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I do have GERD - take Prilosec OTC each day. I have had what…

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Hello: I do have GERD...
Hello: I do have GERD - take Prilosec OTC each day. I have had what I think is sleep apnea on occasion in past years, mostly when on my back. Last year, I started waking up thinking I was gasping from sleep apnea. I ignored it, but it started to be every night. Each time I try to rest I wake, can't swallow, and have to try many times before I can sleep (some nights more, others less, or no problem at all / usually does not happen once I am actually sleeping). It happens during early resting & day sleeping. If I stay up very late, it seems less. I guess the more tired I am the faster I fall to sleep. I note when it happens, I "am" breathing in and out, so I'm not sure what the sensation is? I figured out that central air drafts make it worse. I figure its a dry throat. I use a special mouthwash and better sleeping location. It still happens (seems to go away for a week or so, then comes back). It is hard to go through the ritual each night to get rest. I am stressed & fear trying to rest thinking I may not wake. What can I do?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Medical
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6/11/2010
Doctor: Doctor Ellis, Doctor replied 8 years ago
Doctor Ellis
Doctor Ellis, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 886
Experience: Board Certified Family Medicine Doctor
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What other medical problems do you have?

Are you overweight?

Do you know if you snore?

Do you feel more rested when you wake up or sleepy?

Do you get dry mouth in the morning? headaches? sour taste in your mouth?

Do you nod off while driving or watching TV?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I have been told I snore once and a while, height 5'11", about 183#, feel rested once I wake, no headaches, throat can be dry when I wake at times, but also sometimes during day. I don't usually get too sleepy, can stay up late, lots of energy. Its just hard to get to sleep.
Note: Once I do sleep, I can sleep in the next day and feel rested. Its just hard to stay up late all the time in otrder to sleep. If I stay up late then get up early (only get a few hours of sleep), I can feel a bit tired at night. But, I still stay up late to avoid problems. The more tired I am the faster I sleep.
Also, in the last week, I now have a higher sensitivity to certain foods that cause a gas feeling, like greasy stuff or fruits. I have problems being able to belch so it is uncomfortable when the pressure builds up. I eliminated all sodas, so the gas is better than beofre, except tonight I had jello with fruit which has has caused some gas again. If I could make myself belch, I would feel better.
Doctor: Doctor Ellis, Doctor replied 8 years ago

It does not sound like you are describing sleep apnea.

I am not sure I fully understand your question...Are you asking about having trouble falling asleep at night?

Have you ever had an upper endoscopy?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I originally thought I was waking without breathing but feel its really more of a waking without swallowing. When I go to rest at night, as I drift off I wake and note I can't swallow. Once I swallow I feel okay and try to sleep again. Some nights this happens once, some night several times, others not at all. It is scary to keep going through this because each time I wake and can't swallow I panic. I think it is because my throat gets dry in the back and I sense it then wake and realize I can't swallow from the dryness. I try to use something to keep it from drying out when I try to sleep. Is there anything I can use other than the Oasis?
Doctor: Vakul Aren, Doctor replied 8 years ago
Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4,679
Experience: MBBS,DTM&H,38 years of experience
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DearCustomer
Hello.What you have described seems very similar to symptoms caused by anxiety and Panic attacks.Dry mouth,shortness of breath,difficulty in swallowing due to muscles in the throat contracting due to anxiety,lack of sleep and difficulty in sleeping,hyperactivity,palpitations,feeling tired ,are all symptoms of acute anxiety and panic attacks.You need to see your doctor/Psychiatrist for this problem.You also need to be evaluated for thyroid disease,a ENT check up for sinus and post nasal drip problemsis also needed.Stress and fear of not waking are further symptoms of anxiety.The use of a PPI like Lansoprazole,Domperidone and Sucralfate will help with the GERD,you can elevate the headend of the bed by 4-6inches which willfurther help with the GERD.You probably need a SSRI like Venlafaxine/paroxetene, antianxiety medication like Lorazepam/Clonazepam or Buspirone and Cognitive behavioural Therapy or counselling will help.
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