Sleep Apnea: Seeking Resolution

This week Tonya commented on my post about sleep apnea.  How to Heal Sleep Apnea – Eliminate the CPAP.  I believe there are so many sufferers of sleep apnea that is just from vitamin D deficiency that I have decided to highlight her comment.  Sleep apnea is failure of the CNS due either to trauma or nutritional deficiency.  The diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea is misnamed.  Sleep apnea is all central or related to the CNS.  It is typical for obese people to have low vitamin D and sleep apnea can result.  As Dr. Gominak says, if you can breathe when awake, then you can breathe when you are asleep if your CNS is healthy.  If you wear a CPAP of a Bi-PAP, then take action with your neurologist or doctor that is treating you to have your vitamin D issue corrected.  Have them read Dr. Gominak’s webpage on vitamin D Vitamin D Hormone and watch her lecture of sleep apnea and vitamin D and magnesium Video Lecture on Sleep and Vitamin D and Magnesium.

Tonya is a perfect example as what has been described by Dr. John Cannell as Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome – that is several diseases that can be linked to vitamin D deficiency.  Please join with me in praying for Tonya’s well being.  She writes:

I am 42 ,4.10 I’m not obese, I’m actually petite. I have been diagnosed with everything under the sun, ms, fibromyalgia, blood disorders,depression,the list goes on and on. I’ve been in and out of hospitals ,drs, specialists, and the medication list. well that;s another list on its own. i run a business and I’m single, I used to be the center of attention very outgoing full of energy. my life is down to this. I finally was told I should have the sleep study done. I have central severe sleep apnea. 115 times an hour, I stop breathing. along w possible heart disease. my chest hurts all the time. I’ve had two pulmonary embolisms. 13 years ago in my lungs….Life seems like such a struggle anymore just to do daily things in my home. I really want a life again. my friends ,family etc..I just got this bi-pap machine and it gives me even more anxiety.. is there not anything I can do naturally to cure myself of all of this nonsense? I sure would and could do a lot for myself and many people around me. I have had my fair share of trauma events, illnesses, and lifestyle explosions, and I just want to have a happy, healthy normal life..I’m going to try my hardest to figure out how to change this viscous circle the way our natural bodies should be. any feedback would be great.

Tonya,

I am so very sorry for your pain.  I know the difficulty of dealing with the medical profession when they do not have an answer.  Whatever you decide to do you should keep your doctor fully informed.  He may not agree with you, but most do not have a clue about nutrition.  I would suggest that you find a doctor of osteopathy or his credentials will say DO after his name.  Most of them have had training in nutrition.  If not then a nutritionist that is fully aware of the benefits of vitamin D and magnesium.  You are going to have to take personal responsibility for a lot of education in nutrition.  Suggest that you get the newsletters from Mike Adams and Dr. Mercola –  just google them.  Important is the Vitamin D Council newsletter by Dr. John Cannell.  Also since you mentioned heart disease then I would suggest Dr. William Davis blog – The Heart Scan Blog.

Central sleep apnea is a very serious disease.  In your note you said you stopped breathing 115 times per minute.  I assume you mean 115 times per hour. (I corrected you comment) Anything greater than 40 times per hour is consider severe(some doctors use a lower number). Since it is central it most likely originates from the nerves in your cervical disc or your neck.  Suggest you consider gentle neck exercises to help the nutrients get to your disc.  Be very careful as any impact on you head or sudden movement of you neck could make the condition worse.  I would hope your neurologist suggested a physical therapist.  I would also talk to him about a home cervical traction system for your neck.  You should also watch the video that was linked on the post that you read.  Dr. Gominak has become very schooled in treating sleep apnea, but none is probably as severe as what you have.  Stick with the BiPAP as this is necessary until your neck heals.  You need the oxygen while you sleep.

The key with your neck is to get the cartilage healthy so that the nerve roots are not impinged.  Only exercise will allow the nutrients to flow to the cartilage as it has no blood supply.  If you have had neck trauma then an MRI of your neck may be a good idea.  If the damage to your spine is severe then surgery may be necessary as a last resort. Try to heal with the nutrients first.

Our primary deficiencies are: Vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium, sulfur and potassium.  The potassium is the easiest to correct.  It is just a mater of eating lots of vegetables without losing the salt in the cooking water.  Eat lots of salads.  Greens are high in potassium without the calories. Suggest you read krispin.com for potassium and magnesium deficiencies and how much to take in the case of magnesium.

If you would like to know what I took to heal, then read the post https://pandemicsurvivor.com/2012/02/12/winter-relieving-back-pain-without-the-sun/  Since you weigh about half of what I do then the vitamins should be portioned accordingly.

Vitamin D should be held to a serum of level of 60 to 80 ng/ml.  To do this most folks require about 40 IU per pound of body weight per day.  For you this would be about 4000 IU per day of vitamin D3.  Be sure to use a reliable brand like Swanson, Vitamin Shoppe, or Bio Tech Pharmacal.  If you want to buy online then try vitalady.com and sign on as a guest.  This is the upper limit per day as described by the IOM so no doctor should have a problem.  If your doctor wants to prescribe vitamin D, be sure not to use vitamin D2.  Start the vitamin D supplementation and then have your level checked after about three months.

Magnesium is about 4.5 mg per pound of body weight per day so about 400mg as a chelate should work for you.  see krispin.com

Suggest you take at least two to three grams of vitamin C per day.  That is two or three caps of the 1000 mg size.  Be sure only vitamin C and not with anything else added.

The sulfur should be of the form of the triple strength formula like Osteo Bi-flex. (Chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM) A couple of these caps per day should be adequate.

Since you had the blood clots, then consider 400 IU of vitamin E per day to help keep your blood thinned. Dr. Mercola has suggestions on how much and what type at his website.

These nutrients should help all of your ailments.

See the post mentioned above for the other things that I take.  I suspect that you are extremely vitamin D deficient.  You didn’t say which part of the country you are from but I suspect a cloudy area like the northwest or Pittsburgh. Spend time in the sun this summer.

It may take a couple of years of good nutrition to help your apnea, but stick to the regimen. You other aliments should feel much better soon.  Try to eliminate the meds as soon as possible.  Be sure to get your doctor to agree that you don’t need them any longer.  Remember, you are in control.

We all love you and will pray for you.  – Pandemic Survivor

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Knowing When to Eliminate the CPAP

It really gives me a chuckle when I read or hear a description of the three types of sleep apnea.  Obstructive sleep apnea – doctors do not have a clue as to what this means other than in their minds they think their patient is just a fatty and all its associations.  If you have sleep apnea the central nervous system has to be involved.  Certainly being obese will make the problem worse, but the origin of breath is from our automatic response to live as controlled by the nervous systems.  Apnea during sleep means that you stop breathing long enough to cause a drop in the amount of oxygen in your blood to a level that is too low to sustain the body functions.

When you sleep, the body functions slow down.  By design, carbon dioxide builds up in your blood.  Yes, that is the same stuff that your government wants to regulate to prevent ‘global warming’.  Stop breathing, you are heating the planet up – you dirty polluter.  Sorry, did not mean to get side tracked.  As your body relaxes, breath rate slows and the amount of blood oxygen saturation drops.  This saturation is measured from complete saturation of one hundred percent.  When awake this level of saturation is typically above ninety eight percent.  When you sleep, it is normal for the saturation to drop into the low nineties or ninety-one to ninety-three percent.  When the level drops below seventy percent, organ death begins to occur.

During an apnea event, the body begins to arouse because of the need for more oxygen.  It automatically causes your heart to start beating faster because the demand for oxygen has increased throughout the body.  This event is very similar to when you exert yourself and the demand from oxygen causes your heart rate to increase.  You may awake to find yourself gasping for breath and your heart is racing.  The body’s oxygen requirement gets satisfied and you relax again.

So how do you know if you have sleep apnea or if it has gotten better?  There are many levels of sleep disturbance.  Apnea is distinguished from the rest of the disorders by this drop in oxygen.  Do not get me wrong as I am not diminishing other sleep disorders.  Restful sleep is extremely important to allow our bodies to repair.  To determine if you have a disorder that includes apnea, a polysomnogram or sleep study is required.  This is when you are connected to monitoring that includes the various metrics of your body.

You have sleep apnea and are using a CPAP to control the amount of oxygen intake.  You increase your vitamin D and magnesium to allow your body to heal.  A simple method to determine if you are healing or if your blood has enough oxygen is a device called a pulse oximeter.  This device fits onto your hand or arm and measures both the heart rate and oxygen saturation.  Sometimes, you are asked to wear this device at home before or instead of a sleep test.  It is also a good device to help you decide if you can stop wearing your CPAP.

That is exactly what I did to determine if my sleep apnea had reversed itself.  I felt like I did not need the CPAP any longer, but my doctor insisted that if I stopped wearing it the issues would return.  I did not want the expense or nuisance of doing a sleep study.  I found a pulse oximeter and used it for three months while not wearing the CPAP.  I set the alarms to wake me when my oxygen rate dropped below eighty five percent or my heart rate got above 90 or below 50.  The use of this device at home should be discussed with your doctor.

In a recent review on availability, I was amazed at how easy these pulse oximeters are to obtain.  Six years ago, I had to order from a medical supply and the cost was over three hundred dollars.  Now these devices are available at drugs stores.  They range in price from about fifty dollars to two hundred fifty.  I noticed one popular brand and model was about eighty dollars at CVS to one hundred fifteen at Walmart.  It had enough memory to store events for up to seventy two hours with software and cable so that the data could be transferred to a computer.

The fear of not wearing the CPAP was gone.  I did not have to worry about whether my blood oxygen was dropping low enough to damage my organs.  That was great relief.  It was amazing as I went from dying with blood oxygen below seventy percent to no events without a CPAP.  My weight had not changed, my nervous system had healed.  I don’t need to know the mechanism of healing, just that I could sleep again without the CPAP.  Obstructive sleep apnea – indeed!  I love the sun!   -Pandemic Survivor

How to Heal Sleep Apnea – Eliminate the CPAP

As you have read from my recent post, sleep apnea is a very serious disease.  There seems to currently be an increase with sleep apnea like many other chronic diseases.  All of these diseases follow very closely the reduction of the amount of vitamin D that is produced in the population from sun avoidance as promoted by our medical professionals for the last fifty years.  In addition, air conditioning and electronic ‘toys’ keep us trapped when we would otherwise be outside soaking up the sun.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

Daytime sleepiness
Memory Issues
Headaches
Body pains
Tiredness
Obesity
High blood pressure
Stroke
Heart disease which includes arrhythmia and heat attack

Would you like to get rid of that CPAP?  There is hope.  It is possible!  It took me two years because my sleep apnea was so severe.  I had sixty events per hour or an AHI of 60.  That is I would hold my breath for thirty seconds; and then, breathe for thirty seconds for the full sixty minutes in an hour.  This would drive my blood oxygen saturation to extremely low levels to say nothing of the lost sleep.  My health was bad as I was nearing death.

After my polysomnagrapy, the neurologist described what he felt was nothing more than obstructive sleep apnea.  That is I was so fat at a BMI of 32 that my ‘fat was closing my airway when I slept.’  I suggested that perhaps some of it could be coming from all of the spinal cord issues that I had with degenerative disc disease.  He simply shook his head and said that he did not see anything to suggest that it was central sleep apnea or coming from my central nervous system.  On a later MRI by my neurosurgeon, it was discovered that I had severe stenosis at C3-C4 cervical disc.  This location is the origin for the nerve root that supports lung function.  This diagnosis also explained why I sometimes would just stop breathing during my awake time.  I had another professional tell me it was just stress.

The CPAP was a blessing because it cleared up a lot of the symptoms.  However, it is a real ‘evil’ device when you have to use it even to take naps.  I know that if you have used this device that you recognize the truth of what I have just said.  Enough oxygen and enough sleep is always a necessity to life.  A breathing mask on your face or a nasal cannula stuck up your nose, supported by a band wrapped around your head, and tied by a hose to a mechanical air pump is well, just ‘evil.’  This device belongs in the twentieth century and not the twenty-first.

There is now at least one neurologist that finally is practicing medicine and not the politically correct NIH guidelines.  Dr. Stasha Gominak, Tyler Texas, discovered vitamin D and its effects on sleep in 2009.  I first discovered her work through Henry LeHore at www.vitamindwiki.com.  She has now been treating patients for two years with vitamin D and magnesium with great success including the elimination of the CPAP device.  If you have sleep apnea, I would suggest that you review her website closely so that you will know how to talk with your neurologist about this treatment.  In a recent email I described all sleep apnea as being related to the central nervous system except for extreme obesity and her response was “You’re right, it’s all central, if you can breathe through your neck when you’re awake you can breathe through it while sleeping, until your paralysis in sleep kicks in.  — explanation of how the CNS works in sleep———- Be careful to follow your levels [25(OH)D], the sleep disorder comes right back when you go over 80. Keep it 60-80 and you’ll do great. Once you get the vitamin D connection the morbid obesity is explained by the D deficiency as well, so it’s not obesity causes sleep apnea, it’s that obesity and sleep disorders of many kinds both arise from D deficiency.”

We applaud your efforts Dr. Gominak and thank you for your work in helping the sufferers of the many chronic diseases that are a result of vitamin D deficiency!

Dr. Gominak’s info:

Vitamin D Hormone http://drgominak.com/vitamin-d ‘I have left the link visible to be sure you can connect.’

Video Lecture on Sleep and Vitamin D and Magnesium:  5 part series http://drgominak.com/lecture   First video is middle of left hand column.

I know that you may be restless and tired, but get excited, go to this website or have your neurologist go there and then do the treatment.  Dr. Gominak does a great job in an entertaining lecture on how we got to where we are in the treatment of sleep disorders and what to do about it as well as her journey of discovery.

I have been without a CPAP and healed of sleep apnea since 2008.  Be well, sleep well, and go into the sun!  Pandemic Survivor

Sleep Apnea Survival

Healing is wonderful, in particular when the disease is trying to kill you.  Some of you that read this blog regularly know that one my illness was defined by my doctors as obstructive sleep apnea, OSA.  I had a very severe form of sleep apnea in which the prognosis without treatment would have meant that I would die in less than two years.

Severe sleep apnea is a really nasty disease.  You live constantly in a state of confusion from lack of sleep and worse from oxygen deprivation.  You may be doing almost anything and desire to sleep which sometimes is unavoidable.  The apnea drives up your blood pressure, puts a severe burden on your heart that is racing trying to get oxygen to your body, and causes gastrointestinal reflux which in a deprived state of sleep trauma can cause you to aspirate. Heart attack, stroke, brain death, drowning in your sputum, are all waiting there just to take you out.  If those do not get you then you may just fall asleep while driving a car and you are then putting other people at risk.  I do not mean to scare you, but if you have sleep apnea then you should act quickly.  Of course most people’s apnea is not nearly as bad as what I described above.

The symptoms of apnea are daytime sleepiness, headaches, high blood pressure, waking with a racing heart, nasty taste in your mouth at night from gastrointestinal reflux, loud snoring, and confusion.  The way you determine if you have apnea is whether you are breathing when you sleep.  Holding your breath for about ten seconds is not unusual in a healthy person and you may do this up to five times per hour.  However, anything more than this is sleep apnea.  Severe is when you hold your breath for more than ten seconds more than thirty times per hour.  There are two types of apnea as defined by the medical community, OSA that is caused by your throat tissues collapsing and closing your airway and central sleep apnea, CSA, that is caused by a problem with you central nervous system.

My wife bothered by my loud snoring monitored my breathing one night and told me that I was not.  I laughed at her because the issues with the pain in my back was so devastating that a few snoring episodes was no big deal.  I went to the doctor anyway because of other issues and after the note of the symptoms that my wife observed; it was off for a polysomnography otherwise known as a sleep study.  I was wired up from head to toe and told to sleep.  After what was only an hour, I was awaken from a disturbed sleep and was told that I needed an air flow device to keep me breathing and that it was going to be titrated during the rest of the night.  So how severe was the apnea?  It was like they did not want to tell me.  It took me two years of pestering my doctor before he finally gave up the results.  The tech at the sleep test told me that I was breathing for thirty seconds and then not for thirty seconds for the entire hour that she tested or an AHI (measure of sleep events per hour longer than ten seconds) of 60. What this means is that my blood oxygen saturation was dropping.  The info that my doctor finally told me was that I had dropped into the sixty percent range of oxygen saturation before the tech stopped the test.  What I now understand is that hypoxia and brain death starts to occur at below seventy percent.  Typically during your awake time you have a saturation of above ninety eight percent.  When you sleep the oxygen saturation will typically drop into the low nineties.  My level was obviously a ticket for death.

Now this really nasty disease has completely gone.  There is no more treatment necessary.  The treatment was a continuous positive air pressure, CPAP, device that forced air into my lungs.  The National Institute of Health says there is no cure for this disease.  They are wrong.  I really believe there is no such thing as obstructive sleep apnea.  It is all related to failure of the nervous system.  The good nutrition that I practice brought this disease to an end.  We will explore this more in other post, while you wait, go into the sun or get your vitamin D otherwise – Pandemic Survivor