Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy

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  • 1 Answer
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    Because the exact causes of narcolepsy are unknown, there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Narcolepsy may have a genetic component. Seek treatment for your narcolepsy to try to prevent its symptoms from interfering with your life.

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    If you are caring for someone with narcolepsy, make an appointment for them to see their doctor about the condition. Then, ensure that they follow the instructions of their doctor. They should take all prescription medication as directed, and you should contact their doctor right away if they experience any problems. Also, encourage them to avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, especially before bedtime. Try to ensure that they exercise regularly (though not at night), keep a regular sleeping and waking schedule, and take naps of less than 30 minutes at the same time every day. Tell their family, friends, and school about their condition so they understand their behavior. Make sure they do not drive or do other dangerous activities if their symptoms are not under control. Have them seek counseling or a support group if you think it will help them cope.

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    Cataplexy occurs when you have a sleep attack that is triggered by a strong emotion. This can happen when you are surprised, elated or even intimate with a partner. You may slur your speech or lose control of your limbs, or you may become completely paralyzed.

    Narcolepsy with cataplexy is frequently linked to increased weight, sometimes obesity. It is possible to have narcolepsy along with another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder. 
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    A answered
    Often mistaken for depression, epilepsy or the side effects of medications, narcolepsy can occur in men or women at any age although its symptoms are typically first noticed in adolescence and young adulthood. There is some evidence that narcolepsy may run in families. Up to 10% of people with narcolepsy report having a close relative with the same symptoms.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    People with narcolepsy often tell me they feel overly sleepy after meals. What and how much you're eating may be a contributing factor. Some doctors don't believe diet has any impact on narcolepsy symptoms, but some studies—and definitely patient stories—say otherwise. Evaluating your diet and giving it a good healthy boost certainly couldn't hurt right?

    Let's give it a try.

    1. Start by journaling your food for two weeks. Don't change your diet at all, but write everything down. I mean everything: food, snacks, beverages, candy.

    2. Note how you feel up to 30 minutes after eating.

    3. Highlight or underline all the simple carbohydrates you're eating with each meal. Simple carbs break down into glucose very easily, which may be messing with your system, or even causing you to gain weight. Examples of simple carbs are: white bread, crackers, low fiber cereals, cookies, sweets, juice, white pasta, soda, cake.

    4. Replace simple carbs with complex carbs, like brown rice, multi-grain breads, oats, vegetables, beans, whole fruit, soy, yams, potatoes, yogurt, and peas.

    5. Clean out your kitchen and go shopping!

    6. Switch to eating high-fiber meals rich in complex carbs and lean proteins.

    7. Note how you feel up to 30 minutes after eating. Do you see a difference?

    What about that lean protein? Try limiting your protein to beans, fish, and poultry during the day and see how you feel. If you're inclined to eat red meat, limit the quantity to the size of a deck of cards, and eat it at dinnertime. If you're sleepy afterward—that's okay, it's bedtime. Right?
  • 9 Answers
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    A Sleep Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Narcolepsy is a neurological condition associated with sleepiness in the day, attacks of weakness with emotion (cataplexy), waking up from sleep completely unable to move (sleep paralysis), hallucinations as one falls asleep and disrupted nighttime sleep. The diagnosis can be made based on symptoms and ruling out other disorders. There are also tests that can be done in the sleep laboratory involving overnight and daytime testing.
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    Although some claim to be effective, there are no proven over-the-counter medications that can cure or treat narcolepsy. Taking nonprescription stimulants, for example, can be dangerous and ineffective without a doctor's oversight. Talk to your doctor before using any medication for your narcolepsy symptoms.

  • 2 Answers
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    If you answer yes to any of the following questions, there is a chance that you have narcolepsy.

    Have you had the sudden urge to sleep during the day even though you’re getting enough sleep at night?

    Have you fallen asleep while working, eating or speaking with someone?

    Have you felt alert after a brief nap but then the alertness quickly changes to sleepiness?

    Since narcolepsy is not a common sleep problem, many primary care doctors have difficulty diagnosing the sleep disorder. A board-certified sleep medicine doctor can help make the proper diagnosis. Schedule an appointment with a sleep medicine doctor at an American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Accredited Sleep Disorders Center.
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  • 4 Answers
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    A answered
    Narcolepsy is a condition characterized by sudden sleep attacks during the day. Individuals with narcolepsy may fall asleep at inappropriate times and without warning several times a day. Other symptoms that may appear alone or in combination months or years after the daytime sleep attacks begin include:
    • Cataplexy
    • Sleep paralysis
    • Hypnagogic hallucinations
    The development, severity and order of appearance of narcoleptic symptoms vary, and not all people with the disorder experience all four symptoms. While excessive daytime sleepiness generally persists throughout life, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations may not. The symptoms of narcolepsy, especially the excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, may cause serious disruptions to personal and professional life and severely limit activities.
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  • 1 Answer
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    The following are tips to help control narcolepsy:

    • Make sure you get enough sleep at night. Eight hours is right for most people.
    • Have a regular time for getting to sleep and waking up and stick with it seven days a week.
    • It may be very helpful to have rest periods or brief naps during the times of day when sleepiness usually occurs.
    • Since strong emotion may provoke symptoms, learn skills for dealing with strong emotions.
    • Avoid a heavy meal before any important event since a heavy meal may provoke a sleep attack.
    • Get some exercise most days, in the morning or afternoon.
    • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the late afternoon or evening.
    • Many people benefit from support groups that focus on coping skills and finding community resources.
    • If you think you may have narcolepsy, go to an accredited sleep disorder center so you can be properly diagnosed and get good treatment recommendations.