disorder

(HealthDay News) -- People with diabetes are at increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea, which appears to boost their craving for carbohydrates, a new study suggests.

Because unrestricted carbohydrates can harm someone with diabetes, the findings point to the need for primary care doctors to screen for obstructive sleep apnea in patients with type 2 diabetes, the study authors said.

The researchers checked 55 people for diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and carbohydrate cravings, and found that more than half of them had diabetes. Eighty-two percent of the diabetic patients had obstructive sleep apnea, and diabetic patients had nearly double the risk of carbohydrate cravings as those without diabetes.

The investigators also found that patients with sleep apnea were nearly twice as likely to have high carbohydrate cravings as patients without the sleep disorder.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat blocks the airway, which causes people to stop breathing while they are sleeping. The condition disrupts sleep and can cause daytime fatigue, and increases the risk of other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

The study was scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston.

The findings offer an indication of the degree that sleep apnea can affect carbohydrate craving in people with diabetes, said study co-investigator Dr. Mahmood Siddique, clinical associate professor of medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J.

"Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation may lead to changes in hormones that regulate appetite and hunger," Siddique said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "These hormonal changes can lead to significant craving for high-calorie carbohydrates such as cookies, candy, breads, rice and potatoes. The current study supports previous findings by validating this in a community sample of diabetics."

People with diabetes have excess blood sugar. Because carbohydrates break down into sugar in the body, they have the greatest impact of all the food groups on blood glucose level. Carbohydrates found in fresh fruit and whole grains are generally safer for patients with diabetes than sugary carbs.

An East Coast expert said doctors should be alert for sleep apnea among their diabetic patients. "Current national guidelines on the management of diabetes need to consider sleep apnea as an independent risk factor more vigorously," study principal investigator Dr. Anthony Cannon said in the news release.

"The management of patients with diabetes and or metabolic syndrome based solely on [drug therapy], exercise and nutritional modifications without taking into account the risk of sleep apnea may not lead to optimal outcomes for patients suffering from these chronic diseases," added Cannon, the American Diabetes Association regional president for central and southern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

Cannon added that sleep apnea is often undiagnosed by primary care physicians. "Public policy can play a key role in the educational awareness of the association between sleep apnea and diabetes among both physicians and patients," he concluded.

While the study uncovered an association between sleep apnea and carb cravings in diabetics, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Data and conclusions of research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

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The above post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material available is intended to advance the understanding of Sleep Apnea treatment and to advance the educational level of Sleep Apnea patients with regard to their health. Sometimes included is the full text of articles and documents rather than a simple link because outside links frequently "go bad" or change over time. This constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this post is distributed without fee or payment of any kind for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this post for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
07-23-2012 08:51 AM
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mjbearit Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics
This is not really a surprise. We all know that as we start nodding off the body tends to want those simple carbs, those "quick fixes" for energy. Simple carbs are the worst things for diabetics. I have just got to figure out where to sign up for those government grants!

As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

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07-23-2012 09:21 AM
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RE: Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics
Yep... a bit off-topic, but I just started on a modified version of the low-carb Atkins diet. Lost 2 lbs the first week and this week seems to be going okay also. The carb cravings were intense the first few days of this diet, but now, I don't seem to crave them after being on the diet for nearly 10 days now.

As a diabetic, my blood sugar needed to be reduced dramatically. This diet seems to be the only one I can stick to for any length of time. Basically I'm eating a lot of meats, cheese, and green vegis during the first phase of the diet. Cut out all sugars and starches completely. Once I get to my desired weight, I'll slowly add-back more fruits and some starches, but still lay off the breads, pasta and potatoes for the most part, otherwise I'll gain it all back.

What kills me on this diet is that if I have to leave the house and eat out or at someone else's house, it's very difficult to order food that meets the Atkins requirements. That makes it tougher and more expensive to stay on this diet.

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07-23-2012 11:05 AM
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RE: Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics
(07-23-2012 11:05 AM)SuperSleeper Wrote:  Yep... a bit off-topic, but I just started on a modified version of the low-carb Atkins diet. Lost 2 lbs the first week and this week seems to be going okay also. The carb cravings were intense the first few days of this diet, but now, I don't seem to crave them after being on the diet for nearly 10 days now.

As a diabetic, my blood sugar needed to be reduced dramatically. This diet seems to be the only one I can stick to for any length of time. Basically I'm eating a lot of meats, cheese, and green vegis during the first phase of the diet. Cut out all sugars and starches completely. Once I get to my desired weight, I'll slowly add-back more fruits and some starches, but still lay off the breads, pasta and potatoes for the most part, otherwise I'll gain it all back.

What kills me on this diet is that if I have to leave the house and eat out or at someone else's house, it's very difficult to order food that meets the Atkins requirements. That makes it tougher and more expensive to stay on this diet.

Treating sleep apnea effectively has made it easier for me to diet.
Atkins works for me, too. I don't find it that hard to adhere to. Just order meat, fish, and ask for double green vegetables in place of potato or rice. That is, skip the starches and the sweets. BTW, even though I am not a diabetic, I recommend not just skipping refined sugar, but also diet sweeteners, fruits, and fruit juices. ANY sweet, for me, stimulates a craving for more sweets rather than satisfy that craving. As long as I don't get started with sweets, I am fine.
07-23-2012 12:47 PM
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Post: #5
RE: Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics
I'm not surprised by this study, either. Prior to being treated for sleep apnea, I often had INTENSE cravings for pasta. I still do because it is a habit (and a long-time comfort food) but it is much less than before.

I don't do well on a low-carb diet. I've tried several times both before and after being diagnosed with diabetes. My issue is the sudden drop about 3-4hrs after a meal. No matter what I eat, I crash. I worked with a registered dietician and changed some of my meals but most importantly, added snacks vs take them away. I am on Actos now and that controlled the drops for a while but now I am on another medication (Baclofen) and I got the drops again. I've also noticed an increase in pasta.

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07-23-2012 01:12 PM
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RE: Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics
(07-23-2012 11:05 AM)SuperSleeper Wrote:  What kills me on this diet is that if I have to leave the house and eat out or at someone else's house, it's very difficult to order food that meets the Atkins requirements.

I can understand. I found not too long ago that all the digestive issues I was having are because I am suddenly lactose intolerant. It is VERY surprising how much stuff contains dairy! I make a lot of stuff myself such as bread, etc and I substitute Almond Milk and I really cannot tell the difference. I did taste the Almond Milk and I will not ever be able to sit down and drink a glass of that like I could milk, but it is a good substitute! Even the Cheese that says it is lactose free.....they lie! I started on some probiotics that now allow me a tiny bit of dairy a couple times a week, but I have to be very careful!

As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

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07-23-2012 01:49 PM
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RE: Sleep Apnea May Spur Carb Cravings in Diabetics
(07-23-2012 08:51 AM)ApneaNews Wrote:  The investigators also found that patients with sleep apnea were nearly twice as likely to have high carbohydrate cravings as patients without the sleep disorder.
They must be all pregnant women, Italians, Chinese or some of each .....Dielaughing
07-23-2012 02:20 PM
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