Here’s a very good story about one of my past guest interviewees, Dr. Avram Gold. Sleep Review Magazine published an interesting article that reviews Dr. Gold’s controversial work on functional somatic syndromes (depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, insomnia, Raynaud’s syndrome, RLS, hypothyroidism, IBS, etc.) and upper airway resistance syndrome.
It’s a fascinating discussion about how patients with “mild” or no obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can often be worse off than OSA. My sleep-breathing paradigm is completely in agreement with Dr. Gold’s basic premise, that frequent partial resistance to breathing at night with repeated arousals from deep sleep can cause or aggravate many of the the conditions listed above. What I describe has more anatomy-based descriptors, due to the fact that modern Western humans have shrinking jaws, leading to more narrow upper airways.
I, too have had patient with many of the various functional somatic syndromes feel significantly better or get better completely after treating their narrowed upper airway anatomy, using CPAP, dental appliances, or surgery. In fact, most of these patients had no significant apneas or very mild levels of OSA on sleep studies. In all cases, upper airway evaluation using a flexible camera showed very narrowed airways.
If you have or had any of the above conditions improve or resolve completely by using CPAP, dental devices or surgery, please tell us your story in the box below.