5 Ways Sleep Apnea Can Cause Gastrointestinal Problems

Digestive and gastrointestinal problems are not commonly thought of when you mention obstructive sleep apnea. I used to think this way as well until I met Lorraine, a woman in her 30s who was thin and healthy looking on the outside. However, she hated waking up in the mornings due to her severe, throbbing headaches, and felt like she only slept for two hours, despite sleeping eight hours. She also had years of chronic diarrhea, bloating, and stomach cramping that came on just after eating.
She was found to have mild obstructive sleep apnea, but couldn’t tolerate CPAP and dental appliances. After a long discussion and after trying a number of conservative options, she decided to undergo surgery to address obstruction behind her soft palate and tongue. 
Three months after surgery, her headaches, fatigue and sleep problems improved significantly, and her sleep study didn’t show any more apneas. What caught my attention, however, was that she reported that all her gastrointestinal problems went away completely.
It’s well known that obstructive sleep apnea is strongly linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.  When I went to the literature, I found only a few studies looking at sleep apnea and gastrointestinal issues and sleep apnea. As expected, the most common condition that came up was acid reflux.
Before I begin describing these studies, it’s important to look at what happens when you’re under chronic stress. Having untreated obstructive sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome can cause a stress response on your body. I had a major revelation when I read Robert Sapolsky’s book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. The main concept that I got out of his book was that if you’re being chased by a tiger, that last thing you want to do is to reproduce or digest. 
Then there’s a story about a civil war soldier who suffered a major abdominal blast injury, leaving his intestines completely exposed. Doctors noted that when he was in a good mood, the bowels looked pink and vibrant. During painful procedures, the bowels looked dark and dusky. This story supports Zapolsky’s tiger example that during times of acute stress, blood flow and nervous system activation is diverted away from the bowels, in favor of your heart and core muscles, so you can fight or run. 
Similarly, people with obstructive sleep apnea will have chronic, low-grade degrees of physiologic stress, diverting blood flow and nutrient supply away from the gut. Now imagine if you ate a meal. The normal digestive processes of acid secretion, bile formation, peristalsis (rhythmic movement of the muscles) and absorption is going to be impaired. Imaging what can happen when you place food in your stomach. It can cause bloating, pain, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation. 
Here are 5 gastrointestinal conditions that have documented associations with sleep disturbances or obstructive sleep apnea.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
The example I gave in the beginning of this piece is a young woman with IBS. In a small study from Soroka and Ben-Gurion Universities in Israel, researchers found increased sleep fragmentation, 2x higher arousal index, and lower levels of slow wave (deep) sleep in subjects with IBS. Not too surprisingly, 3/6 of the subjects with IBS had OSA. The remainder probably had upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS).
2. Inflammatory bowel disease (Chron’s, Ulcerative colitis)
Researchers from Rush University compared sleep quality in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, Chron’s or ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and controls. The average AHI was 7-8 vs. < 1 in controls. Thirteen percent of all participants had obstructive sleep apnea. Of note, the arousal index was twice as high for people with IBD and IBS vs. controls. 
3. Celiac Disease
Although there are reports of sleep apnea improving after going on a gluten-free diet, a study from the University of Naples found that a gluten-free diet didn’t improve sleep quality scores in celiac patients.  In a blog I wrote a while back on celiac disease, I made the observation that every patient I know with celiac symptoms (whether celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity) has small jaws with very narrowed airways.
4. Colon cancer
It’s been shown that lack of sleep or  too much sleep ups your risk of colon cancer. In this landmark study from Spain, obstructive sleep apnea was linked to higher rates of cancer (all types). Of note, this increased risk was seen only in men less than 65 years of age. Lower levels of oxygen were found to correlate better with increased cancer risk than the AHI. The most common type of cancer was colon cancer. The other common cancers seen were prostate, lung and breast cancers. 
5. Acid reflux
One of the basic tenets of obstructive sleep apnea is its’ strong association with acid reflux. There have been tomes of studies describing how obstructive sleep apnea can aggravate reflux and vice versa. Studies have shown that treating OSA can help reflux symptoms and treating reflux can lower OSA severity scores. Vacuum-like negative pressures created in the chest wall from apneas is a simple explanation for this condition. What comes up is not only acid, but bile, digestive enzymes and bacteria. There are documented reports of pepsin (a digestive enzyme) in middle ear, sinus and lung washings. Imagine what these substances can do to your teeth, especially if you are a mouth breather with lower levels of saliva which has alkaline properties. 
Sleep physicians have observed that the most common symptom of jet lag is constipation. Your digestive system is strongly linked with your circadian and sleep patterns. Add to this repeated choking episodes from obstructive sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome and it’s not surprising that we’re finding these associations. 
If you suffer from any of the the above conditions, how has treating sleep apnea (using CPAP, dental appliances or surgery) helped? Please enter your response in the area below.

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50 thoughts on “5 Ways Sleep Apnea Can Cause Gastrointestinal Problems

  1. You forgot Gastroparesis? Gastroenterologists never think to check for OSA for some reason. I asked my friend who is a ped GI about it and he said I wouldn’t understand, mumbling something about ENTs always falsely diagnosing stuff. But most cases of Gastroparesis are actually idiopathic and I wonder whether most of those are actually undiagnosed OSA. It was pretty miserable for me when I had it and CPAP did eventually cure the condition. Which was good because the drugs I was on were pretty nasty in comparison.

  2. I have had GERD for years, and IBS, too. Medication (venlafaxine) took care of the IBS, and pantoprazole the GERD. CPAP/BiPap has not made any difference in this problem so far as I can tell. I have not tried going off medication.

  3. Adam,

    Thanks for mentioning gastroparesis. This is something that’s more commonly associated with diabetes, but it can also be placed broadly under the IBS category. Good sleep helps your digestive system in general. Glad to hear that your gastroparesis got better on CPAP.

  4. are you familiar with the “Nightlase” protocol .Non-surgical laser therapy to reduce upper airway collapse, convert and stimulate new collagen formation to restore tone to lax tissues.

  5. Dr.Steven Park: Can you tell us what kind of surgery Lorraine has done? Is it especially suitable for someone who is thin and has gastrointestinal conditions ?

  6. Dr Park, is there a sleep specialist here in Western Australia that you could recommend? I am a 54 year old woman who is financially dependent on my life long partner, Mark. I am unemployable due to my inconsistent health and have paid out ridiculous amounts of money trying to resolve my health problems – otherwise I’d be on a plane to see you! I have been Dx with ADHD, IBS, hypertension, adrenal fatigue, migraine, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and narcolepsy. I believe I have sleep apnoea but my sleep study did not reveal this, although I was recoded to have quite a few apnoeas, but not enough to be considered ‘enough’. I was also awake for around half an hour but not aware of it and one very late, short REM episode. My symptoms are unpredictable – could that be due to inconsistency between each nights quality of sleep? Could the sleep study be a false reading as I didn’t sleep deeply enough in a strange environment? After discussing my symptoms the specialist who did not really seem interested in my plight, did diagnose me with narcolepsy without catoplexy. Help!

  7. CPAP has helped my laryngopharyngeal reflux during sleep, but it has given me no carry-over daytime benefits. I still always need a bottle of Tums on-hand for when my throat swells up after eating a meal. And I have to do exercise on an empty stomach, if I don’t want to re-taste all the food I had earlier in the day. I’m looking forward to my upcoming jaw surgery to improve my reflux problems.

  8. Ms. Hardwick,

    Sorry to hear about your health problems. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone in Australia that’s familiar with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). Regardless, it’s difficult to recommend treatment options without formally examining you first. Since there’s no pill for UARS, many of the treatment options include gadgets, mechanical devices, or surgery.

    You’re best bet is to find a health care practitioner that is open to new ideas and is willing to try OSA treatment options, despite not formally having obstructive sleep apnea on polysomnography.

    Good luck…


  9. She had a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty with hyoid and tongue base suspension. It’s not important what type of surgery she underwent, but where in the throat her surgery addressed.

  10. Dr. Schiffman,

    Yes, I’ve read about it and seen some videos. I have no doubt that any technology that stiffens the soft palate can help with snoring, but in general, I don’t recommend options for OSA that don’t have formal prospective studies with good results. For snoring, it sound like it can work to various degrees like many of the other palate stiffening options out there. The question is how long it will last, and are you testing to make sure you don’t have sleep apnea. My guess is that it may help some patients with milder degrees of OSA, like the other options for snoring (Pillar, injection snoreplasty, CAUP, etc.).

  11. Hi I just wanted to follow up on my post from last month. It’s been a little over a week since I’ve had my jaw advancement surgery done, and so far it looks like my laryngopharyngeal reflux has been eliminated (all forms of reflux for that matter).

  12. I have suffered from extreme stress. Though, I responded well to the CPAP at first, the long term stress that I was exposed to has taken a toll. I was pulling the CPAP off in my sleep. I am gluten intolerant ,have IBS, constantly wake with a stuffed nose and have suffered extreme sleep deprivation for several months. I also feel as if I may have an ulcer. The sleep doctor nor the gastroenterologist have taken me seriously even though I tried to get them to understand that it had to be related. I have had to research and learn all about this own my own. That is how I discovered you Dr. Park. Though, I live in the Carolinas, I have made an appointment to come and see you, but I cannot get in until October. My sleep deprivation caused serious problems that the MD’s here are not equipped to handle. I also have a small airway and can feel my airway collapsing if I am about to go to sleep and even with my head back and resting while in the car or flying. I am desperate.

  13. Janine;
    Hi, I’ve been on cpap for almost 5 mos. and am very slowly and intermittently having improvement in my sleep. How long were you on cpap? Some people get good results after trying and trying over many months. And to get more sleep and get rid of the chronic insomnia and fragmented sleep, restless legs and other nerve problems I have (had), I’m willing to keep trying. Have you tried anything to relieve the congestion so you don’t remove the mask in your sleep. I’ve done that a few times as well but only when congested.

    Have you tried a full face mask so you must breathe through your mouth? The Amara View mask is the smallest and lightest full face mask. Also, about 8 mos after my insomnia started, (3 yrs ago) I was having this burning pain in my upper stomach, right below the left breast. Is that what you have? I finally had an endoscopy that revealed gastritis. I believe it was caused by stress from the chronic insomnia (and neurology symptoms like numbness and tingling) and not knowing what was causing it. Gastritis has similar symptoms to ulcers. I also think undiagnosed sleep apnea or UARS causes inflammation and the ongoing poor quality sleep can cause overgrowth of bad bacteria, causing inflammation. I’ve also had pain from urethritis and vaginitis which seem to be getting better lately. Doctors would tell me that I just had anxiety. Never sent me to a sleep clinic, most likely because I’m small and have a small neck. I also don’t have high blood pressure. My sleep apnea is extreme on my back and mild on my side. I had been shifting to my back off and on for years. This must have caused the unrefreshing, restless sleep I had off and on. You might want to try sleeping on your side at all times. Do not let yourself fall asleep in a recliner. When I do that, I jerk or snort awake and then I’m wide awake. Look up slumber bump belt, it’s sold on Amazon and it will make you stay on your side.

  14. I’ve had sleep apnea for about 20 years & have a cpap which wakes me up regularly. I’ve also been on Omeprazole for acid reflux for many years. I am now suffering with IBS symptoms. I am 61 years old, exercise for 1 hour most days, bicycling or swimming laps, and am normal weight. I ate lots of fruit & vegetables before this happened 3 months ago. Help!

  15. Dr park, we need more medical professionals like you in USA who thinks and treat root cause not just symptoms. I have severe sleep apnea and suffering from so many other things but sleep apnea is the root cause. I am on line to have MMA surgery with dr Majid Jamali in New York. I just hope it goes well and God gives me a cure. At age 36 I am fighting for my life. I read your post daily basis and get some hope.
    Thanks for being someone who is making difference in how we think about everything.

  16. I ended up here because I noticed that using a CPAP has cleared up over 20 years of constipation. You’ve no idea how I’ve suffered from the constipation until now. It’s traumatizing how much doctors and the internet dismiss the problem. But once I used a CPAP for a week, it’s gone. I go every morning like clockwork now, it’s actually better than just the effects of the CPAP. LIke I’ve been choked for years and finally the pressure is gone. This should reduce the requirement for CPAP use. Comorbidities should modify the criteria.

  17. Dear Doctor Stevens
    I am a 54 year old woman who is having a very difficult time. I’ve been researching why and I knew it had to do with my sleep apnea. I suffer from chronic constipation, high blood pressure, according to the doctors diabetes which when my GP wanted me to go on insulin? Without even teaching me to test my glucose levels? My numbers were never high to go on insulin! That’s when I realized I need to take control and educate myself about my health. I got my A1C from 6.2 to 5.5. Doctor my constipation has put me in the ER 5 times last year. I use a cpap 3 years now. I’ve had constipation most of my life but it’s got worse these past 3 years. I strain half an hour to an hour to have a BM. I now have an umbilical hernia and am off work. The surgeon said the straining possibly caused the hernia or made it worse. I’m miserable……I tried not using the cpap but seems my BP got worse. I’m dealing with chest pain, acid reflux, abdominal/intestinal issues now pain in my fingers and legs bad circulation. I was told in the beginning I stopped breathing 99 times an hour last study 77. I don’t know where to turn I feel I’m just being passed around and the root problem isn’t being addressed. I live in Fresno California area do you know of a doctor who can help me.

  18. Ms. Silva,

    Sorry to hear.

    As good as CPAP can be, sometimes it can make no difference or even make things worse. I strongly urge you to see your sleep doctor to consider fine-tuning your CPAP settings, or even consider other options besides CPAP.

  19. Hi Dr Park,

    I found this article very interesting. I have recently been diagnosed with OSA. My sleep study revealed 113.8 respiratory abnormalities / hour with apnoeas of between 27 and 41 seconds. Suffice it to say I have a severe case.

    I was wondering (similar to this article) if there had been studies in relation to OSA and Obesity. Before you answer I am not meaning that the Obesity is causing the OSA but more that the OSA is causing the obesity or making it worse.

    Prior to the last 5-10 years I was heavily into sport, a competitive martial artist and instructor holding 4 black belts and whilst I ate a lot during those years. My physical activity more than compensated. On average I was a lean 85kgs.

    About the 5-10 years ago I started being exhausted all the time, barely keeping awake after about 6pm, waking up with headaches, unable to sleep because of restless leg syndrome, found concentrating difficult, snoring and a few more symptoms.

    Interestingly enough it was also the time I started gaining weight and since then having a lot of difficulty loosing weight. I have had tests for thyroid problems, tired medications like duromine, even went to the extreme of having someone buy and prepare all my food to prevent me from cheating or getting the wrong foods.

    when I mentioned this to my doctor he suggested a dietition, which I have also done before (actually 2) seems to be the go to response for weight issues.

    since using my CPAP machine (a week now) the amount of energy I have is amazing, I have no headaches at all, when I suffered from them every day and my stomach has settled down and my partner is happy to say I am also no longer snoring.

    but it would be interesting to know if my weight battle may have an actual cause


  20. Mr. B,

    Thanks for your comment. In fact, if you’re anatomically predisposed, weight gain is a significant risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea. Oftentimes, physically active and fit men and women have undiagnosed sleep apnea but are compensating by being very active and eating well. Oftentimes, an injury or surgery can promote weight gain by lowering sleep efficiency. For example, a knee or neck problem can prevent you from sleeping off your back.

    It’s also known that poor sleep promotes weight gain, as well as causing you to crave less healthy foods. Weight gain leads to worse sleep apnea, and the cycle continues….

  21. I have had reflux and have had chronic constipation for many years. I was recently diagnosised with sleep apnea. I started using a cpap a week ago, I’ve notice that my reflux has gone away and I have had a bowel movement every day! I’m thrilled!

  22. Hi Dr Park,

    I am 39 yrs old i was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis about 10 yrs ago and i have been taking medications since then. It started when i had a bout of depression, i was also diagnosed for sleep apnea. Now over the last 2 -3 yrs i have been diagnosed with thyroid issue and blood pressure. I use the CPAP intermittently, as many times i remove it while sleeping in the night. Please advice whether obstructiive sleep apnea has caused by other illnesses.



  23. I was dx with sleep apnea about 9 yrs ago. I have been suffering from a distended stomach which has recently gotten worse after I had surgery for spinal stenosis. I have been sleeping a lot in the last 4 weeks and using my cpap a lot more since I am sleeping more as I heal from my back surgery.. Even though I have lost 10 pounds due to the discomfort of eating, I look like I am 9 months pregnant. I have had several ct scans which did not show anything wrong.

    I believe I have gastric insufflation. When I saw my pulmonologist they said I was not swalling air based on the memory card in my cpap machine. I also have Narcolepsy and therefore do not qualify for the hypoglossal nerve stimulation implant system. Help what can I do? My distended stomach hurts constantly, especially in the morning and I am afraid to eat.

  24. I came across your article when search for sleep apnea and bowel issues. This hits home.
    I was recently DX with OSA. I believe I had it for over 30 years. During this 30 years I have had anxiety issues with severe nervous system attacks. I have had leaky bowls with both constipation and Diarrhea. I Have been diagnosed with Low T, Then High blood pressure, and the beginnings of type 2 Diabetes., and finally when I was 70 years old I had an A-Fib issue. For all of these issues that took years to develop and all of the doctors I have been to it took the A-Fib issue for my Doctor to order me a sleep study. The study showed I would stop breathing more then 25 times an hour. He had ordered me a mouth piece instead of a CPAP. CPAP would cause me a problem because I am a stomach sleeper. For most of my life as I can remember I have had anxiety attacks, as well as bowl issues. Then when I was in my late 50’s I started to experience, and was treated for, Low T, Then High Blood Pressure and then High blood sugar and finally A-Fib. I was also Diagnosed with 20% inner ear imbalance. When I would walk I would always drift to the right so much that if my wife would be on my right side I would always walk into her, and even walk off the sidewalk. After getting my mouth piece I instantly noticed I no longer have balance issues, my blood pressure is back to normal I have not had another bout with of A-Fib. I need a lot less HRT injections. and my blood sugar is stabilizing. The Doctor who made my mouth piece said that your body’s system will heal itself even my sex drive is starting to return to normal. Never thought that OSA could cause so many health problems.
    Keep studying this as I am living proof that this is a real issue for many people, I believe.

  25. I have been having severe distention of my abdomen. Its especially bad in the am when I wake up. I use a cpap and recently asked that the pressure be decreased to see this would make a difference. I suspected I have aerphagy or gastric insufflence. (sp)?

    This has not helped. I am now 73. I believe my stomach has been bloated in the past but it would go down after a bowel movement. But ever since I got a steroid injection for spinal stenosis at L5, 2 yrs ago my stomach has gotten more bloated and stays bloated. This may be a coincidence. I recently had back surgery for the spinal stenosis and after the surgery I looked like I was 9 months pregnant. My stomach has gone down somewhat but I still look about 3 months pregnant. I have lost weight about 10 pounds but my stomach is still distended. So far all tests I have had are negative. My sleep dr. thinks I might do better with a bipap but I need to have another sleep study to prove I need a bipap.

  26. I have sleep Apnea and if I fall back to sleep without my cpap on I always wake with a sore tummy.
    Last summer I lost 4 stone and my sleep Apnea symptoms pretty much disappeared. Unfortunately the weight went back on after I could not longer afford the diet food and milk shakes. I am a 50 year old male and somehow I am determined to lose the weight permanently and improve my sleep Apnea and high blood pressure so I can be around to enjoy my children as long as possible. At one point my cpap with humidifier was not low enough and water leaked up my nose and into my left ear. That caused some damage and I now have tinnitus 24 / 7. So on a physical level I am pretty week and in poor shape and a long way from the man I used to be running 67 km mountain runs and a real gym bunny. However I believe God sets us these tasks to overcome them and be even better than you were, particularly on a mental level. Help is out there which is great but we all must utilise the help within and never ever give up.

  27. I have been on Lexapro for about 3 weeks now and it has helped my anxiety but also caused worries at the same time. My heart races when I wake up and I feel like my heart is beating harder. It was hard to swallow at first, sometimes my teeth feel like they are chattering and I feel jittery. My last panic attack is what made me take Lexapro, I could not calm down with out it even after the attack, it felt like I was having an attack all day!

  28. Dr. Park,
    I am curious on your thoughts about my experience with gastrointestinal problems and OSA. I am a 27 Y/O Female. I have always had some struggles with breathing (I have a slight deviated septum, but severe allergies that occur 75% of the year (I live in Minnesota, which has many months of Winter with Snow). I have just gotten use to mouth breathing. For the past Three-Four years (until this past summer) I had been vomiting at least 2 to 3 times per month, and had yellow Diarrhea on a consistent basis (I attempted food tracking multiple times, but am not good at keeping track of things in my personal life (tired, easily fatigued). I get weird headaches (not throbbing, or stabbing, I cannot explain them except that they are weird).
    I had a Sleep study done in Spring 2017. It found that I had mild obstructive sleep apnea, , with excessive REM sleep at approximately 50%. It was worse if sleeping on my back. I was able to start a CPAP in Summer 2017. Since then, I have had significantly less headaches, less yellow Diarrhea, and less vomiting. I have noticed three times when these symptoms did return. In the past 6 months since starting my Sleep Apnea Machine, All three correlate to when I stopped using my sleep apnea machine for a few days (usually after three days). I’m curious if these symptoms (headache, vomiting, Diarrhea) could be better explained by mind obstructive sleep apnea rather than something involving the food I’m eating.
    I honestly have always had horrible nightmares. It was not until starting the sleep apnea machine that I no longer and waking up remembering them. Since I was little I have had gastrointestinal problems, nightmares, depression, anxiety, excessive tiredness, easily fatigued, muscle weakness, and headaches. I am not a large person, but also not skinny. It is significant to me to know that I was excessively tired as a child (I was a very skinny child, I did have my adenoids, and tonsils removed because they were SOOO huge), and could remember so many horrible dreams (I am a mental health therapist, no abuse is in my past). I am thinking that I have always had some difficulties breathing while sleeping, and that it may have been the cause for the majority of these symptoms. Any thoughts?
    Ms. Stephanie

  29. My son has obstruptive sleep apnea, but his adnoid and tonsils were removed. Now, he has digestive disorders that the GI can not seem to solve. Is there any place you recommend for this?

  30. Vee,

    Sorry to hear about your son. Tonsil surgery, while very good for most cases of sleep apnea in children, is not completely effective in about 1/3 of children. This is due to other anatomic causes. This is why it’s important to undergo sleep testing after surgery. Good luck.

  31. Ms. Stephanie,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, even mild OSA (more likely UARS) can affect digestive functioning and headaches, but other factors can cause GI symptoms. Having sleep-breathing problems can definitely make anything else you have much worse. Please take a look at my articles on UARS. It’s also very important to breathing well though your nose, starting with natural/dietary options, but moving on to medical or even surgical therapy. Better nasal breathing can also improve your CPAP therapy. Food sensitivities (gluten, dairy and sugar) can also aggravate your GI symptoms. It’s important to treat all the areas of potential inflammation. Good luck!

  32. Hi my name is Rajesh am suffering from sleepness at any time and I have acid reflex and am suffer to gas bloating stomuch pain also and hevey belchings it’s will be come regularly last 3 months before I had a fundoplication surgery and last 2 months before fundoplication removed surgery and still now heavy belching stomuch bloting heavy gastric belching and now recently sleepness at any time pls give me some suggestions and give me some medication list pls pls

  33. Hi am Rajesh am suffering from sleepness at any time I have axis reflex gerd since 3 months and heavy belching also come and stomuch pain also come headache will be there and also heavy gastric and bloting please and breathing problem some time pls give some suggestions or medications list pls

  34. Hi Dr Park!
    I have mixed sleep apnea and chronic constipation. I’m 15 weeks pregnant, have lower left abdominal pain that I believe is constipation-related, and I worry that the pain will only get worse as my baby grows in my belly (I’m 32 y/o and 105lb). I’ve been seeing my sleep doctor monthly to optimize my CPAP settings, and within the past few months, we’ve managed to get my AHI down from 8-12 to 1-2 for the first time ever. This makes me hopeful! Since I have a time sensitive issue though, what else can you recommend that I be working on? I’m experimenting with food insensitivities, focusing on lowering my stress, and am seeing a new GI next week. I’ve seen sooooo many unhelpful doctors that I just am not sure what to do. The only doctor I DO like is my sleep doctor, but if you have some out of the box ideas for me, I’ll try to come see you for a second opinion!

  35. K,

    Great to hear your AHI is down to 1-2. Give this more time to see if it can help with your digestive symptoms. Good luck. Sometimes mixed apneas may be due to expiratory palatal obstruction, rather than from true central apneas. This can sometimes prevent optimal CPAP use. The only way to determine if you have this is a formal consultation. Good luck…

  36. I had sleep apnea for 14 years with cpap and 2 liter oxygen. I recently had fourth sleep study because I was waking every 1-2 hours and was getting very little sleep. My recent sleep study showed I did not have sleep apnea. The doctor was surprised and ask what I had been doing. The only thing I knew was on the day of study I did not eat after about two o’clock. What does this mean???

  37. I have now been using a sleep apnea machine for about 4 weeks. For virtually the same period of time I have gone from excellent bowel movements to virtual constipation with say 22cm x 3.5 cm very firm stools that are very difficult to pass. It seems to me that there is an association. What do you think?

  38. I’ve been using a CPAP machine since early December 2017 and have noticed the following positive changes:
    – I no longer wake up 5 to 6 times a night to go to the washroom
    – I no longer suffer from bile/acid reflux during the night
    – I no longer suffer from chronic diarrhea
    – I no longer feel tired when I wake up – I wake up early every morning feeling energized
    – I have way more energy throughout the day
    – I no longer suffer from high blood pressure
    The negative change I’ve noticed since using my CPAP:
    – Issues with my teeth – more sensitive to hot and cold

    I am seeing more improvements in my health every month as I continue using my CPAP machine (I use a nasal mask).

  39. I believe my biPap device for central and obstructive apnea is causing my esophagitis and gastritis. I wake up bloated and in pain, full of air. The symptoms developed after I started the biPap 3 years ago, and medications have not helped. I am exhausted without the biPap, bloated and in pain with it.

  40. Just two days in to CPAP therapy I have noticed a definitive coorelation between sleeping and digestion. Things seem to be improving. Before it felt like my digestion had been sleeping and now it seems to have a new life again.

  41. I’m a 56 year old woman who has been recently diagnosed with SIBO. I have also realized I have some sleep apnea, as when falling back to sleep during the night I sometimes kind of wake up feeling my airway is closed. I can improve this by changing my sleeping position, how my head is cocked, etc. I’ve had insomnia for about 10 years now. Interestingly, about 3 years ago a sleep doctor told me he thought I could have sleep apnea. Of course, I thought, no way, I’m in good physical shape, I don’t snore, etc. So I declined the sleep study. Now I’m wondering if the SIBO is related to the apnea. Looking forward to reading your book.

  42. Have had a CPAP machine for nearly 12 months now and before I had the machine I suffered with severe acid reflux now I have the machine I do not suffer with it. I do notice now that in the morning as I am waking up my flatulence is fairly excessive but not smelly. I wear the full face mask.

  43. All of this makes a lot of sense and brings a lot of symptoms together, I find alcohol and spicy foods exacerbates the symptoms terribly. Another trigger is legumes (if I have too much!) I have always had problems with snoring, tooth decay and sore throat.
    The funny thing is a don’t snore if I lay down on the sofa for a nap, a deep long nap for maybe an hour.

  44. CPAP has improved my GERD and IBS. However, I am having constipation. I am lactose intolerant so that adds some confusion.

  45. I have suffered with IBS for over 4 years. As time went on it has gotten progressively worse and an every day even. However, 3 weeks ago I began using a CPAP machine for my sleep apnea and magically the IBS is at bay.

  46. I’ve had apnea my entire life since early childhood. I also have Chronic joint deterioration (Ehlers Danlos) and sleep is the most painful and stressful activity. I’ve been using BIPAP for 7 years now (finally at age 37 I got it) but now I have stomach issues constantly. I’m waking up with air in my stomach, acid reflux, IBS etc. My GI wants to treat my esophagus/reflux with Prilosec but I’m not sure reducing the acid is the issue. I think the stressful painful sleep, tossing, turning and fighting with the cpap mask ALL NIGHT is the real issue. I do everything I can to be healthy, exercise etc but I’m just exhausted in every conceivable way. I don’t know what to do. I have a consultation for “Inspire” to see if maybe I can get rid of CPAP. I have to move while I sleep because of my dislocations and I end up with the mask wrapped around my neck. I’ve never had a good night sleep in my entire life. Any advice?

  47. I have extreme constipation, feels sometimes I cannot breath. It started to be much more severe after I started using my CPAP machine.

  48. I came to this site looking to see if there is a correlation between CPAP use and ulceration colitis. My suspicion stems from the fact that the bowl issues seem to have started about the time I started using the CPAP. Other than constantly waking up in the morning with dry mouth, I have no problem with the CPAP use, but I’m wondering if the blowing of air down my throat might be irritating my bowls.

  49. I have digestive issues. I have been previously diagnosed with SIBO, microscopic colitis, headaches and inflammation muscle pain at night and trouble fall asleep and staying asleep. My oral appliance does not help with the snoring according to my husband.

  50. I am literally suffering from esophageal dysmotility with significant tertiary contraction, Achalasia including incomplete distal esophageal sphincter relaxation and a small hiatal hernia. Every bite of food hurts to swallow.