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gasping in sleep
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gasping in sleep

Hello, i suffer from severe anxiety and 6 months ago my gp prescribed me 80mg Propranalol to ease the symptoms which has worked well, however since i have taken the med i have felt tried and this tiredness is increasing.  Over the last two weeks i have developed pain, breathlessness, fullness and pressure behing the breastbone and when i fall asleep i am often waking gasping for breath, feeling like im suffocating, my heart will sometimes be very slow or extremely fast with palpuations.  During the day doing any exercise causes me to feel dizzy and in general i feel unwell.  Do you think this could be caused by the propranalol slowing my metabolism and is causing my heart now to struggle, plus causing a type of sleep apnea?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
It's more likely that you've always had a sleep-breathing problem that causes you to wake up frequently during the night, but 6 months ago, it's gotten much more severe. If you're body thinks it's under attack and you artificially suppress your body's natural response with medications, then eventually, you'll feel the effects. Sleep-breathing problems can also cause your involuntary nervous system to become hypersensitive. Take a look at my article ( http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/38129/Anxiety-and-Sleep-Position ) here one Medhelp, as well as to read my book, Sleep, Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired. There's also a good chance that one or both your parents snore heavily. You'll see what the link is...
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968908_tn?1274874715
Thank-you, this has been somewhat of an eye opener. Can i ask though, is there such a thing as waking apena?  I am almost certain that just before i have a panic attack i actually stop breathing or breath hold, same thing i guess, but it is only when i have a surge of adrenaline flood my body or i will become extremely dizzy and my heart palputates that i will gasp for air and will then try to calm myself, it is not a pleasant experience.  I have noticed this happens while i am either concentrating on something or i have drifted off into a day dream.  This can happen also when i become tense about something.

If i were to go to my GP and explain what is happening what kind of action do you think they would take, or better still what kind of action would you take to diagnose me?  I have the white coat syndrome...lol so anything to do with doctors and tests do scare me immensly, but i have to get to the bottom of this as i have always known that the anxiety/panic isn't just all due to stress, that there is an underlying problem, but my GP will just run the usual standard blood tests to check FBC's, Liver/thyroid function, glucose level etc.  The only thing that keeps appearing is my Iron level is a little low, my glucose level is a little high (but not diabetic high) and on doing a urine test i have trace levels of blood.  I have had my kidneys throughly looked at 4years ago now and all they could find after inserting a camera in my bladder was i had cystitus.  I have also had a GTT 2 years ago which came back as me having impaired glucose tolerance, but no action was taken.  For the last two weeks i have felt so poorly i have actaully considered going straight to the ER but due to me having agoraphobia, due to feeling so weak while walking and panic cause i always feel i will collaspe, i am scared to go.

What do you think and what would you do?  

Thank-you for your time.

Julie
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Avatar_m_tn
I would wake up and my heart woudl be pounding out of my chest and i'd take a couple huge breaths then my heart would drop down so low I couldn't feel it anymore and i would get lightheaded and almost pass out. Happened a couple times after i'd been bike riding or working out a lot...called 911 a couple times because i thought i was having a heart attack. Paramedics, doctors..Nobody knew what was going on. My doc sent me for stress test..everything....came back nothing. This went on for years...Sleepless nights, trying to make it to work everyday with no sleep led to anxiety and panic attacks.Finally I was sent for a sleep study and found out I had sleep apnea.As soon as I got on the cpap all the mysterious symptoms that i'd been having for years vanished.
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