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[Diagnosis] Sleep Apnea
#1
Hi,

This has been a long journey for me, I think I may have sleep apnea and I am currently waiting to do the home sleep test. I guess I just wanted to share this to see if anyone has had a similar experience and to find out from others whether it sounds like sleep apnea.

Heres a bit of background....

I have been struggling since a teenager really and my main symptoms are extreme fatigue, lack of concentration and memory problems which has been steadily getting worse over the last few years.

As a child, I had a lot of problems breathing and was under an ENT specialist who told me that my tonsils were too big that I would grow out of it. I was a heavy breather as a child but I did grow out of this.

Since I was a child, despite being very slim build I was a very loud snorer which has continued since. People have found it difficult to sleep in the same room as me. My partner has just told me that I occasionally grunt in my sleep but he said it doesn't happen very often. 

When I nap, I often wake up with my heart racing and very disorientated and groggy. When I sleep at night, I could easily sleep 10 hours and still wake up tired although I don’t have any problems actually waking up in the morning.

Over the years, I have also had bouts of Low B12 and Anemia but the GP has always said it was borderline and unlikely to make me this tired.
I have been for almost every test possible and they have ruled out thyroid, immune system issues, hormonal issues, diabetes, ADHD, depression and various other things. Although the while thing is getting me down and I am worried I might be starting to develop depression. 

I have currently been diagnosed with dyspraxia and I am seeing a geneticist for hypermobility. These things don’t really account for the pattern of my symptoms however

Steadily over the years I have also been having poor circulation and more and more problems breathing during exercise which leaves me exhausted. My skin and hair condition are also getting progressively worse. I have good days though and wake up refreshed but it doesn’t occur very often.

During these days, most of my symptoms go away.

I also had a stimulatory side effect from a medication I was taking and I never felt so good in my whole life.

This test for sleep apnea is a bit of a last resort for me. I am just wondering why none of the specialists would have suggested this before? I don’t want to ask for a referral to a sleep clinic until I have done the home test first as they have referred me to so many other people already so might think I am just making it up.

I am in my late 20s with a slim build and low to normal blood pressure so although I know its possible to have sleep apnea, is it possible to have all my symptoms without being overweight and having high blood pressure?

Thanks for reading.
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#2
Hello and welcome! I am fairly new here myself and certainly am not a sleep doctor but your symptom of waking up with your heart racing and groggy sounds a lot like it could very well be sleep apnea because I had very similar symptoms before I was tested and then started therapy with a BiPAP machine. It is a world of difference for me since my therapy began and I can unequivocally say that you do not realize how bad you were truly feeling until you begin feeling better!

You are doing the right thing to get tested. Regardless of the results, good luck to you and let us know how things go. If it is indeed apnea, this forum is the right place to be to get advice and assistance on your journey to a healthier and more restful sleep. 

In the meantime, I would suggest you search this forum as well as online and read as much as you can about apnea, diagnosis, care, etc. Knowledge about the condition is extremely comforting and beneficial!

Good luck!
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#3
Hi RK--

I'm also brand new here, but I believe I also had sleep apnea as a twenty-something, too. Same problems: fatigue, snoring, cessation of breathing, all of it. I've only just begun CPAP treatment after three years of oral appliance treatment that was not so helpful.  Getting a  sleep study is non-invasive and painless (at least it was for me) and hopefully will shed some light on your symptoms.  I recently watched a Youtube video made by a lovely 20-something female who has sleep apnea. I'm pretty sure my 29 y.o. daughter has it, but I haven't been successful in getting her to submit to a sleep study. 

So much great information and expert advice here. I wish you well in the process of getting a sleep study.


Edited to add: my daughter and I are both quite small in stature.
--Leslie

"It will all be fine in the end. If it isn't fine, it isn't the end."
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#4
(05-05-2017, 09:31 AM)RK176 Wrote: Hi,

This has been a long journey for me, I think I may have sleep apnea and I am currently waiting to do the home sleep test. I guess I just wanted to share this to see if anyone has had a similar experience and to find out from others whether it sounds like sleep apnea.

Heres a bit of background....

I have been struggling since a teenager really and my main symptoms are extreme fatigue, lack of concentration and memory problems which has been steadily getting worse over the last few years.

As a child, I had a lot of problems breathing and was under an ENT specialist who told me that my tonsils were too big that I would grow out of it. I was a heavy breather as a child but I did grow out of this.

Since I was a child, despite being very slim build I was a very loud snorer which has continued since. People have found it difficult to sleep in the same room as me. My partner has just told me that I occasionally grunt in my sleep but he said it doesn't happen very often. 

When I nap, I often wake up with my heart racing and very disorientated and groggy. When I sleep at night, I could easily sleep 10 hours and still wake up tired although I don’t have any problems actually waking up in the morning.

Over the years, I have also had bouts of Low B12 and Anemia but the GP has always said it was borderline and unlikely to make me this tired.
I have been for almost every test possible and they have ruled out thyroid, immune system issues, hormonal issues, diabetes, ADHD, depression and various other things. Although the while thing is getting me down and I am worried I might be starting to develop depression. 

I have currently been diagnosed with dyspraxia and I am seeing a geneticist for hypermobility. These things don’t really account for the pattern of my symptoms however

Steadily over the years I have also been having poor circulation and more and more problems breathing during exercise which leaves me exhausted. My skin and hair condition are also getting progressively worse. I have good days though and wake up refreshed but it doesn’t occur very often.

During these days, most of my symptoms go away.

I also had a stimulatory side effect from a medication I was taking and I never felt so good in my whole life.

This test for sleep apnea is a bit of a last resort for me. I am just wondering why none of the specialists would have suggested this before? I don’t want to ask for a referral to a sleep clinic until I have done the home test first as they have referred me to so many other people already so might think I am just making it up.

I am in my late 20s with a slim build and low to normal blood pressure so although I know its possible to have sleep apnea, is it possible to have all my symptoms without being overweight and having high blood pressure?

Thanks for reading.

You can be slim build and still have sleep apnea. My daughter stopped breathing for more than 20 seconds during the night, so she had a sleep test done overnight at a hospital and the doctor removed her tonsils and cauterized her adenoids. That was when she was 14 yrs old. She's now 19 yrs, put on quite a bit more weight Eat-popcorn and recently did a home sleep study to check if things have reverted, and the doc wishes to see her - O2 saturation below 90. She didn't have blood pressure issues and was snoring back then. 

We will know soon enough if he prescribes her a CPAP. At least I'm all set up ready for her with spare masks, hoses and my backup machine to boot should she need it. Thereafter, looks like it'll be another finger clicking shopping trip at Amazon if she needs one of her own.
lots-o-coffee
The doctor says coffee does not affect my tinnitus and it's got lots of antioxidants.... 
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#5
(05-05-2017, 09:31 AM)RK176 Wrote: Hi,

This has been a long journey for me, I think I may have sleep apnea and I am currently waiting to do the home sleep test. I guess I just wanted to share this to see if anyone has had a similar experience and to find out from others whether it sounds like sleep apnea.

Heres a bit of background....

I have been struggling since a teenager really and my main symptoms are extreme fatigue, lack of concentration and memory problems which has been steadily getting worse over the last few years.

As a child, I had a lot of problems breathing and was under an ENT specialist who told me that my tonsils were too big that I would grow out of it. I was a heavy breather as a child but I did grow out of this.

Since I was a child, despite being very slim build I was a very loud snorer which has continued since. People have found it difficult to sleep in the same room as me. My partner has just told me that I occasionally grunt in my sleep but he said it doesn't happen very often. 

When I nap, I often wake up with my heart racing and very disorientated and groggy. When I sleep at night, I could easily sleep 10 hours and still wake up tired although I don’t have any problems actually waking up in the morning.

Over the years, I have also had bouts of Low B12 and Anemia but the GP has always said it was borderline and unlikely to make me this tired.
I have been for almost every test possible and they have ruled out thyroid, immune system issues, hormonal issues, diabetes, ADHD, depression and various other things. Although the while thing is getting me down and I am worried I might be starting to develop depression. 

I have currently been diagnosed with dyspraxia and I am seeing a geneticist for hypermobility. These things don’t really account for the pattern of my symptoms however

Steadily over the years I have also been having poor circulation and more and more problems breathing during exercise which leaves me exhausted. My skin and hair condition are also getting progressively worse. I have good days though and wake up refreshed but it doesn’t occur very often.

During these days, most of my symptoms go away.

I also had a stimulatory side effect from a medication I was taking and I never felt so good in my whole life.

This test for sleep apnea is a bit of a last resort for me. I am just wondering why none of the specialists would have suggested this before? I don’t want to ask for a referral to a sleep clinic until I have done the home test first as they have referred me to so many other people already so might think I am just making it up.

I am in my late 20s with a slim build and low to normal blood pressure so although I know its possible to have sleep apnea, is it possible to have all my symptoms without being overweight and having high blood pressure?

Thanks for reading.

===============================
do you smoke ?
are you a vegetarian?
what medicine helped ?
are you on other medicines that could have side effects?
 
you need a fuller  physical to see what is causing your problem
could be lung problems or other causes if not thyroid or b12 etc

that circulation issue is a red flag as is skin and hair issues  and the racing heart and being tired
racing heart will make you tired
i am wiped out after a 2-3 minute treadmill stress test that does not go near my real maximum heart rate

from your symptom i suspect that you might have CA or hypopneas that lower O2 so much the heart races to keep oxygen going to the brain 
and you wake up when you hit your limits and find your heart racing

doctors look for camels in the desert not zebras
you are not typical to have apnea being young and not overweight
so they looked for other things first
but now they need to check out that possibility

you may well have apnea AND some other problem
although doctors like to believe there is only one problem to fix and they dont interact

when you fix one and then there is another they can usually address that one next
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#6
Hi RK176,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I wish you luck as you start your sleep apnea journey, hang in there for more responses to your posts.
Let us know how things go and feel free to ask questions, you came to the right place for guidance.
trish6hundred
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#7
you definitely sound to have the snoring/obstructive apnea going. The dyspraxia may give another level to it, being central apnea. As was also suggested above.

You are in the process of getting it right, now just relax, because the different types of cpap machines will be able to fix it.

depending how involved you want to be, you can buy a cms50f meter that will record your O2 levels while you sleep. (ebay 40 pound.) I've only used mine a few times, but it was worth the cost to me.
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#8
Hello RK

I see you live in the UK too and are waiting for a home study. If on the NHS, I am guessing it might be the first in the line of many tests towards establishing whether you have sleep apnea.

My own experience has been an overnight home oximetry test to start with, after collecting the equipment from Kings College Hospital, London. Unfortunately I did not turn it on the first time and had to re-do it again, delaying the whole process. When the results returned to my GP, the conclusion was that as I had 15-20 AHI i.e. mild to moderate Sleep Apnea and thus did not require CPAP therapy. As I had been waking up with morning headaches which luckily seem to disappear within about 2 hours, I was perplexed. I refused to accept the conclusion and pressed for a consultation with a Sleep Consultant which probably happened some 3 months later. This resulted in an overnight sleep study at Guys Hospital with APAP and a full face mask. At that point I think I must have had the condition for about 3-5 years. I had been snoring for at least 20 years.

However being the NHS, it would take another 4 weeks before I collected an APAP machine for a further 2 weeks home study to assess the pressure I needed. The Medical Professionals were perplexed in that my Apnea is mild to moderate but my pressure requirement is high.

I now have a CPAP machine and have used it for 5 weeks. It will be a long road to health stability as at times it is hard to get to sleep, and at times I wake up in the middle of the night to tear the mask off but when it is successful I feel very much better for it.

It has been a long journey of discovery which started with Brain MRI, head and neck scans and a variety of consultations. I count myself lucky as I have a sibling in America who has been using PAP therapy for sleep apnea for 10 years. We are also certain our father had it too as his snores used to crescendo till he seemed to stop breathing which would seem to resonate all over our home. My brother had been pressing for me to get help.

So do persist with NHS. I think the support is brilliant albeit slow.

All the best

Apnea Infant
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#9
Welcome to the forum RK176,

You write:
(05-05-2017, 09:31 AM)RK176 Wrote: I am in my late 20s with a slim build and low to normal blood pressure so although I know its possible to have sleep apnea, is it possible to have all my symptoms without being overweight and having high blood pressure?
The obvious answer is YES, it is possible to have all your symptoms (which do point to sleep apnea) and NOT be overweight and NOT have high blood pressure.   Because you DO have your symptoms and you say that you are not overweight and don't have high blood pressure.

And the reason is simple: It is possible to have obstructive sleep apnea even if you are of normal weight and have normal blood pressure.

While OSA is strongly correlated with obesity, the connection between the two is not as simple as "obesity (and nothing else) causes OSA."   There is some evidence that people who are at normal weight when they first develop OSA may be at higher risk to later become obese because OSA can change certain things in the metabolism.

For what it's worth, when I was diagnosed, I was a 52 year-old woman with no serious health problems.  I was (and still am) about 5'1" tall (about 155cm) and I weighed about 105lb (47.6 kilos).  My blood pressure was usually around 105/65 (plus or minus 5 on both numbers).  But I've got a long soft palate, and that seems to be the real cause of my OSA.
Questions about SleepyHead?
See my Guide to SleepyHead
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#10
(05-06-2017, 12:06 PM)Apnea Infant Wrote: Hello RK

I see you live in the UK too and are waiting for a home study. If on the NHS, I am guessing it might be the first in the line of many tests towards establishing whether you have sleep apnea.

My own experience has been an overnight home oximetry test to start with, after collecting the equipment from Kings College Hospital, London. Unfortunately I did not turn it on the first time and had to re-do it again, delaying the whole process. When the results returned to my GP, the conclusion was that as I had 15-20 AHI i.e. mild to moderate Sleep Apnea and thus did not require CPAP therapy. As I had been waking up with morning headaches which luckily seem to disappear within about 2 hours, I was perplexed. I refused to accept the conclusion and pressed for a consultation with a Sleep Consultant which probably happened some 3 months later. This resulted in an overnight sleep study at Guys Hospital with APAP and a full face mask. At that point I think I must have had the condition for about 3-5 years. I had been snoring for at least 20 years.

However being the NHS, it would take another 4 weeks before I collected an APAP machine for a further 2 weeks home study to assess the pressure I needed. The Medical Professionals were perplexed in that my Apnea is mild to moderate but my pressure requirement is high.

I now have a CPAP machine and have used it for 5 weeks. It will be a long road to health stability as at times it is hard to get to sleep, and at times I wake up in the middle of the night to tear the mask off but when it is successful I feel very much better for it.

It has been a long journey of discovery which started with Brain MRI, head and neck scans and a variety of consultations. I count myself lucky as I have a sibling in America who has been using PAP therapy for sleep apnea for 10 years. We are also certain our father had it too as his snores used to crescendo till he seemed to stop breathing which would seem to resonate all over our home. My brother had been pressing for me to get help.

So do persist with NHS. I think the support is brilliant albeit slow.

All the best

Apnea Infant

I too had morning headaches and that was what got me on this trip. Test study also show mild apnea and my pressure range is in my profile. It took me at least 3 months to settle down to proper sleep on the softer algorithm machines. Resmed pressure changes were too abrupt for me.
lots-o-coffee
The doctor says coffee does not affect my tinnitus and it's got lots of antioxidants.... 
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