CFS: Fluid, Sleep Apnea and Cardiac Disease

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shar6710, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    I found this article while searching for SA info for another post. I think it is very interesting in light of theories that CFS is a kind of heart failure and that many of us also suffer from sleep apnea. I was not aware of the correlation between the two and perhaps this explains why we have SA.

    "NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - When fluid in tissues is displaced from the lower body into the upper body, the circumference of the neck grows, which may hinder the flow of air, Canadian researchers report. These findings may help explain why the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is increased in patients with diseases characterized by "fluid overload," like heart failure and kidney failure, for example."

    The entire article can be found at:

    I myself gained 6 lbs in < week after my last crash wouldn't that have to be fluid? Oh yeah and on day 2 my abdomen was so distended I couldn't wear any of my jeans. Some of you may recall I believed I was having bowel problems but can't excess fluid in your abdomen cause the same type of discomfort?

    Any thoughts?

  2. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    No I have never had swelling in my ankles or legs. Of course I spend so much time with my feet up I don't know if that would even be possible.

    This isn't the first time I've bloated like that although the other times I didn't think I had gas at all. This last time I was a little quesy and so thought maybe it was GI upset.

    Free fluid in your abdomen would have to cause some discomfort similar to intestinal upset I would think.

    I have a Doc appt Monday to follow up on my less than stellar performance on my glucose tolerance test and I'm going to discuss the possibilities with him.

    I would think your pulmonologist would be talking about the neurological form of SA not the obstructive kind but who knows....


  3. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    I'm glad you found the article helpful. Can you tell me if where you retain fluid: is it in your legs or abdomen or both?

    I also read your profile and other post about circulation and pain and you do propose an interesting theory. Seems pretty plausible to me in your case.

    "I think they take the blood O2 monitor off of your finger at night. Besides I don't know how accurate it would be for a sleep test."

    I've only been admitted once other than for sleep tests and they didn't take my monitor off. I remember it annoying me every time I tried to turn. During the sleep tests I've had they have always taped the monitor on so it doesn't get pulled off.

    " Maybe your finger gets plenty of blood but your spinal nerves do not.... "

    I told my pulmonologist something similar when he said my lungs were fine (as I gasped for air) because I was oxygenating at 98%. I told maybe my finger was getting enough O2 but I didn't think my brain knew it. BTW he referred me to a neurologist and cardiologist.

    Good luck to you and your wife.


    [This Message was Edited on 01/05/2007]
  4. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    Wow, you're just the person I need to talk to.

    How was your heart failure DX? I've read there is just a blood test that can be used.

    I'll give you a run down on what I feel are my cardiac issues.

    1. In June of 04 I had a chronic cough (lasted 5 months) and went to the ER because ANY movement caused me to cough violently and not be able to breath. Lungs were clear but I was admitted to cardiac ICU for an elevated cardiac enzyme which they later said was a mistake.

    2. Continued to be SOB at mild exertion (I previously had an active lifestyle). A month later I overexerted myself helping to catch my neighbors horse who got into my pasture and began feeling extremely ill over the next few days, abdominal bloating, severe SOB, palpitations, etc. I continued to get worse until I was unable to breath lying down and lived in the recliner for 2 weeks. This was while I was still seeing the pulmonologist for the cough.

    3. Had stress tests (which again made me feel horrible) and wore heart monitor for 30 days which only showed sinus tachycardia.

    4. I began having left arm pain late last year after exertion, along with my normal SOB and recurrent bloating.

    Somewhere in 04 I gained a lb a day for 2 weeks. I think it was in Aug but I can't remember.

    Does any of this sound like what you experienced?

    My Dr and I have discussed another cardiac consult but I opted for a sleep study first because I know poor sleep can lead to cardiac problems.

    I appreciate any input you can offer.

  5. chickadee

    chickadee New Member

    Thought I would be a butinski here and tell you about my heart problem and how it was found.

    In February '05 I thought I had bronchitis and saw my family doctor. He prescribed antibiotics and an inhaler. A week later I felt my bronchitis was gone but I was still coughing and just didn't feel right.

    My doctor sent me to have an echo stress test. That is when they do an echo caradiogram and then stress your heart (either on a treadmill or with drugs) and then do another echo.

    Before the technician got through with the first echo, he told me that he would not be able to continue and they would not be stressing my heart as it appeared I had Congestive Heart Failure and stress could kill me.

    Three weeks later I had the aortic valve in my heart replaced with a porcine (pig) valve and one by-pass of the coronary artery.

    It has been nearaly 2 years and I am doing o.k. heart wise but I still have the Fibromyalgia (and probably chronic fatigue syndrome, also.

    I've never really had a problem with fluid.

  6. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    Hey everyone's comments are welcome.

    I actually had two different stress tests. The first on a treadmill. I immediatly begin coughing and then before even 3 minutes was up I started blacking out. This was done with an ultrasound before and after. I went down hill quickly after this test.

    My second was with the drug but I still had to walk on a treadmill for 2 minutes! I was able to do it but had muscle tremors after (which wasn't noted in my records)and was in bed for 3 days.

    Supposedly everything was "in normal range for my age".

    I forgot to mention that I was on a beta blocker for a short time when my BP was running 2OO/130+ at rest.

    My BP is still weird sometimes. My systolic is usually low
    but my dystolic high: 110/90.

    I have a appt with my PCP Mon and I'm definatly going to discuss this with him.

    Glad your heart is doing better.


  7. karinaxx

    karinaxx New Member

    thanks for this interesting article and it would indeed explain so many things.
    i have problems with my heart muscle, kidneys and sometimes severe sleep apnea like symptoms. (getting tested this week.)
    i do retain fluids at times and i suffer also from Bronchial Asthma, diagnosed CFIDS.

    thanks again
  8. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    Thanks for all the info. I truly appreciate your input and concern. You've given me a ton of info and it was very nice of you to go to all that trouble.

    I remember sarcoidosis as one of the things that was ruled out early on.

    I guess I'm confused about the echo-cardiogram. I thought that was what I had with the ultrasound at my first stress test. I did see that report and I if I remember right the only thing was a slight mitral valve regurgitation(?).

    All the things you mentioned have supposedly been ruled out through tests I think. I was sent to the cardiologist because of my breathing difficulties after the pulmonologist couldn't come up with a Dx.

    Pulmonary hypertension was even considered but my lungs have always been clear so I've never had a catheterization. I have had several ECGs all fine. The imaging for my second stress test was done be a machine that moved around me and I believe it generated a 3D image.

    I just had a sleep test a week ago and although my follow up appt isn't until Feb 1, the tech said I was breathing well. I saw my PCP yesterday, he increased my Mirapex and we have discussed having another cardiac consult but my physical limitations make it necessary for me to only have one or maybe two activities in a week so I can't just start scheduling those appts until I finish up with the sleep specialist.

    This is further complicated because I have applied for SSDI and they are starting to schedule evaluations too. Maybe they'll send me to a cardiologist and it won't cost me anything!

    Anyway I do think I have some cardiac problems but since they don't appear to be constant I wonder if it is just the CFS itself. An effect rather than a cause: my heart weakens and takes a few days to recover along with the rest of me and so I only have heart failure during those episodes.

    Who knows. I'm just going to keep plodding along looking for answers.

    Hope your wife is doing a little better. You too of course.

  9. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Look for a post by darude entitled "CFS is Heart Failure Secondary to Mitochondrial Malfunction". Also, look for posts on impedance cardiography (do a search by title), and also look at Dr. Cheney's article in the library on this site entitled "The Heart of the Matter". Impedance cardiography can show heart abnormalities that do not show up on standard tests.

  10. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    Thanks for the input. I have been following the ICG posts and your case with interest. I can't wait for your updates.

    I am familiar with Cheney's theory about the heart and mitochondrial malfunction and indeed am leaning towards accepting that as an explanation for my symptoms as it takes into account my CNS dysfunction too.

    I also have read an interview with Peckerman which is on the CFIDS website in which this exchange takes place:

    Q: Can you see any treatments for CFS arising from your findings?

    Dr. Peckerman: Right now, it’s premature to talk about treatments. We’re looking at a phenomenon that could have a number of different causes.

    Unless you know the cause, treatment would be a shot in the dark. In fact, it can do harm. For example, if the problem is with the heart it is one thing, but if the problem is with low blood volume it is another. In people with heart failure, blood volume is not low, it is high. So if you assume that low cardiac output is due to low blood volume, and you give someone treatment to increase their blood volume, this isn’t going to make matters better — it may make it worse. Our observations so far have been more consistent with a problem with the heart, but it is too early to tell for sure.

    The good news is that there are ways to treat the problem of reduced cardiac output if the mechanisms are understood. If you can identify what’s causing it, it’s certainly possible to treat it. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near that point yet in CFS cases."

    I have literally spent thousands of dollars (even with very good insurance)trying to find a Dx and now a Tx plan. So while I am interested I am also cautious at this point about:

    1. more testing that cannot lead to meaningful tx
    2. experimental Txs

    At this point I really need to have a good certainty that my money is being well spent. So I'm going to let you and others be my guinea pigs! Also I want to see just how much progress I can make with the Mirapex before I add something else to the mix.

    I really do appreciate everyone's replies here.



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