Chronic fatigue syndrome is getting a common disorder with increasing number of young people experiencing chronic fatigue symptoms and or fibromyalgia syndrome symptoms.Many have sleep apnea as they stop breathing at night when they sleep. Apnea means to stop breathing and sleep apnea means stop breathing while sleeping.It is a very common disorder in sleep medicine.
Increasing obesity in last one to two decade has made an impact in increase in sleep apnea diagnosis.Sleep apnea or sleep disorders are getting increasingly diagnosed with more sleep studies done and increasing awareness of the information in general public and medical community.Many of them have chronic pain or chronic pain syndrome with significant sleep intruptution and sleep awakening.This affects their sleep and daytime functionality.There is increase in fatigue with persistent sleep problems that one has with ongoing pain.Many experience chronic back pain, neck pain, or other bodily pain secondarily to prior injury or other problems.
The best way to have sleep apnea diagnosis is by the formal diagnostic sleep study which is also called diagnostic polysomnography.It is generally an overnight sleep study done in sleep lab.If one stops breathing more than 5 time/hour and have the sleep symptoms of daytime sleepiness or persistent fatigue, restless leg symptoms, hypertension etc then they usually have sleep apnea and need to be treated.
In chronic fatigue syndrome treatment, the treatment of sleep apnea is a key.CPAP or Continuous positive airway pressure remains the basic treatment for the patients with sleep apnea.Most patients may need CPAP treatment and if one cannot tolerate it then may need Bi-level positive airway pressure or called BIPEP.
Patients with chronic fatigue symptoms and associated sleep apnea when treated with CPAP or BIPAP have symptomatic improvement in their fatigue symptoms.One needs to use the CPAP for about 6 hours at night regularly for the better result.Patient with chronic pain syndrome also may benefit if they have sleep apnea.Patient with moderate to severe sleep apnea will generally start showing improvement in first week after start of the CPAP treatment in their sleep symptoms.They feel more rested after the use of the CPAP or BIPEP therapy.The response of the CPAP benefit will vary from patient to patient.