shallow breathing /gasping for air during sleep... clogged nose, weight gain, swollen throat etc.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by happycfs, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. happycfs

    happycfs Member

    Hello everyone~

    I am a man, diagnosed with ME/CFS and fibro and POTS, in my thirties, housebound for many years now. Recently I have been finding that when I sleep, my breathing becomes so incredibly shallow evry minute or two that I have to take a large breath in. I grind my teeth at night so I have a mouth guard and there is no breathing through my mouth. Also, I have been getting more and more allergies, which leads my nose to clog. I often wake with one nostril totally clogged. I wondef if I am not getting enough oxygen???

    Also, I just cannot stop gaining weight. It is horrible. My whole life, I have been thin and trim. Now, I am nearly 90 pounds over weight! Maybe the weight on my chest is adding to this? I don't know that I have sleep apnea because I don't feel my throat closing as the reason for the shallow breathe.

    It does cause me to wake with gasping for air VERY often. Though, not in the way that I have in the past, where I just feel like I can't breath for a second. ...I am trying not to be too fearful about this, but it is really starting to scare me! Plus, I just cannot sleeeep!

    Any thoughts, my friends? ...Thank you, yet again!!
  2. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    Hiya Happycfs,

    I'm sorry I can't answer your questions but part of your story does sound familiar. I also have wondered about if there could be something happening during sleep causing how bad I feel. I every now and then find myself grinding my teeth and quite some times wake up with a very dry mouth after making some kind of loud noise or gasping for air often feeling like I just ate my pillow or something. If I find I'm grinding my teeth or clasping my jaw I'll put my tongue in between my front teeth instead to stop the grinding or jaw tension whilst falling asleep and so far that has done the trick for me luckily, but I also still wake up every now and then gasping for air or maybe just waking up in a snore or something leaving me wondering about what is going on... Every now and then I also wake up after it seems someone is pounding on my door REAL loud though noone is there.

    If you can't breath through your mouth AND your nose becomes clogged up I can imagine that is a very very unpleasant situation. Probably would be best to talk to a doctor about this... Maybe an oxygen mask or something could help you through the night better...

    I luckily haven't had any problem with gaining weight probably due to having so many intolerances and being vegetarian that I have a very strict diet already. Gaining weight without having changed your diet or amount of activity could possible be a side effect of medicine?

    Maybe there will be some more experienced people on here who can help you out to find more answers. Good luck and definitely go talk to a doctor if you are worrying. Worrying is never a good state to be in when you are already low on energy.
  3. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    It does sound like you might have sleep apnea - at the least, it's worth looking into. And yes, weight can be a contributing factor. One of my sons had sleep apnea and it made him very tired during the day until he was diagnosed and started using a CPAP machine, and felt much better. And yes, he was overweight (although he's losing the extra weight now).

    I know you wrote about your weight before, and said you are eating all the right things so you don't know why are you are still gaining. Have you had your thyroid checked? Also, I found out it wasn't just what I ate, but when I ate it. e.g., eating anything after dinner or 7:00 or so is a big no no. I used to have popcorn in the evening and had to cut that out. If I get a craving for something sweet, I drink a cup of herbal tea that is naturally sweet (Good Earth makes one - it's like a dessert, but no sugar or artificial sweeteners)

    And do check the ingredients of any processed foods you eat for sugars etc.

  4. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    I agree with Mary, HappyCFS, you should be checked for sleep apnea. Even if it turns out not to be sleep apnea, a sleep study might be able to identify what the problem is. If you aren't sleeping properly at night, this could also be contributing to your weight gain.
  5. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Happy CFS - one more thing you might consider re your weight issues (and all issues actually) is seeing a naturopath, who should look at your thyroid function and diet and supplements, the whole works.

    But also do get checked for sleep apnea - if you have it, I think you will feel much better once you are treated, like my son did.

  6. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    Do you breathe OK during the day? And do you sleep on your back? Sleep apnea usually happens when you sleep on your back instead of your side. My son wakes himself up snoring....and my dad died at 56 and had classic sleep apnea but back in the early 70s not much was known about it. My son is trying to retrain himself to sleep on his side. I've told him to put some big books shoved behind his shoulders so he won't roll over. Your weight will have a great influence on your sleep. Better get it checked out. I wish you much luck.
  7. happycfs

    happycfs Member

    Thanks, everyone! I do have a naturopath who I am working with. Though, it seems to be very slow-going. He keeps talking about my thyroid but we have not gotten to that point in my treatment. How kind you all are, to be this honest and this attentive. Thank you.

    As for my diet, I just do not know how I can tighten it up any more at all. (80-90% organic, low carb, no processed sugars or chemicals, LOTS of water etc. etc.) I do try not to eat late at night, though my hypoglycemia issues are so severely sensitive, that I have to often have at least a few bites of something late at night. When my blood sugar goes low late at night and do ignore it, I always wake up in such incredible pain and dizziness, it is unbearable. We all have such different details to our illnesses, though obviously the similarities are enormous. I have been so incredibly diligent and regimented with my diet, I sincerely could be a dietitian at this point. Food, and understanding it, has been the biggest relief to my body as of yet. Though, obviously, there is still much to learn.

    I try so hard (I know we ALL do!) to stay as positive as I possibly am able to, but it just gets really scary and defeating at times. Yeeeears of this, being housebound / bedridden, with very little relief, all the while having more symptoms pile up unexpectedly... Siiiiggh.. It is tough, for us all! I thank you all so deeply. Thank you! Let's keep moving forward and pulling together.
  8. MarkAdam

    MarkAdam Member

    Sleep apnea is a disorder where a person has sudden choking feel during deep sleep. It’s been a common problem to be unable to sleep easily. When your breathing is interrupted during sleep it can get difficult as your brain and body is required oxygen. For those of who is having Sleep Apnea issues Sleep Apnea Machine can be beneficial. Activa Medical supplies CPAP Mask.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  9. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

  10. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    hi happy, if your diet is as good as you say it is (and i believe you), and you are still gaining weight, run dont walk to the nearest lab for thyroid tests.

    i feel strongly that this is your problem. you have all the symtoms.

    good luck, joanierav
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  11. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I have a few comments, and will try to keep it brief so it's easier to read.

    Just a note about my husband's sleep apnea. He has always slept soundly, but we just found out he has central apea (stops breathing for about 30 seconds every minute). He's now on a CPAP machine and doing great. We can't always tell what's going on when we sleep!

    I also did a sleep study and thought I had trained myself to never sleep on my back. Well, I do end up on my back in sleep, without realizing it, and have obstructive sleep apnea then. I wake up often, sometimes not sleeping at all, but it seems to be mental stimulation, rather than sleep apnea (I'm not real sure, it's better lately).

    About your sinuses clogging up. This has happened to me since moving to a new climate. I will feel air hunger and take big, gulping breaths. Then, in the morning, although I feel my sinuses are clear, I find that they are clogged up big time. This has been a pretty much constant problem in this new climate. My doctor put me on ABX for a sinus infection, but it hasn't made a difference.

    About the weight gain: I don't know if this pertains to you: I have had a problem with toxic fat not being escorted out of the body. Toxins are put into fat cells and then into the colon. My body wasn't doing the last step, and I was gaining a lot of weight without changing my diet or exercise. It turns out I have a blockage in the methylation detox pathway, and also in the sulfuric detox pathway. I found out about the methylation detox blockage on this forum. Check out comments by Rick VanK for more details.

    Taking csm (colestryamine) helped a lot, because if taken on an empty stomach, it grabs at fat cells, and it was taking out the toxic fat that wasn't getting into the intestines. Since I have been taking supplements that are designed to help this problem, the csm doesn't make a difference. I used to lose a lot of toxic weight when taking it, in fact would get too thin. Now, I'm overweight, but at least it isn't going up by the day. I seem to have leveled out, and the weight is reacting a little bit to eating less food and exercising more (but it's very slow going!)

    Your diet sounds good. I doubt if that's the problem. Just one more thing: I am taking thyroid supplements, so that was a problem once, and it's worth checking into. I wonder if you could ask your Naturopath to hurry up about that since it could make a huge difference for you.

    Hope you can wade through this long message, and hope you find answers! :)
  12. neoplus1

    neoplus1 Member

    Dear Happycfs,

    I'll chime in and offer the two cents I have. If you are eating well and still are overweight, seeing your doc and getting hormonal testing would be a good idea as others have already suggested. Since you have CFS and are probably not very active, you may need to restrict your calories, fat, etc. more than you already do.

    Clogged sinuses could be a couple of things, including how you sleep. Trying to sleep while elevated could help that a lot, but allergies are definitely a strong and likely possibility. Having a sleep study is something probably every person with ME/CFS/Fibro should have done.

    Some people suggest Chiropractors and Naturopaths. Naturopathy is more or less not evidence based at all. They are shooting in the dark and putting their "patients" at risk. I put patients in quotes because Naturopaths don't have patients, they're not doctors. Some chiropractic is evidence based, but a lot of it isn't. They are mostly decent for musculoskeletal problems and that's basically it.

    Your best bet would be to find a good and compassionate physician whom you bond well with and stick with him/her. A good physician will fight for you and want to do what they can help. Most good ones are not against you taking supplements although they will obviously want you to be careful.

  13. sydneysider

    sydneysider Member

  14. sydneysider

    sydneysider Member

    My friend visits an intergrative doc, who treats many people withFM, and believes that everyone with FM has a thyroid issue.

    If you do get tests be sure to get the thyroid antibody tests, and also get a copy of the tests, so that you can post the numbers. There is a major problem with the way many doctors interpret the numbers.

    I also want to mention that I had a mystery breathing issue last year and eventually was diagnosed with gastroparesis(stomach muscles don't pump and food sits in the stomach for a long time), and also had a temporarily bulky pancreas(luckily this settled down quickly). Anyhow, turns out that upward pressure from the stomach can cause breathing difficulty.

    I've learned over time that I need to push to get answers. If I hadn't pushed my doctor to keep sending me to specialists then my breathing issue would never of been solved. I saw both a respiratory specialist and then a heart specialist first. Neither could find anything wrong, or offer any possible explanation, other than 'possibly anxiety'.
    The stomach specialist said that breathing problems were not his area, but when I explained that I'd already been to the other specialists, he ordered tests. When gastroparesis was found he finally said 'oh, upward pressure'. I'm still waiting on an endoscopy, as it's possible that there's something more.

    If I hadn't known to push I probably would of been given anxiety meds, and told to stop worrying.
  15. happycfs

    happycfs Member

    Thank you everyone for your care and kindness!! I have been taking lots of notes, let me tell ya. ;-)

    I want to just respectfully say, though, that Naturopaths are doctors. At least the ones I have seen. The title "ND" means that they are doctors. I also now see an MD who calls himself a Naturopath as well. I deeply respect doctors who study and practice natural healing modalities. Because they have helped me in other ways waaaaay more than any single MD have ever helped me. I cannot say enough about most of the Naturopaths I have seen. They definitely work incredibly hard to help people, especially people like us, who are often shunned by the arrogant MDs.

    The person who has helped me the most with pain levels, is a Chiropractor. No drugs, no pills, only gentle manipulations, and I would always be able to walk out of her office, after being wheeled in by a wheelchair. It literally had me in tears (of gratitude, and hope) after my first visit to my Chiropractor. I had to move away, and I have not been able to find anyone quite like her though.

    As for the hormones, I actually am finally taking Armour Thyroid! I have been on it now for a few weeks. I have been working my way up from quarter pill, to six pills per day. I got to six pills (the prescription level) and I had some of the worst anxiety of my life. Went back down to 4 pills per day, and no more anxiety. So we will see what happens. I thought that I was losing weight after the second week, but alas, no weight loss. Either way, I am happy to have no major side effects (because I always get the worst side effects, no mater what, it seems) and I feel like I have a tiny bit of hope. --I will gratefully take it! ....I will check out methylation detox pathway too!

    I have been doing serious Neti Pot rinses now, and it seems to have helped finally. Thank god!

    Thank you once again (and again and again) everyone! You really are the greatest group of people! Thank you so much.