Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Sleep apnea is a serious condition, which needs prompt and accurate diagnosis.

The percentages of people claimed to have sleep apnea vary significantly from one report to another, and as you will see below, other factors are in play in some cases where people have intolerances to certain food chemicals, etc.

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea you are advised to get expert help as a matter of urgency.  Usually the process is to see your local general practitioner who will refer you to a sleep clinic, often for an overnight analysis.

Here are some sleep apnea symptoms. The symptoms include those for central sleep apnea (central nervous system messaging problems):  breathing difficulties while asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, your partner notices your breathing is not consistent, snoring, tiredness during the day for no apparent reason, snorting, waking up with a jolt, shallow breathing, interrupted breathing or breathing stops, pauses in your breathing (e.g. 10-20 second pauses), gasping, choking sounds, even a time of fast breathing followed by a period of slow breathing.  If you find yourself waking up with a dry mouth, headache, sore throat, or feeling out of breath, investigate further.

Apart from the more physical symptoms, sleep apnea is also associated with depression, (moodiness/irritability etc), lack of concentration, vagueness, accident prone, etc.  Any symptom, basically, that you might have if you didn’t sleep well the night before.

And lastly, many sleep apnea sufferers are overweight, so I’d be more wary of any symptoms if you are overweight, particularly if you are obese.

Please note that this list of sleep apnea symptoms is NOT the diagnosis.  You need specialist advice to be diagnosed with sleep apnea and then you will need specialist help on what steps to take next. E.g. not all snorers have sleep apnea, but a significant percentage do.

One important piece of information to note here is that there are certain food additives and chemicals that have led to people and children being incorrectly assumed to have sleep apnea.  The work done by the Food Intolerance Network has seen a variety of substances associated with breathing difficulties, snorting, etc.  They include dairy products, non-A2 milk, additives, salicylates (including inhaled salicylates and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs)), glutamates, gluten, amines, and mint flavored toothpaste).  Please refer to the Sleep Apnoea Factsheet on the Australian Food Intolerance Network’s website.

If, after investigating the website of the Food Intolerance Network in Australia, you wish to undertake the FAILSAFE diet (Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavor Enhancers) it would be advised to get some help, as it is reasonably detailed.  Some additives that effect breathing (and many have been linked to different sleeping problems) are difficult to isolate on labels and some like salicylates and amines occur in what we know as healthly foods (such as sultanas, strawberries, vinegar, slow cooked home-made meals etc).

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney has developed the Elimination Diet that helps people isolate their allergies and intolerances.  No doubt these dietary systems are available in other countries outside Australia, so please investigate them.  Again, specialist dietary help should accompany these activities, because of the complexity of the information (such as exactly where salicylates occur – surprisingly in healthy fruit, even in some multivitamins, for example).  Without specialist dietary help when undertaking an elimination diet, you may not be totally eliminating an offending chemical (for example) so your trials will be in vain, or the results distorted.

Sleep apnea is an important sleep disorder to diagnose and take action on.

If you think you are showing any of these sleep apnea symptoms then you need to seek expert advice as a matter of priority.

Good luck with it.  It is better to get the bad news than have your health deteriorate even further.

Elizabeth