There are probably a thousand different reasons for someone to be tired. Many people with neurologic conditions tend to report being overly tired. Not too surprisingly, fatigue was found to be reported as the first symptom with multiple sclerosis (MS), long before the first signs of MS show up. We know that MS is an autoimmune condition, where various parts of the brain are affected, leading to a number of different symptoms. But one thing I’ve noticed is that almost every person with MS also seems to have the upper airway anatomy of someone with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS).
Women are more likely to suffer from both UARS and MS. They typically are thin, and won’t snore. Both groups in general tend to avoid back sleeping, and have narrow jaws with high arched hard palate. Women with (UARS) are more likely to have autoimmune conditions. Many will also have cold hands and feet, and have at least one parent that snores heavily. Whenever I look at their airways with an endoscope, the space just behind the tongue is usually only a few millimeters, especially when lying flat on their back.
My suspicions must be proven with prospective studies, but the similarities are pretty striking. Since we know that sleep-breathing problems can cause major structural and biochemical damage to the brain, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone proves that these two conditions are strongly connected. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about obstructive sleep apnea. Rather, people with UARS are unable to attain deep quality sleep due to frequent microobstructions and arousals, without frank apneas or hypopneas.
If anyone reading this has MS, do you have cold hands or feet? Can you sleep on your back at all? Do your parents snore heavily?