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Sound Like Sleep Apnea?? Crippling Fatigue Ruining Life!
#1
Male, White, 23, 5'10, 165 lbs

Hey ya'll, here's a quick backstory and then a rundown of my symptoms.


When I was 12-13 I was diagnosed with GERD (acid reflux). It affected my sleep a little bit from what I remember, but not hugely. Right around this time I also started developing a bit of general anxiety, but again wasn't debilitating. And then, starting at age 16, I woke up one day and noticed I was a little tired for some odd reason. Unfortunately, I have been tired ever since. I've gradually gotten tireder and tireder over the course of the past 7 years, to the point where I'm at now where I can hardly function because the exhaustion has become so debilitating.

I have had practically every sort of blood/urinary test done, have had heart scans, vitamin/mineral checks, thyroid, etc. Everything comes back fine. I have tried for the hell of it multiple anti-anxiety/anti-depression medications, none of which helped me in the slightest. My diet is healthy, I still try to exercise most days of the week (although it's gotten harder to due to my shear exhaustion). Exercise does not make me feel better or worse. I do not snore and do not suffer from insomnia. I do not have ADD/ADHD. I do not suffer from any joint pain or any pain for that matter. I average 7-9 hours of sleep a night and usually fall asleep fairly easily, although I do usually wake up 1-2 times a night to pee. Caffeine does not help whatsoever. I stay very hydrated throughout the day. I have slightly elevated CO2 levels in my blood (but nothing dangerous), slightly elevated bilirubin levels, and testosterone levels on the lower side of the spectrum (but still within the "healthy" range). I do not get sick that often, maybe two colds a year. On a side note, about 2 years ago, for a span of 2-3 months, I would get this painful abdominal/stomach pain on and off. It has since dissipated.
I had an at home sleep study done a few days ago and am waiting on the results.

Symptoms include:

  • Chronic fatigue that has gradually gotten worse and worse over 7 years span

  • Overall cognitive decline (concentration, alertness, memory, focus, brain fog, processing words, etc.)

  • Coordination/motor skills decline

  • Extremely slow now both mentally and physically

  • No energy

  • Extremities/body parts feel so utterly exhausted and numb-like to the touch

  • Head often feels very tired and heavy

  • Occasional headache (not super often though)

  • Consistent yawning throughout the day

  • Wake up most mornings with a dry mouth/throat. Also sometimes throat feels sore/irritated like I'm coming down with an illness, but then goes away the next day.

  • When I do get a cold, I feel hit by it THAT much harder.

  • I notice I tilt my head to the side often

  • The worse I get, I feel more anxious/stressed easily where everything feels like a chore

  • Overall hearing quality seems lessened

  • Seem slightly more bloated in face (but could be do to a bit of weight gain)

  • Feel intoxicated much more easily/quickly

  • Have a perpetual drunk-like feeling like I'm not quite in real life

  • Lower libido (but can still get and maintain an erection and ejaculate)

  • Night sweats

  • Sometimes lump type feeling in throat (mostly at night)

  • Acid reflux history

  • Just over the past 6 months or so, slight nauseous feeling every once in while, but no vomit. Especially after having caffeine

  • Sensitive to sunlight/bright light. Also get eye floaters

Any thoughts/ideas as to what could be the cause(s)?
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#2
Hi,

It feels exactly like me writing the thread... I went through all this 6 months ago, and my symptoms were 90% the same than the ones you listed.
At the end, I've got diagnosed with sleep apnea, more precisely with a lot of hypopneas, but no Obstructive Apneas.
Last week, we found out that all my hypopneas are induced by a very low tidal volume over night, hence a very low ventilation minute, which is also leading to central hypoventilation. So I had to change my machine from CPAP to VPAP S/T.

I guess you may be diagnosed with sleep apnea too once your results arrive. But no harm! Let's review the results once they are here, you are very well surrounded here in the forum.

What I would recommend is to wait for your PSG results, and in the meantime you may consider buying the following Wrist Pulse Oxymeter to check your SpO2 and pulse rate over many nights, and not only relying on a very specific and unique night (The one during your sleep study).
The one that have been recommended to me and that most of us are using is the following: Contec CMS50F Wrist-worn Pulse Oximeter. It costs only $90US.

You can import the settings in Sleepyhead Software, and this is gonna talk a lot.

Thibault
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#3
Definitely, a difficult case to diagnose, especially without a crystal ball.

However, a few thoughts come to mind: sleep apnea with a COPD overlay and some oxygen desaturation at night. Thibault's recommendation of the Contec CMS50F Wrist-worn Pulse Oximeter is an excellent idea as you can monitor your pulse and oxygen levels for extended periods of time and then produce a report for your doctor.

The other thought is that you may wish to visit a hematologist to see if your bone marrow is producing sufficient red blood cells to oxygenate the body. I assume that you had your kidneys and liver checked by specialists other than GPs who tend to run routine blood tests rather than specialized ones. Have you gone beyond simple thyroid blood tests and have had an endocrinologist evaluate you thoroughly. Ditto a pulmonologist for lung function.

Have you run drug interaction checks (including OTC supplements) to find out if any of the symptoms are drug-induced.

I wish you well. Keep us posted. My prayers are with you.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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#4
IMHO Sleep Apnea could be the culprit, but many other causes are possible.  Post the entire results of the sleep study when you get it, not just the summary.  And make sure that you get a full copy of the study, you will likely need it later.  The study will better say how to proceed.
New to Apnea? Helpful tips to ensure success
Mask Primer
Dealing with a DME
Download SleepyHead
Organize Charts
Attaching Charts

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#5
As you appear to have just about every other test under the sun, it could be Sleep Apnea, however, I think it may be a complicated Sleep Apnea. However, wait to see results first.
If it is Sleep Apnea, go for a good machine and not just take what they decide to give you, get the doctor to write a prescription for an Auto and a good make. Look through the forum and you will fine what most people think are good machines.
>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^<
I am NOT a doctor.  I try to help, but do not take what I say as medical advice.

I am just a long term user of c.p.a.p. and therefore I have some experience in using these machines and equipment.

However, I am NOT an expert, so advice given should be taken as given in good faith only and NOT medical advice.

Every journey, however large or small starts with the first step.   Coffee
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#6
Do a sleep study, make sure the doctor gives you all the results with EEG readings. Post them.

If there is no sleep apnea you have ME/CFS, in which case you would also benefit from a Bipap.

At the end find a doctor that is willing to supplement your testosterone until its in the middle of the healthy range not at the bottom.
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#7
I will DM some of you if you don't mind
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#8
Thibaulthib, thanks for the reply. 

Yeah it can be pretty debilitating. Especially since I've witnessed it first hand gradually get worse and worse. Not sure if you experienced similar, but sorry you had to go through this whole ordeal too.

I should get my results in by this Friday, next Monday at the latest, so I will keep you all updated. I feel even if I get a negative reading I still might invest in a sleep machine. 

Lastly, any symptoms I listed that you don't/didn't have and vice versa?

I will look into pulse oxymeters. Thanks!
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#9
Srlevine1, thanks for your reply. 

I know it can be difficult to gauge online. 

With regard to COPD, I've looked into that before and it just doesn't seem to match my issues that well. I don't have any sort of cough or phlegm, never get any respiratory infections, wheezing or chest pain/pressure. I also have never smoked tobacco, which I know is a major reason for developing it.  

Yes, I have had my kidneys and liver checked by specialists recently, and everything looks good. 

I also have measured how my body responds to OTC supplements and nothing seems to come about.
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#10
Assuming your issue is sleep apnea, and at this stage it is a guess, 

  1. wait for the Sleep Study results 
  2. choose the proper machine to treat your condition.  I would recommend a ResMed Airsense 10 Autoset ONLY IF you have basic uncomplicated OSA
  3. choose a machine that is compatible with SleepyHead
  4. choose an oximeter that is compatible with SleepyHead
it all starts with the sleep study.
New to Apnea? Helpful tips to ensure success
Mask Primer
Dealing with a DME
Download SleepyHead
Organize Charts
Attaching Charts

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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