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Old 10-04-2008, 03:21 PM   #1
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Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

Everyone I know has sleep apnea. Even those who had no symptoms but just wanted to have a sleep study done were told they had sleep apnea. I am beginning to question this. My only symptom (which many of them had) was sleepiness in the late afternoon. I am not going to have the study done. None have done well with CPAP or any other devices.
Marg

 
Old 10-05-2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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LALOV929 HB User
Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

Late afternoon sleepiness alone is no basis for diagnosing sleep
apnea but there is a condition, which I have, called hypersomnia
and which is characterized by "excessive daytime sleepiness"
which for many of is so disabling it prevents us from doing a days
work. It can approach narcolepsy in intensity. And often in these
cases it is found to be associated with sleep apnea, causing too
many doctors to think sleep apnea is to blame for daytime sleepiness.
Just another case of doctors trying to find the easy way out of
making a thorough diagnosis.

 
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:59 PM   #3
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Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

Lalov,

How is a diagnosis of hypersomnia made? Through a sleep study? And what is the treatment?

Bethsheba

 
Old 10-06-2008, 07:01 PM   #4
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Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

LOL
I also often wonder how legit this all is.
But I have had sleep studies done and have severe sleep apnea.
I had 72.6 apnes every hour during a sleep study for one entire evening.
On the cpap it reduced to 5.7.
So who knows? I don't feel any better on the cpap than off.
But I only have three weeks on it so far?
I'll keep you posted if you like?

Dan

 
Old 10-06-2008, 08:03 PM   #5
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Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

bethsheba, my diagnosis took a round-a-bout route which I'll
describe briefly. For many years I experienced such intense
afternoon sleepiness that I was unable to stay awake if there
was any way to sleep. It was very painful. I don't know if it
is believable to anyone not experiencing this degree of sleepiness
just how painful it can be. Anyway, I lost two very important
jobs decades past. One I chose to quit because I realized I
could not live up to what was expected of me alertness-wise,
one I lost because of mistakes I made in the afternoon even
after napping a little. Since then I became self employed pretty
much and so was able to collapse as needed.
A year or so ago I mentioned this to my PCP who had me do an
overnight oximeter monitoring. It showed I was below 90 over
65 percent of the time so she got me started on overnight oxygen
supplementation with simple tubing. It was mainly intended at that
time to prevent my hematocrit and hemoglobin from continuing to
rise dangerously. This was my body's way of increasing my level
of sleeptime oxygen. The main point then was to avoid requiring
a phlebotomy to reduce the high Hmt and Hgb getting too high.
The past few months the excessive afternoon sleepiness got me
studying this problem on search engines and I only then realized I
fit all the symptomatic parameters and had been for many years.
When I presented my realizations and research to my PCP she was
not at all surprised but set me up for a sleep study and since I am
endangered driving long distances she prescribed me "Provigil" to
enable me to manage a long drive in a few days. There are many
symptoms unique to 'hypersomnia' and I have all but one of them.
However there is an ideopathic form as well as an apnea associated
form so I am not certain which applies to me. So many complex
ailments these days are described as 'ideopathic' as a semantic
coverup for lack of understanding. There is no hard testing for
diagnosis but my history and my symptoms fit the bill perfectly.
Unfortunately it is said there is no cure only some degree of
symptomatic relief via medication and taking naps. If you'd like
I will let you know how the 'provigil' works out. It is not a
stimulant but it does promote wakefullness or so it says in fine
print.

 
Old 10-07-2008, 01:05 PM   #6
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Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

LALOVE,

I can't thank you enough for your post! Although I believe I have had sleep apnea since I was a child, my sleep problems crippled me about 3 years ago....it has taken about 3 years to figure out that blood pressure medication was the primary culprit, and not the apnea (although I do sleep with cpap).

Since being off bp meds, and since sleeping with cpap, I no longer wake through out the night....but in the afternoon I am hit with a wave of sleepiness that interferes with my ability to function. I can't say it is painful but it prevents me from being productive!! I don't know how long I've experienced this (perhaps since childhood?), but I am aware of it now. I need to return to work but am afraid I will find myself repeating your experience. I, too, am (somewhat) self employed so collapse as needed....however, for many reasons, I need to find additional work.

Thank you, too, for the detailed description of your medical interventions. I am not familiar with some of the terms/procedures/etc. so will take your post and investigate further on my own...but thank you so very much for taking the time to help me understand!

Quote:
...ailments these days are described as 'ideopathic' as a semantic
coverup for lack of understanding.
Yes, I do agree!

If you would, do let me know if the provigil works out. Someday, I hope to travel again, but under the current circumstances with my sleep, it is unlikely.

Take care, LALOV29,

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 10-07-2008 at 01:06 PM.

 
Old 10-07-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

bethsheba,
fellow sufferer afternoon-wise, I am going to list the symptoms of
hypersomnia to see if yours coincide with mine.

1. Constant sleepiness ( I awaken feeling as sleepy as when I went
to bed but never as bad as in the afternoons).
2. Frequent napping (I feel like napping much more often than I
actually allow myself).
3. Lack of concentration (getting worse day by day).
4. Memory loss ( terribly troubling...burn food on the stove, make
several memory lists and then forget to look at them, etc.)
5. irritability (also getting steadily worse, more out of frustration
than anything else).
6. mild depression ( comes and goes but I avoid anti-depressants as
I choose not to compromise my P-450 liver enzyme detox system).
7. long nightime sleeping (often but it rarely helps, gives me a headache
usually).

Those are from a sleep foundation support group. The National Institute
of Neurological Disorders offers more detailed nuances, like:

The naps bring little relief, difficulty waking from a long sleep and may
feel disoriented (That's me). They relate the condition to narcolepsy
or dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. I definitely have
symptoms of central neuropathy or even dysautonomia which may be
the deeper basis for this malady.

And just to add a twist as to narcolepsy: one source describes it as
a dysfunction of a family of peptides (wakefullness promoting and sleep
suppressing) 'orexins'. The orexin neurons are activated by "Provigil"
and are located in the lateral hypothalamic area. Sounds hopeful.

Hope this helps a bit, bethsheba!
L A LOVE

 
Old 10-08-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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love2fishfork HB User
Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

The symptoms you list are also symptoms of Hypothyroid. In my case I had all of those symptoms and after getting my thyroid in check they went away. However in the process of figuring out what was wrong I also did a sleep study and have sleep apnea.

I have been wearing the CPAP for about 3 months and can't stand the thing! I honestly can't say that I feel better with the CPAP. I had around 45 "arousals" per hour, but I question the quality of sleep you can get with all those electrodes attached to you and in a strange environment. With CPAP I did improve slightly, but really question whether I really need it.

 
Old 10-08-2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

LA LOV,

Helps??! I'm going to have to spend the next week researching all of the terms/conditions/chemicals you have mentioned, ! But, yes, it helps and I thank you for the info.

My symptoms are similar to yours with the exceptions of the depression and the long night time sleeping (both disappeared with cpaping).

I used to benefit more from naps than I do now...but I have never been able to cat nap...when I sleep it is for 2-4 hours and I can go to bed that night and sleep like a baby! So much for sleep hygiene, .

I have always been able to fall asleep very quickly (within a minute or two) which can be a sign of sleep deprivation...but Nexis suggested it was also a sign of narcolepsy, so I will need to do some more investigation in that area.

Doing a brief review of the literature, I didn't identify strongly with the symptoms at first glance. But I do know that one doesn't have to have all of the symptoms to have the condition...so I'll continue to review keeping in mind the info you have shared.

Thanks again for getting back with me...I do hope you keep in touch but for the sake of staying with topic, we should start a new thread.

Take care!

Bethsheba

 
Old 10-08-2008, 04:55 PM   #10
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Re: Is sleep apnea the new "fad disease"?

Lovetofish,

Thanks for the heads up on the hypothyroid and yes, I will look into that as it seems that thyroid gland can wreak havoc with the old body.

Forgive me if you've thought of this, but have you had your pressures evaluated to see if the cpap is set correctly? Although it took me a few months to "tweak" my equipment, I felt better almost immediately and I"m only a mild/moderate apnea patient.

Bethsheba

 
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