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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #1
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Acid Reflux? Sleep Apnea?

Hi everyone, I'm not sure if I should be posting this in a sleep disorder forum or an acid reflux forum or perhaps a totally different forum, as the problem is quite complicated.

My boyfriend has been having poor sleep quality almost everyday for the past 2 years. He has no trouble falling asleep but wakes up feeling unrested and is tired the entire day. Sometimes he would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air. Even if he slept 10 hours the previous night, he is very sleepy by 10 pm. Being a guy, he didn't go to the doctor about this problem and tried to fix it himself by sleeping in different positions. Everytime he'd try something new, he would feel a little more rested the next day, but nothing worked in the long run.

He thought that it was sleep apnea at first, so he did some research and tried everything he could. Finally, he went to the doctor and took home a sleep study mask that would measure his breathing while he slept. The results were that nothing major was going on. We were both shocked. The results were not bad enough for the insurance to cover a CPAP machine!

I tried to put together more information to figure out what's causing this and suggested that it might be acid reflux. He had also said that he felt a lump in his throat whenever he swallowed. He went to an ENT doctor and he stuck a camera down his throat and said that there's a little redness and prescribed Omeprazole. After taking it for a week or so, the lump went away. Ever since he was little, his dad forced him to wolf down his food and would hit him if he ate too slowly. I suggested him to eat slowly and in smaller portions and with a healthier diet. He also bought a wedge to sleep on. All this improved his sleep quality from a 5 to a 9 most nights. However, he still felt tired the entire day, especially at night, and he is still waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air. He doesn't feel any acid coming up when he is awoken though, so I'm not sure why he's gasping for air.

Another thing to note is that he used to gag every morning after he woke up and felt very anxious, but this has stopped for the past couple months. I'm not sure if this has to do with his change in eating habits.

I'm still stumped as to why his sleeping isn't back to normal. And I'm also suspecting the take-home sleep study wasn't very accurate. Does anyone have any ideas as to what's going on?

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:52 AM   #2
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Re: Acid Reflux? Sleep Apnea?

I would suggest he go do an in-house sleep study. And tell his physician all of his symptoms..may need a consult with a gastroenterologist..

 
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:54 PM   #3
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Re: Acid Reflux? Sleep Apnea?

The omeoprazole has diminished the acid in his stomach, the inflammation of the esophagus and that is probably why he feels better. It is possible that the acid was coming up the esophagus than going into his lungs and causing damage. If this happened, his lungs are taking in less oxygen. Because the acid was getting as far as the throat, it may be possible. It will take time for the lungs to heal. The wedge pillow and the omeoprazole are a good start to resolve the problem. Has he tried sleeping pills so that he can get a deep sleep? Has he modified his eating habits so that his last meal is at least 3 to 4 hours before going to sleep? this will allow the stomach to empty before he goes to bed and his stomach will not be producing acid. He may also want to try a foam anti-acid before going to bed such as Gaviscon. It will create a foam barrier so that any acid coming up at night will be neutralized by the foam barrier.

 
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