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Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by chickenbone, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Hi, it's Chickenbone. I have not posted for awhile. Late last year I was getting ready to post my recovery story, after being symptom free for almost a year. It is a good thing I didn't because I had a horrific relapse that began in July of this year. I have had extreme difficulty with 2 distinct set of symptoms, that have plagued me intermittently most of my life, but which have been much worse in the last few years since I have gotten older. One set was extreme insomnia and daytime tiredness along with back pain and general chronic pain, fibromyalgia-type stuff. Along with extreme irritability and depression. The other set happens during periods when I seem to sleep fairly well, but get all forms imaginable of gastric reflux, EXCEPT heartburn. I awake in the morning and sometimes at night with stomach acid in my throat and sinuses - sneezing and coughing with a bad sore throat. During the day, the reflux generally improves, only to happen, to a greater or lesser degree, the next night. (As an aside, my doctors always misdiagnosed these respiratory issues as "allergy rhinitis") Part and parcel of this are night terrors where I am suddenly wide awake, my brain screaming at me to WAKE UP. I jump out of bed, sweating profusely with my heart pounding. It takes me at least 10 minutes to calm down and then I often cannot get back to sleep because I am so shaken. I also have periods of tachycardia and heart palpitations. I have always attributed this to generalized anxiety.I have had sleep studies, which indicated no sleep apnea. I always had a strong feeling that my problems revolved around sleep issues, but most doctors told me it was all in my mind.

    This time I suspected that my ideas about it being TMS did not hold water. I did not think my mind could be doing this. I have been in touch with an ENT doctor who thinks he knows what my problem may actually be. I just wanted to make TMS'ers aware of this sleep issue, a new diagnosis that most doctors don't even know about yet that CAN be responsible for chronic pain because it causes low level oxygen deprivation that will not be detected on a sleep study. It takes a special study to detect this condition. It also causes the body to exist in a constant state of chronic stress due to constant subconscious arousals from sleep. I was never aware that I was having these. The treatment for this is the same as for sleep apnea, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). The condition is called UARS - Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome. I have been diagnosed and a CPAP ordered for me. I really hope it helps. Here is an article describing the condition.

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/494651

    ENT doctors have known for a long time that people with certain facial characteristics have weird problems including chronic pain. The older they get the worse it gets. These persons have a thin neck, jaw that is set back - almost as if the lower jaw did not develop fully, small mouth, narrow face and often crowded teeth. People like me who had to have orthodontic work as children often get this. If untreated, it can lead to heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure later in life. It also explains a lot of somatic symptoms because of the mild oxygen deprivation. I am really hoping this does the trick. My doctor told me that these sleep arousals cause acid reflux because pressure builds in the chest and esophagus in an effort to breathe, that causes acid to be suctioned up from the stomach. There are no stomach problems involved.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
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  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Chickenbone, it's been a while and we missed you! I'm sorry to hear that you're having a hard time and hope that the CPAP gives you the relief you are looking for. Let us know how it goes.
     
    mike2014 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  3. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Thanks so much, Forest. I am quite sure the CPAP will help. I just hope that my mind does not cling to these symptoms. Even though I may have an actual physical problem, I can't forget that my mind tends to TMS. I am hoping that whatever part the TMS is playing in my symptoms, I can handle that part much better after the physical issues are resolved. Because, don't forget, TMS often begins with a real physical problem.

    I also want to warn TMS'ers about this condition because, until it is more widely known and understood, MOST doctors will not discover this problem in their patients. So I hope that TMS'ers will read this and make sure they don't have the risk factors for it.
     

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