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Weight loss and CPAP pressure settings
#1
In the past several months, I have lost 23 lbs and have for a couple of months been awakening almost every morning with headaches again. I have been trying to find out the cause and when I google it, it has been suggested that a CPAP pressure that is too high can cause a person to awaken with a headache on several websites.

So, wondering if when a CPAP'er loses weight, is it possible the pressure needs to be readjusted? Should I be contacting my sleep doc again as I don't have an Auto CPAP machine that I can self titrate.

Any ideas?
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

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EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT BEGINS WITH THE DECISION TO TRY!
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#2
Congrats on your weight loss!
Headaches can be caused for many reasons. How is your blood pressure? Any new meds?
And yes, sometimes you are able to lower pressure with weight loss, but first, you should be looking at your AHI readings. Has your number increased or stayed about the same. Look at SleepyHead and see if anything looks out of whack.

It's a lot harder to determine a pressure change with a straight Cpap, so look at your stats first.
If your apnea events have increased, then you may need a pressure increase.

Like I said, headaches can be caused from different reasons, so if they persist, definetly get it checked out by your doctor.

Good luck.
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#3
The short answer is, Yes. Weight loss can lessen the pressure required to treat sleep apnea. You should contact your sleep doctor.

P.S. I'm envious!

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#4
I'm envious too. I lost a few pounds, only to gain them back. Ugh!
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#5
Hi Cate! Yay about the weight loss, that's terrific!

Have you noticed a change in your AHI since you've lost weight?

In any case, if your AHI looks good, you could just lower your pressure by 0.5 cm and watch your AHI and flow rate data to see what happens. (My machine doesn't recognize flow limitation or snoring when it's in fixed pressure mode - not sure about yours. That means I have to look at the flow rate graph in SleepyHead to see if they are happening.)

If you want to post some graphs, I'm sure people will be happy to give their opinions.

If your doctor is helpful, you could also go through them. Mine is not very responsive (always get their voice mail, calls are rarely returned, so I've stopped leaving messages or even calling).

(06-10-2016, 06:47 AM)cate1898 Wrote: In the past several months, I have lost 23 lbs and have for a couple of months been awakening almost every morning with headaches again. I have been trying to find out the cause and when I google it, it has been suggested that a CPAP pressure that is too high can cause a person to awaken with a headache on several websites.

So, wondering if when a CPAP'er loses weight, is it possible the pressure needs to be readjusted? Should I be contacting my sleep doc again as I don't have an Auto CPAP machine that I can self titrate.

Any ideas?

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#6
Well I can make the changes myself, but should I? My AHI has been consistently under 1.

By the way, don't be too envious, I still have 40ish to go!
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT BEGINS WITH THE DECISION TO TRY!
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#7
cate,
Your AHI seems fine, but you should probably still touch base with your doctor if your headaches continue.

You can post a screenshot of your data if your concerned about anything.
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#8
You lost 23# and you feel you have about 40# to go. I ask, would that bring you to what is considered an ideal body weight for your height (i.e. -- body mass index.) Your pressure is 9.5 cm-water -- not an especially high pressure. It's just my opinion, I think you should leave your settings as is.

You mention in other comments that you suffer from chronic migraine headache. That sort of suggests that CPAP pressure is not a factor. Your mask is the P10, so strap pressure is unlikely to be a cause.

I saw something about the color of light having an effect on migraines. It was a trial. They found that green light was most useful to migraine sufferers; and was the most "soothing" color for for everyone. They even make green glasses to help. I'll see if I can find a reference to that study.

I think this is a non commercial link (if not, I'll have to give myself a warning!)
https://www.newscientist.com/article/208...-migraine/
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
Hi cate, me again. I forgot to say before that I don't know what type of headaches you're having or how severe they are.

I started using my CPAP machine regularly in February. My headaches went away completely for awhile. They came back in April, though. April is also spring allergy season where I live. Even though I've had very few problems with my usual allergy symptoms like sneezing this year, I've still been having headaches. I'm waiting until July arrives to see if the headaches disappear.

Does your CPAP machine have a function that evaluates your treatment pressure and changes it slowly if needed? I have a Philips Respironics fixed pressure CPAP machine. It has a function called CPAP Check that will change the treatment pressure slowly after collecting data on AHI. It also has an auto-trial mode where I can run the machine in auto-adjusting mode to gather data on treatment pressures.

My suggestion would be to lower your pressure by 0.5 cm at a time and see what happens. I always tend to say "change it and see what happens" unless it seems positively dangerous, though. Smile
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#10
I'm with justMongo on this.

I may be wrong, but lowering your pressure isn't a cure for migraines, and you may cause your AHI to rise.

I've watched my daughter suffer from migraines since she was 9 years old. She's 33 now. She's been on different meds with no relief. Also is treated for high blood pressure. She is of normal weight. Seasonal changes seem to trigger them. She also saw the program on green light and will be checking into it.

cate, hope you find a solution.
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