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Old 06-25-2010, 10:01 AM   #1
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Smile Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

Hello,
I am a 47 year old mother of 2 & over all am in very good health. In years past, I had been diagnosed with Anxiety/Panic/Sleep Apnea/GERD & have a very low scaled Mitral Valve Prolapse (scale 1-10, I am a 1 )
My problems are these & they are not all the time. Sometimes I can go weeks & even months with no symptoms.
First one is trying to go to sleep & keep awakening,gasping for air. Sometimes it will do it once, or twice or on & off for an hour until I fall asleep,then I sleep fine til morning.I had been to the sleep clinic & was told I have sleep apnea & was given the CPAP machine, but CANNOT get used to it. I am somewhat claustrophobic & never can breathe completely through my nostrils due to allergies,so I always want to open my mouth. I rated a 6 with the Apnea & the Dr said that they used to not even give the machine to people who were under a score of 12,& I am not overweight & never smoked.
I do tend to snore out a time or two on occasion but not all night or excessively. What is weird to me is this tends to only happen when it is my time of the month. Not every month, but when it does happen it is at,on or just after that time of the month.
Second Issue is waking with a rapid heartbeat of 120-130 after lying on my right side for a length of time, or when I am woken by an emotional dream (Happy or Angry) Once again, not every night or all the time but often. During the day I get occasional feelings like my throat gets tight for a real quick second & then my heart will take off beating fast. I can always take 2 swigs of liquid Mylanta & in seconds the heart rate is back to normal & I just feel shaken by the upset of the fast heart rate. When this happens I never am feeling heartburn at the time, that's why it bothers me because it seems to come out of nowhere but I have had it happen right after eating a Taco Bell & a Soda & then I bent over & it was like flipping a switch,the throat tightens then the heart rate takes off. I have even had it happen on a empty stomach. When I lie down on my right side, on the couch to watch t.v. it is only a few minutes until I can start to feel like I am getting a little short winded & if I stay in that position I know it will set off my heart rate, so I move & I feel o.k. I have been to the cardiologist a year ago back in January 2009 & had a EKG,& Ultrasound,48 Hour Halter Monitor,Stress test on treadmill & several images taken of my heart. The Dr. said he wished all his patients had a healthy heart like mine. He saw no issues other than the mild MVP & sent me on my way.
So...WHAT exactly am I experiencing, Why & What can I do to stop them?
Been to every Dr & those were my diagnosis but I am curious that if it IS my apnea, doesn't sleep apnea bother people like EVERY night of their life & not just here & there? & Can hormones or stress &/or even GERD have something to do with these symptoms?
Any help is greatly appreciated as it is bothering me, because I get to where I don't want to eat & or go to sleep & that can't be avoided.
Thank You in advance
Roxcie

Last edited by RoxcieLadie; 06-25-2010 at 10:07 AM.

 
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:13 PM   #2
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

The sleep apnea is most iimportant. you need to make sure you wear it every night. I'm not sure about the other problems but a lot of times people with sleep apnea have vivid dreams and wake up drenched in sweat.

 
Old 07-06-2010, 08:26 PM   #3
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

That's what I went through before I got tested and was given my CPAP.

 
Old 07-07-2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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Unhappy Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

Thank you both for taking the time to read & reply.
I want to run pass you or others to let you know what has been going on lately with me.
First off, I lost my mother in December 2009 one week from my birthday. We were very close. I recently had a husband go through depression due to no job. I have a son who suffers from IBS which triggers him with anxiety/panic.
My daughter is 21 & is moving to Fl July 8th, & I am really having a hard time with that. I just moved out of state (6 hours from home) for the first time in my life, so my husband can keep a full time steady job. I left 3 sisters, 1 niece & 2 nephews behind.One of my sisters (who has the 2 boys) is really my best friend, & her boys & my son are real close. I have a step-nephew that moved with us, so he is good company for my son. Myself, well, I am not working at the time because I am trying to settle in, trying to make it feel like home, even though it feels like a vacation, & I am ready to go home, but nothing I want or miss is really there. No Mom, no daughter close by,no job or home.Only the one sister & nephews are the thought that makes me smile & comfortable about returning...Yet if I were to leave here, I would end of in Fl near my daughter first.
Anyways...If you have Sleep Apnea, wouldn't it be something that you would deal with nightly & not something once in a while? I can go weeks, months & not have these spells.When I do have them, it is at period time. I also can try to go to sleep without any help (Zanax) & have these spells SOMETIMES. This past week I went 3 nights without anything & had woke up at 3:00 am all three nights gasping,heart racing, but also having dreams that were either exciting or fearful that woke me. I get up, take some Mylanta & it settles my racing heart down. I get post nasal drippings,& usuall followed by a bowel movement & then I returned to bed & slept restless with waking up every time I am about to fall asleep. Now, the past 3 nights, I have taken a Zanax & have slept through the entire night without gasping,waking & had dreams that normally might have woken me up with heart racing, but didn't.
Do you think this is anxiety alone? or Sleep Apnea triggering Anxiety or Anxiety triggering the Sleep Apnea, because it sure seems weird that I can go a long time with no episodes & then when I do get them I am either on my period or stressed...however I can take Zanax & have no symptoms. Sometimes I dont take Zanax & and can be stressed and feel fine too. Hum?
I feel like I am going nuts, but I sure do feel fine when I am on Zanax. The only other wierd thing I still get is that feeling like a fish flopped in my stomach,right where you get heartburn, & it will shoot up a feeling through my throat & sometimes face, like I am going down a roller coaster & it only last a second, but it makes me nervous & then my heart races. But again, if I take the Mylanta it settles my heart down & sometimes return to bed & sleep peaceful for 3-4 more hours.
WHAT IS MY PROBLEM(S)?
Thank You!

Last edited by RoxcieLadie; 07-07-2010 at 04:21 PM.

 
Old 07-07-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

I'm very sorry to hear about all of that! It's always tough moving away from everything you know. Sleep apnea could be triggered by stress.....when my ex husband was diagnosed in the air force he claimed basic training triggered it. Not sure if that is true or not but the doctor believed it and gave him a medical discharge. I'm not sure about the stomach issues but it sounds like that part might be triggered by anxiety due to the worrying about the sleeping issues.

Just because you don't wake up in the night gasping doesn't mean you don't stop breathing. Most of the time people with sleep apnea don't wake up when they stop breathing. My ex husband didn't know he had it until I told him he snored very loudly and so on. I convinced him to do a sleep study and sure enough he had it! I hope this helps and I do hope your situation gets better. Get to a doctor!

 
Old 07-08-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

Thank you for your reply as well. I have been to the Dr's & I do have a CPAP machine, but can't get used to it. My husband said he will only once in awhile hear a slight one time snore out of me, but that is about it. I know when I did the sleep study I only woke a time or two & that was because it was a strange place. I had no symptoms (in my opinion) & figured they wouldn't find anything. However when I returned for my results, he did tell me that when I am into my REM is when I get into a little bit of trouble. I did hold my breath at one point they said for 60.6 seconds...but that didn't wake me up gasping for air though.
I asked them if I was going to die & he chuckled and said no, but a machine would sure help me sleep better. I am 5'7 slender,non smoker & really a person who doesn't snore though out the night. My cardiologist told me it sounded to him like GERD & Panic disorder. I believe at this point, it is anxiety. But when I gasp or wake with my heart racing due to some indigestion or whatever, that is what alarms me the most.

 
Old 07-09-2010, 03:58 AM   #7
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

I'm sorry, I think you did tell us that you had been to the doctor I must have spaced it out when I replied! I'm glad you know what is going on with that though. It is strange that you wake up at night and have a panic attack. If you worry about it before you go to bed maybe you subconciously wake yourself up at night and have anxiety. I tend to just have very vivid dreams when I'm stressed out about something. Panic attacks are not fun at all and are pretty scary! Maybe for a while it would help if you took a controlled release sleeping pill....just brainstorming

 
Old 07-09-2010, 05:40 AM   #8
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Smile Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

Well I have been this past week now. I take a Zanax only at bedtime & for a week now, I haven't had one spell of any kind. Dreams, yes, but not waking me up with racing heart or gasping. So...I guess it is anxiety & panic at it's best...I will be going back to Dr though as soon as our medical insurance kicks in, so I can go back on the Calcium Blockers that my Cardiologist put me on back years ago to control the rapid beating at times. I went off of them because I didn't think I needed them anymore. But now that life has gotten more stressful, & the anxiety & oh yes let's not leave out the perimenapause years, I guess I should go back on those so that will alleviate the rapid beating.
Thanks again for you reply & intake on things. It is so nice to have this site & people who actually read & care to reply.
God Bless you All!

 
Old 07-09-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

Hi! it seems with your symptoms, rapid heart beat,anxiety, panic, throat closing up or tight can be thyroid related. Have you ever had your thyroid checked? Ask for a tsh, FreeT3 and FreeT4, also thyroid antibodies testing. A lot who have sleep apnea or panic attacks seem to have thyroid probs too. Look up hypo and hyper thyroid symptoms and see if you have them. Good luck to you!

 
Old 07-10-2010, 09:27 AM   #10
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

Thank you for your concern & reply. However, I have had that done & it checked out o.k. too. However it is time for a yearly so I will suggest it again.
I think I am just an emotional person with a nervous/spastic stomach. It & anxiety both runs in my family. My mother's mother had them I guess, but back in the day they called them night terrors. My dad was told he has a spastic stomach & my son who is 17 has anxiety & IBS. He is going to a gastroenterologist on the 16th & I am getting him squared away, & then myself. This has been years for us really, but was hoping for more of a way to get it to go away, then how to deal with it...ha
I really want assurance in what it is & how to make it go away or at least know that I am not having heart problems. I have been told its not my heart, but when these things happen, I lose the thought of that & then I do the flight thing, & panic.

 
Old 07-10-2010, 04:12 PM   #11
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

I would definitely ask for a tsh, A "free" t-3 and 4. Just a tsh is useless if that's all your doc did. (find out) a LOT can change in a year. You might consider celiac testing for your son too. If it turns out you have a hyper thyroid, celiac is also an auto immune disease. They can be related. Most docs will say IBS when it's celiac. One out of 130 people have it. Only 3 percent are diagnosed. 97 percent are walking around with it and don't know it. I hope you can get the right tests done. Get a copy of your lab results too.

 
Old 07-11-2010, 06:07 AM   #12
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

I WILL do. I have a friend that is a nurse & she had me look up PMDD & I did & WOW...a LOT of that is me & it is a lot like PMS because it is tied into PMS & Menapause, & if all my other tests come out fine, then I am going to have them consider that because I had a lot of the symptoms, & I like I stated in my original thread, these seem to happen to me at that time of the month.
But I am going to get it ALL figured it out.
Oh, & I just received my Mid West Center CD's on Attacking Anxiety & Depression & it comes with 24 CD's on our thoughts,lifestyles,how we handle stress,controlling our worries & relaxation CD' as well as proper nutrition to support our mind & bodies. I am excited about that too because I am a worrier when I get things I don't like or know what or why they are.
Again thank you for you r input. It sure is appreciated & needed.
God Bless!

 
Old 07-11-2010, 03:39 PM   #13
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

You're welcome hon, good luck!

 
Old 08-09-2010, 02:50 PM   #14
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

O.k...I went to the Dr's & I had all my last years test results from my Cardiology Institute sent to my new Dr. & when I called the Cardiologist & requested the results to be sent,I made a comment in regards to my Mitral Valve Prolapse & the nurse said "Who told you that you had a MVP?" & when I told her the cardiologist that I had went to back in 1995 & she said ALL the tests that I had done, everything shows to be normal & that there is no Mitral Valve Prolapse.She said it showed a little regurgitation but most of us have that & it don't even cause obvious symptoms & MVP just don't go away. So that is interesting to me, but relieving too. So....my new Dr. said she is interested in what the sleep clinic shows because I did not fit the description of someone with sleep apnea. She basically thinks that ALL my issues are stress/anxiety & GERD related. I went back on the Zoloft (which I took for 3 years before) & she also gave me Xanax (.05) to take at night time.
My first 2 weeks of being on both of these med's seemed to be working...until the last 2 weeks. NOW...when I take my Xanax at bedtime, I fall asleep immediately & sleep very peacefully until around one hour before I get up with my husband (5:00 am) now I am wakened by nervousness with internal trembling. However when I get wake up completely or get up out of bed, it goes away & I am fine through out the rest of the day & not have to take any Xanax until bed again. Also, when I want to try to go back to sleep when my husband leaves for work at 6:30 am, or take a afternoon nap...I get the same symptoms of being awakened with the nervousness, but once again..when I get up...I feel fine. I wonder if this is side effects, or still anxiety/stress & it hasn't had its time to work yet (been 4 weeks now) &/or if it is a sleep disorder related to all this. I have talked to the Dr on the phone last week & she said that Xanax wouldn't cause this & Zoloft can cause nervousness, but it is weird how it only happens after I have been to sleep for a few hours or try to nap. She sees me this Friday & we will discuss things further but she said to hang in there that it will get better. I just haven't had anything like this before, but then again..I am now 47 & I have lost my mom 7 months ago, moved out of state, daughter moved to Fl & money is tight so...go figure, huh?

 
Old 08-09-2010, 04:01 PM   #15
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Re: Gasping For Air When I Sleep & Rapid Heartbeat

I still think it may be thyroid related, the nervousness and waking abrubtly and then the heart racing, I had that at the beginning of Graves. Get your frees and tsh checked for sure. Most of us who have had hyper/hypo were treated for anxiety disorder, when it was our thyroids all along. The fact that you have been through stressful times and you feel like this is also a sign. Most with Graves had a stressful event happen right before getting diagnosed. It won't hurt to ask for these tests. Just make sure you just don't get a tsh but the Free t-4 and 3.

 
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