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June 2007
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August 2007

One-Third of Diabetics Have Sleep Apnea

I am 61. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes last year. I have had high blood pressure for 15 years. I am 90 lbs. over weight. Now my doctor thinks I may have sleep apnea. It appears that I am high risk. I am scheduling a sleep study in the next month or two.

According to an article in Reuters Health Day on July 30,2007 based on an article in the journal, Endocrine Practice, one out of three people with diabetes may also be suffering from sleep apnea.

People with type 2 diabetes who drag themselves through the day may be among the 36 percent of diabetics suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, according to new research.

Sleep apnea occurs when impaired breathing due to collapsed airways triggers multiple nighttime awakenings.

Researchers at The Whittier Institute for Diabetes in La Jolla, Calif., analyzed health data from 279 adults with type 2 diabetes. They found that one out of three diabetics also suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. Men, particularly those over the age of 62, were more than twice as likely as women to experience interrupted sleep.

Previous research has indicated a relationship between obstructive sleep apnea, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, so the connection with type 2 diabetes is not surprising. This is the first study to analyze data from both men and women at a diabetes clinic, the researchers said.

"These findings demonstrate that obstructive sleep apnea has a high prevalence in adults with type 2 diabetes," principal investigator Dr. Daniel Einhorn said in a prepared statement. "Given that treatment of obstructive sleep apnea has the potential to both decrease blood pressure and improve glycemic [blood sugar] control, individuals with type 2 diabetes should be regularly screened for the presence of sleep apnea," he said.

People with sleep apnea suffer from troubling symptoms such as fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, anxiety, apprehensiveness, depression, and may have poor job performance, more traffic accidents, etc.

There is good treatment available so quality of life can be improved.

Link: Medline. Plus: One-Third of Diabetics Have Sleep Apnea.

Morning meditation - Pay attention to what the universe is telling you

There is at times a collision between the conscious and the unconscious. Anxiety fills the body and we know not where to turn for relief. We are agitated and want to walk and yet short of breath and feel like we are jumping out of our skin. What is it? What is the problem?

Our life has taken a wrong turn. We are going down the wrong path and our unconscious mind is letting us know that we need to appraise our life. It is like the flag men deep down within us waving flags and sending alarm bell warnings to slow down, danger ahead, be careful, consider changing course. Something in our life is not right that our conscious mind is not aware of. Consider what is the conflict between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind?

In the spiritual life, we pay attention to this "existential anxiety", to these uncomfortable "dark nights of the soul." We find people to discuss it with and we consider changing course which means to stop doing some of the things we are doing in our life, and to consider a new course. We have expressions like "barking up the wrong tree", "up the creek without a paddle", "jumping ship", "if you can't stand the heat in the kitchen, get out". The Holy Spirit will not tell us what to do, but will tell us what not to do. Pay attention to what the universe is telling you.

Morning meditation - We can make our own beds

Virtue is not a one time event but the product of habit over a period of time. Virtue is something we develop not something we just do. Likewise, evil and sin are not one time events, but rather something that develops over a period of time until it clouds our spirit and colors our functioning in ways that deaden our being. Violence, addiction, promiscuity, sloth, greed, and indulgence slowly sink the human spirit into darkness just as love, temperance, discipline, industry, generosity, and moderation brings it into light.

In the spiritual life, we pursue light not darkness daily. If we go off the path into darkness we pull ourselves back on the right path with effort and help from others. Virtue does not require praise because it is its own reward. Sin and evil do not require condemnation because the suffering of their consequence alone is enough punishment for any person. As the slogan says, "You make your bed, and you lie in it." While the circumstances of life and what we are taught heavily influence our life trajectories, it is the development of awareness that allows us to overcome ignorance and create a life of happiness, health, and virtue. While life gives us many beds, with awarenes and effort, we can create a bed in which we can comfortably and happily lie.

Morning Meditation - It is in chopping wood and carrying water that enlightenment resides

Life is a series of daily activities which provide rhythm and routine to our lives. If we depart from those routines and rhythms we are thrust awake, self conscious, and we become more aware.

Some activities are more superficial which we do with less thought: brush our teeth, comb our hair, take out the dog, wash our dishes while some require more thought and planning like what to make for dinner, how to spend a Sunday afternoon, purchasing new things like clothes or a car or visiting a friend in a funeral home whose relative has died.

We could see our daily activities as an archer’s target going from the more thoughtless and routine tasks in the outer circle to the more significant and consequential at the center, the bulls eye. Supposing we lived more of our life in the bull’s eye? Would this be a good thing? We constantly had a heightened sense of importance and consequence for the things we do, the things we engage in?

In the spiritual life, we are aware of the sense of significance of the things we do. We realize that they all are holy. We are present in the now and do even routine things with thoughtfulness and grace. As the Buddhists say, “Chop wood, carry water” because in it is in the daily routine tasks that enlightenment resides.

Quote of the day

"One reason that so many people today say, 'I believe in spirituality, but not in religion,' is that the products of the human spirit, the various religious traditions, can so easily become warring sects if not brought within a wider more reasoned perspective."

John Buehrens, A Chosen Faith, p. 175

Morning meditation - The spirituality of imperfection begins with asking for help

One of the important factors in contributing to a healthy spirituality is the recognition that as human beings we are all imperfect and in need of help. In Alcoholics Anonymous it is called "surrender". Surrendering to a higher power, whatever we conceive that higher power to be, is the beginning of movement to a healthy spirituality.

This surrender, this request for help, is paradoxical, because many people resist it insisting that they can manage by themselves. There is a denial of our dependence and interdependence on others. People in denial can be egotisitical, distrustful and defensive, afraid of being vulnerable to the care of others. It is in recognizing our imperfection that we are strengthened. It is in recognizing our imperfection that we become more honest and truthful. It is in recognizing our imperfection that we become more grateful, compassionate, and loving towards others. In is indeed a paradoxical observation that we realize our strength comes from knowing our weakness, our honesty comes from knowing our shame, and our gratefulness, compassion, and love comes from knowing the help we have received from others. It may seem odd to suggest that one of the most important spiritual practices is asking for and accepting help.

Quote of the day

"The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide. It acknowledges that it is not equal to the whole truth, that it legislates and tyrannizes over a village of God's empire, but it is not the unniversal immutable law. Every influx of atheism, of skepticism, is thus made useful as a mercury pill assaulting and removing a diseased religion, and making way for truth."

Ralph Waldo Emerson