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Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
#1
Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
Hi Everyone,
I got an important question and urgent problem. Last week I finally got my Z2 Auto CPAP device. It was great and all and looked brand new. I set it to auto cpap mode (apap 2) and set the range between 7 and 20, as someone here suggested before. The first night sleep was great. I felt more refreshed than usual, and best of all, I didn't feel drowsy during the day or doze off randomly when I am sitting like I always usually do, due to my apnea of course. So that was great. Excellent!

However, there was one unexpected problem. My stomach began feeling bloated the next day. Gas and flatulence followed too. Soon I felt stomach aches, as if I got an upset stomach. It was mild at first, but got worse as the night went on. I wondered if the CPAP caused it, but last year when I rented a CPAP device I didn't have this problem, so I thought maybe it was just a coincidence. Plus, sometimes during the Fall season when the temperature starts changing, my stomach will hurt for a while as it adjusts to the temperature change. But it's usually only for a day or two. As they say, "correlations is not always causation". 

So I decided to continue the CPAP therapy and see. The 2nd day, the stomach pains got even worse, especially when I drank milk. It was ok in the day, but late at night it got more severe. I could not even sleep all night. I took all the remedies I had, such as Pepto Bismol, Alka Seltzer, and other stomach medicines. None of them helped. I was gonna come on this forum and post about it but I was too uncomfortable to type or sit at a computer. The pain finally got better in the morning after taking Advil. I was not able to sleep until the next morning. It was terrible.

The third night was better. But I still felt bloated and it also felt like something was "off" in my stomach. As though my intestines were twisting and a knot was being twisted inside my stomach. Are these called stomach muscle spasms? Or is this called an upset stomach? Or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)? Either way, it felt icky. I felt like something was off in my stomach. The pain was mild but it just felt odd and off. I had a few upper abdominal pains. It felt like my stomach was sore and recovering from an injury or something. So I only ate light food throughout the day, to not give my stomach too much work. I also drank some baking soda to alleviate the pain, as a friend suggested. It did help, but something still felt off inside my stomach, like something wasn't right.

The fourth night was the same. Usually my stomach ache problems only last a day, so this was unusual. So I decided to stop my CPAP therapy for one night to see if my stomach would return to normal. Fortunately it did. Now my stomach feels normal again and I can sit in front of a computer and type, which I could not for the last few nights due to stomach pains. 

What is going on here? Is this normal? Do people commonly experience stomach pains like this when they start CPAP therapy? If so, why? I imagine it would have something to do with the constant air blowing in from the CPAP which might disrupt something in my stomach right? What should I do? Any suggestions?

Some of my friends postulated that it may be due to bacteria entering my instestines from my body's immune system, because once I was able to finally get a good night's sleep without disruptions, my body went to work cleaning out toxins from my fat cells, and when it did, some extra toxins and bacteria were released, which caused an allergic reaction in my intestines. One of my alternative health lady friends suggested I drink a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in water to destroy the bacteria in my stomach or bloodstream. I tried that, along with some baking soda too, and it did alleviate the pain and allowed me to sleep, but the abdominal pains came back again the next night.

I have had irritable bowel syndrome before, long ago, about 10 years ago. But after I started taking fiber and Metamucil, it went away and never came back. Does IBS have anything to do with this? Does CPAP cause it?

Also, last year when I rented a CPAP machine, this didn't happen. So I don't get why it happens now? It seems inconsistent.

As of now, I've decided to take a break from CPAP so my stomach can rest and get back to normal, before trying again. What went wrong? Any idea? Should I put it on a milder pressure next time, like apap 1, which is below the default pressure of apap 2? 

Any of you experience this before too? If so, what did you do about it?

Thanks in advance.
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#2
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
You have Aerophagia  I do not know much about it but if you search for it in this group (site) you will be able to read about it and how people have coped with it.
Apnea (80-100%) 10 seconds, Hypopnea (50-80%) 10 seconds, Flow Limits (0-50%) not timed 
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#3
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
Without data it is hard to know what settings to recommend, but you will certainly benefit from decreasing maximum pressure. My suggestion is to set the range from 7.0 to 12.0 and see how that works out for comfort. If your machine tells you your AHI, we can track that as well.
Sleeprider
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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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#4
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
(10-28-2020, 10:35 AM)Sleeprider Wrote: Without data it is hard to know what settings to recommend, but you will certainly benefit from decreasing maximum pressure.   My suggestion is to set the range from 7.0 to 12.0 and see how that works out for comfort.  If your machine tells you your AHI, we can track that as well.

I downloaded some data with my Nitelog app, which as far as I know is the only software that is compatible with the Z2 device, OSCAR is not compatible unfortunately. The data shows that most of my sleep hours are in yellow bars. Yellow stands for 5 to 15 AHI. Green is 0 to 5 AHI, and red is above 15 AHI. So I guess most of my sleeping hours are in yellow range. I usually have hour of sleep in the green range and one in the red range too. That's all I can see in the chart.

Does this mean it's working? I do notice that I don't feel drowsy or sleepy during the day anymore, which is good. Nor do I randomly doze off when sitting down at a table, which people have made fun of me for.  

The range of my auto cpap is already between 5 and 20. Most of the time, the pressure while I am sleeping is at 8 it seems, so I guess it increases to 8 while I'm asleep to keep my airways open?

I do see three apap pressure settings on the device though. It says:

apap 1 (mild pressure)
apap 2 (moderate pressure, default setting)
apap 3 (higher pressure)

I have it at apap 2 usually. Should I try apap 1 setting and see if it's better? 

Does Aerophagia come and go? Is it permanent? The thing is, last year when I rented a CPAP machine last year I didn't have this problem. 

If I took some tablets like Gas-X would it remedy this problem? I do feel a lot of bloating and flatulence after using CPAP.
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#5
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
Your APAP uses 3 different Z-Breathe settings, which are like EPR on a Resmed or Flex on a Philips, and provides exhale pressure relief. A higher setting is more relief and 2 is the default. Trying alternatives to see what is more comfortable makes sense.

The Nitelog App provides minimal (useless) therapy data including average pressure and AHI. This is about as worthless as data gets when it comes to making effective changes. We tried to talk you into getting a full-function machine like the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset because you have no idea what pressure you need, or if you even have apnea. You didn't listen and now wonder why therapy is uncomfortable, and apparently not very effective with AHI between 5 and 15 per hour. Sadly, we can't even guess. A travel CPAP can be a wonderful thing as a second machine for travel, but we really try to talk people out of selecting them as their first or primary machine for this reason.
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

____________________________________________
Download OSCAR Software
Soft Cervical Collar
Optimizing Therapy
Organize your OSCAR Charts
Attaching Files
Mask Primer
How To Deal With Equipment Supplier


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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#6
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
Check the Wiki for more info on Aerophagia:
http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php/Aerophagia
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In a VM: Win10 1909 (18363.1139)

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#7
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
(10-28-2020, 11:01 AM)Sleeprider Wrote: Your APAP uses 3 different Z-Breathe settings, which are like EPR on a Resmed or Flex on a Philips, and provides exhale pressure relief.  A higher setting is more relief and 2 is the default. Trying alternatives to see what is more comfortable makes sense.

The Nitelog App provides minimal (useless) therapy data including average pressure and AHI. This is about as worthless as data gets when it comes to making effective changes.  We tried to talk you into getting a full-function machine like the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset because you have no idea what pressure you need, or if you even have apnea.  You didn't listen and now wonder why therapy is uncomfortable, and apparently not very effective with AHI between 5 and 15 per hour.  Sadly, we can't even guess.  A travel CPAP can be a wonderful thing as a second machine for travel, but we really try to talk people out of selecting them as their first or primary machine for this reason.


So a travel CPAP doesn't provide the same quality therapy? Well I need the portability of the Z2 for now. I do plan to get the Resmed Airsense 10 later. Supplier #2 offers it on their site for $389, which is affordable. When I go back to Las Vegas I may order it and use it as a home device. 

I called the supplier today. They told me if they saw my sleep test that I did a few years ago, they could have their clinician recommend a setting for me. So I guess if a clinician sees your sleep test they will know what pressure settings to set.

However, the machine I rented last year did not cause me stomach problems. This could be because it was a better quality home base machine, or had better settings. Who knows. I'll ask the clinician who set it for me at that time, what settings he used, so I could try to emulate it.

To prevent stomach bloating and Aerophagia, should I increase the pressure or decrease it? It's hard to say. I guess I will have to try both and see.
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#8
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
Lower pressures often helps with Aerophagia.  This is worth trying until you have a machine that is data capable. In the meantime, try to lower your pressure range to help with the Aerophagia.

You said you were using a range of 5-20.  A minimum pressure of 5 is low, and 20max is too high.
Try 7cm min and 12cm max.  Also use the exhale relief pressure on your machine.  

You can also try the Cpap mode at a pressure of 7cm, Exhale Relief at 2.  This will prevent pressure swings.  
If you try this, start with 7, if the Aerophagia is better, then every couple days raise the min pressure in the smallest increment available on your machine.  Do this until you reach a min pressure of 8.  If you start swallowing air again, then lower the pressure back a little. Our goal is to help with the swallowing of air, not necessarily to treat apnea.
OpalRose
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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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#9
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
Right a travel machine that gives no data does not work as well as a full feature machine.  Even some of the full feature cpaps do not treat apnea as well as others.  The RESMED s10 is the machine that most have found to work the best.  BUT if you can not see any data you have NO idea what to change.  Looking at a sleep study will do little to decide what pressures to use.  You first set the pressure and then SEE what the data shows and move the setting up or down depending on the data.  Without data from OSCAR you are just taking a guess to raise or lower your pressure and the PS or EPR.
Apnea (80-100%) 10 seconds, Hypopnea (50-80%) 10 seconds, Flow Limits (0-50%) not timed 
Cervical Collar     Dealing w DME     Chart Organizing
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#10
RE: Urgent! Why is my CPAP therapy causing weird stomach pains, bloating, gas and IBS?
Good news! This time my cpap therapy didnt give me any stomach cramps or bloating. Last night i talked to my cpap supplier. He told me to set a higher swing pressure and a higher minimum. So i set it to apap 3 instead of 2. And the range between 8 and 15. This time it felt much better. I was able to exhale properly and wake up without stomach cramps. Why is higher swing pressure better? Because it allows u to exhale better? What does swing pressure mean exactly? I would have thought that lower swing pressure was better but apparently its the opposite of what i think.

Wow my head feels so clear and alert and rejuvenated. I haven't felt this good way in a long time. I should have gotten this cpap thing years ago. If only someone told me about the supplier I found with low prices before. This cpap is definitely a life saver. I could kiss the machine. Lol. I feel like ive just done a long meditation and good workout or something. My body and mind feel very glad and rejuvenated. Smile
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