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How many of you have had Gastro issues or dizziness from sleep deprivation?

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singingkeys +0 points · 8 months ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

I'm under the care of a Gastroenterologist, a primary care doctor and a sleep doctor. But right now we're pulling straws to find answers. Fairly healthy 37 year old Caucasian male, 5'8, 150 pounds. Muscular and very active with active jobs for all of my life. Never overweight. No known major health issues.

In December - January, I went to the ER 3 different times for having a racing heartbeat out of nowhere, increase in blood pressure, pressure feeling/redness in face, full-body adrenaline bursts, etc. ER did all kinds of blood work, EKGs, etc. Nothing found. Sent me home after my blood pressure (which reached as high as 173/100 at one point) went down 4-6 hours later. On the third ER visit, my family had just gotten over a bad stomach virus that gave me black diarrhea for 3-4 days. My stomach was burning in the solar plexus area. ER referred me to go to a Gastroenterologist, but did a CT scan with contrast at the hospital. Nothing found. All organs looked normal. Cardiologist said my heart was fine after checking everything with a Stress Echo, ultrasound, color flow, etc.

I went to the Gastro doc. He did an EGD (Upper Endoscopy) and found nothing but a red and inflamed stomach for seemingly no reason. They did a biopsy of the stomach and it came back negative for cancer and H. Pylori. I've had that pain for a few months now and Gastro doc says it may take months. I'm on Nexium 40mg twice daily. I've been watching what I eat and avoiding the foods known to irritate the stomach. He said a lot of their patients have sleep apnea.

I've been to a sleep doctor in 2018. I had a 4.7 AHI and an 18 RDI on my 2018 in-lab sleep study. No major oxygen level drops were noted and I stayed in the lower 90's. I found a very good, well-known sleep doctor local to me. He looked at my anatomy and doesn't believe I have Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (even with that 18 RDI, which he said may not be accurate because of how lazy many sleep labs are nowadays in their scoring). He said my anatomy doesn't reflect that of someone with UARS. He checked my throat, tongue, went all the way up my nose with a camera endoscope and said my sinuses are clear. I had deviated septum/turbinate reduction in 2018. A home sleep in 2019 study showed a 5.2 AHI. The new sleep doctor is going to have me do a third Type 3 home sleep study (in-lab studies are currently closed for Coronavirus) because he said a Type 2 doesn't give him enough results. I'm confused because I thought type 2 was actually the better one that records way more stuff. He also said that the CPAP that I've been trying to self-treat with, as far as he is concerned based on my sleep study results, isn't necessary for me to be using. He said the large apneas on my home sleep study results could have been the cannula moving out of place for a minute or two or an artifact.

For the past 2+ weeks, I've been quite dizzy 24/7. The room isn't spinning, it is more so that I feel dizzy-headed like I'm going to faint when I move my head around or when I exert myself too much. It comes and goes. When I first get up in the morning, it isn't there. Also, when I first get up in the morning, my burning legs don't feel that way. When sleeping and lying down, my blood pressure and heart rate seem lower. When I'm upright, they seem to go up. I know that POTS can do this, but I'm not sure if that's what I have. There is apparently something else called Dysautonomia that I'm not sure if I have, either. Who diagnoses either of those? Cardiologist? It seems like docs just kind of "oh well" shrugs it off and keeps going, but nobody addresses my dizziness or weird feeling in my legs. My primary care doctor (also new) said that with all of my blood work and such being done, the chances of me having some major illness that hasn't been uncovered yet is rather slim. My stomach still has "attacks" where it starts burning for seemingly no reason. I have felt tingling/cold feelings/burning in my legs from the calves down to the feet for about a week now. I feel general malaise and sometimes short bouts of nausea. My Gastro doctor ordered a blood test a week ago and everything came back normal. My T3 Uptake was 22, a few numbers lower than the lowest reference amount. A few of my cholesterol levels are high and my good cholesterol is low. My total Cholesterol is 203, just a little high. HDL Cholesterol is 38 (low). LDL Cholesterol Calc is 140 (High) and T. Chol/HDL Ratio is a little high at 5.3. My A/G levels are high at 2.5, but just a little and they said that most of the results can go up and down based on when you get the blood test. My Glucose showed 100 (High) with a reference of 65-99 given for that. That was after 12 hours of fasting before the blood test.

Sleep doctor wouldn't talk about Gastro issues because that "isn't his field" and the primary care doctor said if he was me, he would try to chase down sleep issues. But the primary care doc doesn't know that much about sleep stuff. I know that I wake up on camera a lot during the night, turn my head to look around as if confused and put my head back down again. I shift a lot at night...just turn over and go back to sleep, basically. So we're not sure if I have: 1) Restless legs causing me to wake up and altering the breathing as my brain wakes up or 2) My brain waking up for some other reason and causing my body to wake up and physically shift around as a response or 3) My breathing slowing/stopping (apnea/hypopnea) and waking up my brain and causing me to shift my body. Meanwhile, my health is taking a toll and I feel AWFUL every day. My stomach hurts, my legs and feet burn/tingle and I'm dizzy and have to work this way. Got any advice? Some days in addition to the dizziness, my hands or feet will turn bright white briefly for a minute or two and they'll feel cold. Doesn't happen that often. I'm super sleepy every day to the point where I can fall asleep on a noisy bus after 10 minutes on the way home during a 30 minute bus ride. I can't drive - not alert enough. I do my job physically at work, but it takes a toll on me. My legs have that burning feeling that comes and goes.

Could all of this really be my sleep? I apparently wake up dozens of times minimum per night. In the in-lab study, in just under 3 hours I had about 50 events of waking up, so I may be waking up a good 100-150 times a night. Are all of my symptoms simple attributable to this?

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

I am not a medical professional and you are raising a lot of detailed medical questions that I simply cannot help you with. I have sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and to some degree am familiar with those issues, but that is about it.

On Nexium you should be aware that there has been a warning issued about the use of protein pump inhibitors (PPI) like Nexium. See this link for more detail. For heartburn I just use Tums, and find them quiet effective and are without the risks of PPI's.

I occasionally have dizzy spells. I have attributed them to a low blood glucose level (I use insulin which can cause it), or low blood pressure (my blood pressure meds can cause that too).

Your BG reading of 100 is just on the borderline between normal and "Pre Diabetes" which ranges from 100 to 126. In general one does not have symptoms from modestly high BG readings. It is more of a long term risk. However, a low BG is immediately serious, and certainly can cause one to be dizzy or worse.

I am afraid that I can't help you out much more than that.

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