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What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
#11
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
Like having the flu 24/7 in other words ME/CFS.
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#12
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
So this is the first I have really heard about AFib can someone elaborate a little more on this?  As I have stated previously, definitely have an anxiety issue especially when it comes to health anxiety.  I am definitely the kind of person that if you give me a medication I will read all the potential side effects and I will have all of those side effects.  Like I stated previously, working with a therapist on this and doing mindfulness meditation to get out from under the anxiety.  I am hoping that clearing up the sleep apnea and the fatigue that goes along with it will in turn help my anxiety as well.  A lot of the anxiety I have stems from fatigue.

In looking up the symptoms they seem to overlap quite a bit with anxiety and a sedentary lifestyle.  Are the symptoms they talk about (racing heart, palpitations, fatigue, dizziness) only when you are having an A Fib attack?  Is that something?

I have had a couple of occasions in the recent past where my heart started racing (105-120, normal resting heart rate is around 55) for a couple of hours and no matter how many breathing exercises and relaxing I did it would not slow it down.  Took probably 4-5 hours before it slowly started to slow down.  Didn't have any palpitations but was very tired (but I am always tired)  I attributed to anxiety.  Maybe it wasn't?  I thought about afterwards, if I didn't know my heart was racing (by checking it every 5 minutes to see if it slowed down yet) I might not have even known it was racing and it would have slowed down sooner.

I'm rambling.  Let me know your thoughts and thank you in advance.
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#13
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
Yes, I had a series of cardioversions over several years to restore my normal rhythm. The thing is, a cardioversion is not a treatment at all. It's possible that you experienced a one-off afib episode, but that's rare unfortunately. The condition tends to progress over time. Cardioversions can restore your rhythm but, again, they do nothing to prevent a recurrence.

It's worth googling afib and apnea; there must be good articles about the linkage. Ever experience being jolted awake from sleep because you'd stopped breathing and your body was desperately trying to wake you with a jolt of adrenaline? There's more than this, but yes, the best way to not let afib progress is to not have episodes--"afib begets afib" is a truism that bears out. So using a cpap is one of the most important things to do. Afib is not a fun condition.

I've had a fairly successful ablation, although I still use a mild anti-arrhythmic drug. The thing about afib is, it often results in stroke. If you have an episode and you're not taking a blood thinner, after a number of hours your risk of stroke goes way up when the episode resolves. 

Sorry to mention all of this, but it's good to know in case you have a recurrence.

edit: I just saw dolppl's post. Yes, experiencing several hours at a time of accelerated heart rate is by definition an arrhythmia. You really need to have this checked out. Anxiety always accompanies such episodes. It's your heart acting up, for God's sake. The good news is that afib isn't really dangerous on its own. But the stroke that can result from blood pooling and clotting in the chambers of your heart and then being pumped out once normal rhythm is restored is very dangerous indeed. Likely your doctor will want you to wear a heart monitor for 2 weeks or thirty days--any thing less is meaningless, because episodes tend to be sporadic and may not occur when you have the monitor on.

You may have tachycardia, or flutter, if your rate remained stable but high. It is exhausting and, ayes, anxiety producing. And you're entirely right that your anxiety will in itself raise your heart rate, so it'[s a vicious circle. I f I go into an episode the first thing I do is take an anti anxiety med to try to avoid that vicious circle.

Go to a cardiologist or better yet, an Electrophysiologist. GP's often think they know far more than they do when it comes to heart arrhythmias. They're very tricky.

I don't want to alarm you; again, the condition is safe if highly unsettling. But if you're having more frequent episodes than you're aware of--afib often happens while sleeping--you need to find that out. Don't wait! it's a process to get a good cardiologist if you need one.
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#14
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
I had no symptoms, but I did develop atrial fibrillation at the end of a 10 km run one day two summers ago.  Long story short, diagnostics of all kinds showed I'm surprisingly clean in the plumbing, even in my carotid arteries.  No anomalies.  Last thing was to go to an overnight sleep lab.  That's where I learned I had severe sleep apnea.  Cardio guy put me on three medications immediately, and that is when things began to change for me.  My cardio output suffered, I became sleepy in front of the TV, and I began to put on weight after about six months.

Again, I had absolutely no idea that I was in trouble.  Only after all was said and done did I begin to experience changes, none of them welcome.

To wrap this up, I was so unhappy with my weight and appearance, me a former competitive runner, that on the 20th of January I embarked on a regimen of intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding.  NO SNACKS!!!!                    !!!!!!!!    Thumbs-down-1   

Also, I have gone low-carb/high fat/med protein.  Happy to say that I have reduced my waistline by almost two belt notches since late January, and am down at least 8 pounds (I'm only 5' 7", and raced many moons ago at only 138 lbs).  No more grunting and holding my breath to tie my shoes, no more heartburn.  Whew!

BTW, atrial fibrillation is a progressive disorder. There's no reversal unless you get the ablation surgery where they put a probe up your femoral vein (?) until it gets near the node with all the extra cells that signal the hear to beat and kill them with radio waves. You may require a pace-maker. But barring that, the other treatments are temporary. However, my cardio guy assures me the worry and anxiety are unnecessary, even over the awful feeling when the heart begins its arrhythmia. Some elite athletes live with AFib, and they don't seem to be the worse for it.
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#15
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
"Some elite athletes live with AFib, and they don't seem to be the worse for it."

There are a very few asymptomatic people with afib; far more common is for people to be symptomatic, and that can run the gamut of severity. I was highly symptomatic with huge swings in my heart rate. Or I'd get so called flutter and my rate would spike to 180 bpm and just stay parked there.

Afib is progressive. Moreover, earlier treatment through drugs or ablation greatly improves one's chances of success in dealing with it. As it progresses it becomes more difficult to treat, with drugs or an ablation.

I really advise anyone to take it seriously and have a competent cardiologist look at it.

http://www.stopafib is a very informative site for researching and asking questions.

oh p.s. afib has nothing to do with the plumbing of your heart--it's an electrical issue, having to do with the conduction of current between the chambers of the heart. I had a stress test recently and my heart is in great shape! But I could have an episode of afib. This is why it's best to see an Electrophysiologist--EP--for afib. These doctors deal with electrical currents in the hearts. Their the electricians; cardiologists are the plumbers.
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#16
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
I don't get a high score on the Epworth test, I think mainly because I don't fall asleep easily in the car or on the couch.

But I've fallen asleep while standing up. So... <shrug>

I have such mild sleep apnea, my sleep dr said it wasn't even worth treating. But my fatigue was so consuming: crushing fatigue, I had no idea what "rested" or "refreshed" felt like, no motivation, zero productivity, always always always very tired. Whenever anyone asked how I was doing, the only word I could think to say was "tired".

CPAP has changed my life!!!!!
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#17
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
(04-19-2020, 12:47 PM)dolppl Wrote: My fatigue is more of a slight dizziness (not the kind that I am going to fall down or the room is spinning, more like when I go from looking down to across the room or I move even just a little bit it takes a second for my eyes to readjust, very lethargic, don't want to get off the couch to do anything.  When I do get up and moving even just to do menial tasks my heart starts racing and I get tired out very quickly and it takes a while for me to 'cool back down'.

My pre-treated fatigue was like this, too.  I've not heard anyone experience that weird swirly/dizzy feeling with eyes needing to readjust - but yeah, that was my experience!

I think the Epworth test is flawed.  I don't fall asleep in the car because it makes my neck hurt so badly. I don't fall asleep on the couch because I have to care for my children.  But that doesn't mean I'm not (or wasn't) experiencing extreme and severe fatigue.
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#18
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
(04-19-2020, 12:47 PM)dolppl Wrote: Just wondering what everyone is feeling and secondary question do you think that anxiety and sleep apnea are intermingled?  Like the sleep apnea increases anxiety and vice versa?

That's interesting. I suffer from undiagnosed anxiety & depression, as well as an autoimmune disorder.  I don't believe one caused the other (ie: anxiety caused sleep apnea, or sleep apnea caused anxiety).  But I do believe they aggravate each other.
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#19
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
(04-19-2020, 04:40 PM)harrywr2 Wrote:
Quote:When I do get up and moving even just to do menial tasks my heart starts racing and I get tired out very quickly and it takes a while for me to 'cool back down'.


For me personally that describes my Atrial Fibrillation . Unfortunately for many(myself included) Afib and Sleep Apnea go together.

This is a very good point. Once I got on CPAP, my palpitations don't bother me anymore. (I haven't gone back to my cardiologist to see if my situation has improved, measurably.)
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#20
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
I am one of those people who have experienced little, if any, improvement in my fatigue since using CAP. If fact, like many others, I wasn't aware of feeling particularly tired before i was diagnosed, but I sure as heck do now.

My theory is that sleep while on CPAP/APAP isn't 'good sleep'. My AHI is waaaay better though so, because have heart disease that may have been caused or worsened by my untreated apnea (>ten years before diagnosis), I stick with it.

As to how I feel, just read up on the classic symptoms of 'sleep deprivation' and that's it, right there.
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