Sleep Apnea and I feel like a Hypochondriac
Let me first start by saying I'm a newbie and that I made the choice to go raw 3 weeks ago when facing fatty liver disease and being a 10 year cigarette smoker.
1 week ago I was terribly misinformed on the subject and "slipped up" when I went out and had some chicken and beer with my boss and co-workers. Prior to this I was operating at about 50% but was planning on bumping up to 80%. I woke up the next day feeling pretty terrible but I thought it was just a hangover and that skipping my typical greasy solution had made me feel worse than normal. But I didn't want to give up for the sake of my girlfriend who really is concerned about my health, a sentiment I have come to share through this experience. Anyway that night after doing smoothies and juices all day my body was activated into a WAR ZONE. I had no idea what was going on, my chest was more tight than it should have been after my exercise for the day and I became concerned when I started having hot flashes, mild heart palpitations, and insane amounts of "bad' energy for 3 AM. I was full of worry and concern that my fatty liver had turned into type 2 diabetes only months after my diagnosis. As I couldn't sleep I researched it thoroughly. Bad idea! Next day at work I asked for a half day off to go to the hospital to which they granted me my wish. (Keep in mind I'm an American living in South Korea)
I got to the hospital with a google translated list of symptoms and suggested to the doctor I might have type 2. I seriously thought a heart attack was a possibility. He didn't speak much English but his skepticism was unmistakable (I'm not a Ken doll but at 5'9 170 I'm not the typical looking type 2 candidate). So having been approximately two hours since my last smoothie he took out the glucose meter which to my surprise read 105. I was a little high but nowhere near the 126 type 2 mark. My blood pressure however was 150/90. He told me to cut out meat to which I unsuccessfully communicated to him my new diet and that I already had. I occasionally eat ceviche to keep with the raw theory although violating vegan values. I'm taking it one step at a time. (In my delusional sleep deprived state I forgot translating that which was most important, what I was eating.) He told me to come back in a few days and to try and rest. Rest wasn't easy to come by but I still manage to pull my blood pressure down to 136 over 88 2 days later.
This is where I get confused about the sleep apnea I feel I have developed. I still get these hot flashes although less in severity late at night. So I haven't slept too much. When I do sleep I wake up an hour later gasping for breath like I have sleep apnea. While I may have had this mildly as a smoker I didn't have this the first and second 50% week . In fact sleeping was one of the best benefits. Can someone maybe explain or suggest something. I'm really frightened about my lack of sleep and my inability to sleep for more than an hour, I have gone from being a careless idiot to being a hypochondriac. I don't plan on quitting because of this it has to be something I am doing. Please advise. Thanks for taking time to read.
Also is the fact that I wake up entirely indicative of the severity of the sleep apnea? I'm too frightened to go immediately back to sleep. I have developed a fear complex in regards to my health that I hope to conquer in the coming weeks.
It sounds to me as though you might be wise to consult with an English-speaking doctor, even if that means calling someone in the USA.
I do have a few questions for you:
* What job do you do / what is your occupation?
* Have you experienced any other symptoms, that might be potentially indicative of food poisoning? (e.g. H pylori) I'm just wondering because you state that you ate chicken and the morning afterwards your symptoms began.
* Do you find you have any sensitivity to fermented or yeast-containing foods? (miso, soy sauce, wine, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, etc.)
* Do you have any other sensitivities / intolerances?
* Do you have any other symptoms you haven't mentioned?
Please try not to panic about your situation - it's natural to feel frightened when the body does things that seem inexplicable but it does not necessarily mean you are about to fall off your perch! ;) Heart palpitations are most unnerving but have many potential causes, and they're not all doom and gloom, as I'm sure your doctor has explained.
Incidentally, just in relation to the 'fatty liver' you mentioned - are you aware that milk-thistle is very highly regarded, even in conventional medical circles, for helping heal moderate cirrhosis and fatty liver conditions?
Last edited by Arky; 05-28-2011 at 05:54 PM.
1. I am a high school ESL teacher.
2. I didn't really experience vomiting, fever, or diarrhea as one may expect from food poisoning but that is a good point and was suggested by my school's nurse.
3. I don't think I have a sensitivity to yeast containing foods because I eat kimchi almost everyday with lunch. (kimchi is the spicy Korean form of sauerkraut)
4. I may have a sensitivity to gluten because my mom and sister both have celiac disease.
5. Most of my symptoms seemed to have vanished in the past day and now I'm just tired all the time. I just have a smoothie and lay around because I'm tired. I was constipated but I finally got over that hum as well. I literally have slept about 24 hours in the past 2 days.
I have heard about milk thistle and finally went to the store per your instruction to see if they had it here. They certainly did although at 60 bucks for 30 capsules I was a little disappointed but who can put a price on better health. The nurse at my school is more about holistic approaches and ordered some bitter melon tea for me which has been proven to help people with liver ailments.
Thank you so much for your guidance, it had been a scary few days. I feel as though after a few more days of heavy rest I'll begin feeling the positive energy of the living food I'm putting into my body. I'd also recommend to you and anyone else reading kimchi as a fermented food if you like spice. It is likely to be available at any Asian food market in the States.
Sleep apnea is my specialty (I am a polysomnographic tech).
Apnea is caused by the blocking of the airway by lax muscle and tissue when we sleep. There can be several causes for it, and speaking to a sleep professional is the only way to go to actually find out if that is what you truly have.
Since apnea is always worse laying on your back and during REM sleep, to alleviate symptoms, you could try sleeping on your side, but it won't really get rid of apnea if you have it. The current gold standard for treatment is the CPAP mask, which is room temperature air blowing your airway open when you sleep. The nice thing about this, is that it is a "natural" remedy (in that no drugs or chemicals enter your body).
I urge you to go see a sleep specialist, because untreated apnea can lead to heart patholgies, diabetes, and excessive daytime sleepiness (which has its own set of problems).
*this describes obstructive sleep apnea (the most common type)
I am not a specialist in anything but reading your post, the thing that strikes me most about your description is the level of anxiety you seem to be suffering at.
Worry and fear about your health is damaging in itself. Can you find a way to calm those fears? Then you can address the problems with more power.
Originally Posted by rhythmicspeech
Thanks, I realise my questions may have seemed a little unconnected!
1) Re' your occupation, I was curious if you might have been exposed to some environmental or industrial toxin, but (although that may yet be possible) it seems relatively improbable in your line of work.
2) Judging by your apparent recovery, in spite of no diarrhea or vomiting, I still think it sounds as though something gave your immune system quite a serious run for its money but has now been overcome. Hot flashes, racing heartbeat and fitful sleep can all occur if the immune system is under acute duress. The fact that you ate chicken the night before also still lends weight to this possibility, notorious as chicken is for harbouring pathogenic bacteria (rice, too).
3) was a bit of a long shot, but nonetheless worth asking. As mentioned in this thread: http://rawfoodtalk.com/showthread.php?t=64771, metals such as antimony can impair utilization of magnesium by the bodys cells, one result of which can be cardiac arrythmia.
For rather complex reasons, some people with heavy metal issues can struggle with yeast-based foods and drinks (it's to do with metal-induced derangement of certain enzyme-based detoxification pathways in the liver). Heavy metals can also disrupt circadian rhythms / sleep patterns, and affect lung function.
4) and 5) were just an attempt to build a bigger picture in order to spot any possible connections.
Remember, food-wise, chicken suggested one possible source of your symptoms, whilst, on the drink side, you mentioned beer - a yeast-based substance. Hence my seemingly bizarre questions, for the above-described reasons.
Anyway, I'm very glad to hear that you're on the mend now. It's disconcerting enough not knowing what on earth your body is doing, but it must be even worse when you're living in a foreign country unable to fluently discuss possibilities with a hospital doctor! You have my sympathy and my best wishes for a full recovery.
Last edited by Arky; 05-29-2011 at 07:14 AM.
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