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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:44 AM   #1
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Waking up in morning with shortness in breath

Does anyone else suffer with this? It only happens occasionally. What can i do to help it?

 
Old 04-16-2007, 05:13 AM   #2
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Re: Waking up in morning with shortness in breath

OH YES
Except I have this everyday. I can't seem to find relief, I
m going on 7 months...it's terrible!

 
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:29 AM   #3
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Re: Waking up in morning with shortness in breath

Some nights I wake up 7 or 8 nights not being able to breath. But then last night I only woke up once. Raising the bed and sleeping on the left side really helps but it's tough to force yourself to sleep only on left side.

 
Old 04-16-2007, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: Waking up in morning with shortness in breath

It may be a result of a sleeping disorder. If you gasp or stop breathing for periods of time when you sleep, your oxygen level in the blood drops and your body jump starts to get you breathing again. This is a very common problem but should be treated because in addition to aggravating acid reflux, high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, it can be life threatening. Treatment is often med and surgery free.

Most doctors do not diagnose this, altho the specialists (especially the heart specialists) do. I did my research on the internet and asked my gp for a referral. It was the best thing I've ever done for my health.

Bsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 04-16-2007 at 06:36 AM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 04-16-2007, 11:12 AM   #5
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Re: Waking up in morning with shortness in breath

Hi Bethsheba, I went to another who (like the previous one) said I don't have sleep apnea. He said the acid is coming up at night and closing my vocal chords (or something in my throat) which is causing my not being able to breath feeling. As my tongue feels like it's burnt when this happens I would have to agree with him that it's acid. I tried to push for a sleep test but was told I didn't need it.

 
Old 04-17-2007, 02:07 AM   #6
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Re: Waking up in morning with shortness in breath

Quote:
Originally Posted by neddyflanders;2***113
Hi Bethsheba, I went to another who (like the previous one) said I don't have sleep apnea. He said the acid is coming up at night and closing my vocal chords (or something in my throat) which is causing my not being able to breath feeling. As my tongue feels like it's burnt when this happens I would have to agree with him that it's acid. I tried to push for a sleep test but was told I didn't need it.
Hello Neddy,

So sorry your doctors are not taking your concerns seriously. It sounds like they are not keeping up with their education/reading. Studies that have been done within the last 4 years have revealed that cpap treatment is effective for nocturnal acid reflux. To repeat myself for those unfamiliar with cpap, it is a treatment in which ordinary room air is forced through your nose (sometimes mouth if you are a mouth breather) when you sleep. It is "hypothesized" that the air keeps pressure on the thorax at night which in turn keeps the acid where it's supposed to be and not in your throat. I'm not sure why it seems to help in the daytime, too, but it does, at least for me. After 3 years I'd forgotten about those nights when I woke up and ran to the sink to vomit the acid...but your situation brings those memories back. I feel for your suffering.

If you don't mind my asking, what "kind" of doctors did you see? Were they general practioners? Gastro guys? Did you ask them where and when they received their credentials from the American Board of Sleep Medicine? And what kind of questions/tests did they give you to determine you didn't have sleep apnea? And what did you tell them when they asked you why you thought you had apnea? As I mentioned in my previous posts, I had to fill in an eight to ten page questionaire for my sleep doctor before he ordered a sleep test. The questionaire told him that it was LIKELY I had sleep apnea, but the only way to confirm it was by doing an overnight sleep study!

Oh, I have heard of some people buying/renting a sound activated tape recorder and recording their breathing at night to document breathing cessation. Do you have a spouse who has observed your nocturnal experiences? Have you tried keeping a diary? All of these things help when presenting your "case" to the gatekeepers?

Oh, you might want to check your insurance policy to see what your sleep medicine coverage is. It may be that you do not need to get a referral but check with them first. If you can't find the info, you could call your insurance company and ask them about what they cover, what they don't, and if you need a referral. I

All of your suffering is so senseless when there's treatment...it may be you don't have apnea and treatment may not work for you...but from what you've told me thus far, your doctors aren't jumping through the right hoops and your body is paying the price ----and your doctors are getting richer.

Bsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 04-17-2007 at 05:14 AM. Reason: typo

 
Old 04-17-2007, 06:43 AM   #7
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Re: Waking up in morning with shortness in breath

I went to a Gastro and an ENT. I had a tube stuck down my throat with a light on it (went in through the nose). They asked questions about snoring (I have none). They both said I don't fit the type (skinny, no snoring) and also said the burning tongue kind of proves it's acid causing the breathing problems. I was never given a questionairre to fill out. I may try to go to my general doctor and see if he can order a sleep study since the others seem to be against that. At least it would rule it out. I'll have to check with insurance though, I read it can cost around 3 grand, I don't have that. I wonder if theirs anyway or anything I can do on my own to prove it one way or another? Any kind of treatment at the drugstore?

 
Old 04-17-2007, 12:45 PM   #8
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Re: Waking up in morning with shortness in breath

Quote:
Originally Posted by neddyflanders View Post
I went to a Gastro and an ENT. I had a tube stuck down my throat with a light on it (went in through the nose). They asked questions about snoring (I have none). They both said I don't fit the type (skinny, no snoring) and also said the burning tongue kind of proves it's acid causing the breathing problems.
Neddy, that ENT isn't versed on apnea...how frustrating!!! I consider that malpractice coming from an ENT. Those ENTs should know that only about 1/2of the patients with apnea snore (I don't). And you don't have to be overweight to have apnea (I am but I believe it is because I wasn't diagnosed when I was a skinny child). FYI, although my pulmonologist visually examined my throat and mouth, I never had a tube stuck down my throat!

Quote:
I was never given a questionairre to fill out. I may try to go to my general doctor and see if he can order a sleep study since the others seem to be against that.
It might be a good idea to see a gp as there's an effort underway to educate the gps on sleeping disorders. You might call ahead and ask if the gp has ever made referrals to a sleep clinic to see if they're somewhat versed in sleep medicine. Or you might want to contact your insurance company to see if they might recommend a gp who is versed in sleep medicine and who has made referrals in the past.

Might I recommend that you do some "homework" and look for the tests and quizzes that help identify sleep disorders? There are tons of them on line and for the most part, they were the same questions that I answered on the questionaire at my doctor's office. I wish I could tell you where to look but this board won't allow it. There is an Epworth sleep scale that is the "standard" test, a little 5 question test and you can find that on line but please don't rely on that alone--do the other tests as well. You could also tape record your breathing...and if someone could stay overnight with you, perhaps they could give you some feedback. And last but not least, keep a sleep diary for about two weeks. It helps to keep a notebook by your bed to write down when you go to sleep, how often you get up, how many times to the bathroom, etc. Then when you go in to see the gp, tell him/her: I think I may have a sleep disorder and here's why...but make sure you focus on the sleep problems because the gp might not understand or "get" the acid connection--let your sleep doctor deal with the acid thing as he's the "expert" in the sleep/acid correlation.

Quote:
I'll have to check with insurance though, I read it can cost around 3 grand, I don't have that. I wonder if theirs anyway or anything I can do on my own to prove it one way or another? Any kind of treatment at the drugstore?
Yes, it is expensive BUT you may not need to have a study done to rule it out. Like I said, I had to fill out a questionare and see the doc before he even considered a study. Not everyone needs a sleep study nor does everyone have one done. That's for a board certified sleep specialist to decide---not a gp, not a ENT, not a whatever, UNLESS they have a background in sleep medicine. I would also add that sleep apnea goes hand in hand with acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease and believe me, treating the apnea is far more cost efficient than treating the other conditons, some of which are life threatening! As far as I know there isn't any kind of treatment at the drugstore. And unfortunately, cpaps need rx's even though they just blow "ordinary" air--I suppose the pressure would be the concern.

Neddy, I am sorry to have repeated myself as you know much of this already. I did so for others who may benefit from the info.

I hope you'll get the help you need...if there's anything I can help with please let me know. I'm so very frustrated and angry that you're not getting the quality medical care you deserve despite your tenacity.

Take care and keep in touch.

Bsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 05-14-2007 at 04:03 AM. Reason: quotes

 
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