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Apnea related to GERD?

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Midnightgasp +0 points · 29 days ago Original Poster

Hi everyone. I'm new here and new to the world of sleep apnea.

For some time now, I've been suffering from GERD and or irritation of the stomach lining, and once in a blue moon I would experience sleep apnea, more often than not if taking a nap after lunch.

About 2 weeks ago I started suffering from pretty bad bloating, and now as of a week ago, every night has become an absolute nightmare of waking up suffocating anywhere from every 10 to 30 minutes. This has been made even worse a couple of times by the apnea being coupled with sleep paralysis. Scary stuff.

The questions I have for you are.

  1. Have any of you experienced stomach irritation causing apnea? I seem to understand there is a relation between reflux, the vagus nerve and the upper airways, so I'm trying to understand where this comes from.

  2. I can't quite understand if this is obstructive or central apnea or both. Any help in figuring it out?

  3. A couple of weeks from now I have a fibroscopy scheduled, which included general anesthesia. I've had the procedure done before without issue, but the though of having apnea while unconscious sounds rather dangerous.

  4. Lastly, I bought an OTC dental artifact to push the jaw forward and although I can feel it opening the airway, level 1 is not enough, but the pain of using the thing seems like medieval torture. Wearing it, I either wake up suffocating or in pain. Any tips for dealing with this?

Thanks so much, and it's good to know I'm not alone with this. It is scary, unsettling stuff.

PS I am a healthy, not over-weight 40 year old male who did have an tonsilectomy when young.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 29 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hello Midnightgasp,

You sound like you're having a tough time.

I'm sure there are some who could offer you suggestions or advice but perhaps a few initial questions would be in order?

Have you done a sleep study at any time?

Are you using a CPAP machine and if so what settings?

Please excuse the queries but your circumstances are rather complicated.

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Midnightgasp +0 points · 28 days ago Original Poster

Hi Biguglygremlin,

Thanks for taking the time out to reply. This is all brand new to me, and I've yet to find my footing so have not gotten to a sleep study yet. I'm sincerely hoping that once I treat my gastric issues the whole apnea thing will be a thing of the past. I've just learned about cpap machines, and it looks like I can rent one for about €50 a week in France where I am. I might give that a shot just to get some sleep, which should provide a bit more clarity in deciding the next steps I wish to take.

Thanks again!

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 28 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

It sounds like a good idea especially if the staff who rent the machines are knowledgeable and helpful.

Sierra could better advise you in this matter but if you rent an automatic machine with a memory card (SD) it could give you some information about the Apnea aspect of your concerns.

Let us know how it works out because your initial queries are challenging but I feel that more information is needed before those queries could be considered or researched effectively.

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Sierra +0 points · 28 days ago Sleep Patron

I am not a doctor and really can't give you any kind of medical advice. However, I do suffer from apnea and heartburn. I don't really think one causes the other, but in my case share a common cause - being overweight. It seems that does not apply to you. Before CPAP it used to be a normal occurrence for me to wake up during the night and need to take some Tums to stop the heartburn. Now I normally just take two before I go to bed and put the CPAP machine on, and never have to get up due to heartburn. So perhaps there is some association...

The best way to determine if you have sleep apnea and the type is to have a sleep test done. Some countries allow the use of home study equipment which is a lot less expensive. Normally a Stop-Bang quiz and or Epworth are given first to determine probability you may have apnea.

A CPAP machine can report the apnea score, but that is while you are being treated with at least 4 cm of pressure. It is an indication of apnea but to get an accurate score you need the actual sleep test which is done with no pressure.

I would not worry about the going under anesthetic. Your breathing, oxygen, and heart rate are monitored carefully when you are under.

Hope that helps some.

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