Can sleep apnea present with low blood pressure?

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Can sleep apnea present with low blood pressure?

Postby Cranky1 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:59 pm

The reason I ask is because a friend of mine, 32yo female, is something of a medical mystery. Naturally, she's never been tested for sleep apnea. I'm trying to encourage her along that route because, among other things, she wakes up exhausted every day and spends most of her days in bed because she just doesn't have the energy for much else. If she had high blood pressure, I'd think the possibility apnea would be stronger. But her bp is so low that with the slightest bit of stress she can pass out.

She's had health problems since she was a child, but they didn't go into overdrive until she had her three children. I don't know much about her medical history. except that she experienced some rapid weight loss not so long ago - dropping from a size 12 to a size 2 in a matter of a few months. Her greatest concern is that her adrenals are basically shot, and she has some kind of problem with her heart though I'm not sure exactly what. Those two, the adrenals in particular, made me think sleep apnea when I recalled reading cases of people whose adrenals went into overdrive and then crashed because of sleep apnea. Also her weight rises and drops by up to ten pounds in as little as a couple of weeks, which I had before I got treated. But the low blood pressure, so far as I know, makes apnea seem less likely, but then again the damage seems to affect people in different ways, and the damage to her heart could possibly be from apnea, causing the low bp. I really have no idea, though.

She's just undergone four weeks of very expensive treatment for Lymes Disease and while she believes she's seem some improvement, I have a feeling that something else is the root of what ails her. She's about to leave for home and I'm worried that at some point her will to keep persevering could give out, though she's very strong especially in faith. She's leaving tomorrow and I'm hoping to have a stronger case than just the possiblity to offer her, to encourage her to see a sleep doctor. I'm actually hoping it's apnea because that is at least treatable. Could anyone help me out?
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Re: Can sleep apnea present with low blood pressure?

Postby CatJ » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:22 am

Cranky1 wrote:The reason I ask is because a friend of mine, 32yo female, is something of a medical mystery. Naturally, she's never been tested for sleep apnea. I'm trying to encourage her along that route because, among other things, she wakes up exhausted every day and spends most of her days in bed because she just doesn't have the energy for much else. If she had high blood pressure, I'd think the possibility apnea would be stronger. But her bp is so low that with the slightest bit of stress she can pass out.

She's had health problems since she was a child, but they didn't go into overdrive until she had her three children. I don't know much about her medical history. except that she experienced some rapid weight loss not so long ago - dropping from a size 12 to a size 2 in a matter of a few months. Her greatest concern is that her adrenals are basically shot, and she has some kind of problem with her heart though I'm not sure exactly what. Those two, the adrenals in particular, made me think sleep apnea when I recalled reading cases of people whose adrenals went into overdrive and then crashed because of sleep apnea. Also her weight rises and drops by up to ten pounds in as little as a couple of weeks, which I had before I got treated. But the low blood pressure, so far as I know, makes apnea seem less likely, but then again the damage seems to affect people in different ways, and the damage to her heart could possibly be from apnea, causing the low bp. I really have no idea, though.

She's just undergone four weeks of very expensive treatment for Lymes Disease and while she believes she's seem some improvement, I have a feeling that something else is the root of what ails her. She's about to leave for home and I'm worried that at some point her will to keep persevering could give out, though she's very strong especially in faith. She's leaving tomorrow and I'm hoping to have a stronger case than just the possiblity to offer her, to encourage her to see a sleep doctor. I'm actually hoping it's apnea because that is at least treatable. Could anyone help me out?


I fit in the category of hard to diagnose patients so i can feel your friends pain. I've had an issue take 6 months to find answer i had another take 28 years. I have tendency to not have the right symptoms at the right time. I don't know why its just how I'm made. Because of this i try to stick older more experience doctors. New doctors can be very into text book systems and I'm not a text book kind of patient. Sounds like your friend isn't either. I'm new to this sleep apnea thing and I'm certainly no doctor but I think high blood pressure is something you can get not something you definitely get. I could be wrong so don't quote me. In my case i had high blood pressure before sleep apnea because of a medicine i was taking. Do you know if your friend has been tested for diabetes? That could cause rapid weight loss. (happened to someone I know.) It also can be a complication of sleep apnea.

Also you are a good friend to this person. Keep being there for her. Don't let her stop looking for the answer to her issues.

Cat J
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Mirage Quattro - Changed to FitLife
Pressure 12 - Changed to 13 March 2010 - Changed to 15 Oct 13 2010
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Postby RAM_Sleep » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:29 am

I believe that UARS can present with low blood pressure (and possibly poor circulation). Ill have to dig for the source of that, but it was a text book.
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Postby mtnplayva » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:01 pm

I've always had low blood pressure and was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea.
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EDS & POTS

Postby MissOSUfan » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:55 pm

CatJ - I was researching something on my own medical issues and saw your post. I read lots of them and I've never replied to anything, but I am not the only medical mystery out there it seems as your friends symptoms seem so much like mine that I felt compelled to offer some insight even though the post is a year old. I am fortunately getting some answers at age 39 and have been recently diagnosed with type 3 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hypermobility) and POTS - postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. EDS is a collagen disorder so anything in your body made with collagen can have problems and this only affects, oh say, your eyes (80% collagen), skin, organs, veins and all your connective tissue. I'd be willing to bet your friend has body aches, joint issues, chronically tired, vitamin deficiencies she may not even be aware of (particularly B's &D), may have poor wound healing, feel like she just needs to sit, holds her head up with her hands a lot, bleeding/bruising issues, nearsighted, exercise intolerant, has difficulty waking, poor memory, gets sensory overload, difficult to concentrate, possible joint dislocations, back issues, weird food allergies, chemical sensitivities, sleep disorder, immune issues, TMJ, gastric reflux or heartburn, spacey feeling or feeling disconnected, bouts of dizziness, palpitations, OMG I could go on forever about all the symptoms these 2 issues can cause. Bottom line, the EDS causes the POTS, which might explain some of her heart issues. Maybe she's been diagnosed with orthostatic hypotension or something or maybe she has valve issues with her heart? They're made of...surprise...collagen! Ask her if she's double jointed or really flexible. This blew me away when I found out that not everyone can bend their fingers backwards or touch the floor with their palms. If any of this sounds familiar to her, have her look up the 9 point scale for hypermobility and see what she scores. You can get 1 out of 9 and still have it even if you're not obviously double jointed. If any of this sounds familiar to her, have her get the books on Amazon by Brad Tinkle. He's my geneticist at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati and runs an EDS clinic there or just research and get in to see someone to get a definitive diagnosis. She should also see a good electrophysiologist for the POTS.

I have stumbled through 39 years of my life with so many issues, but because I never "looked" sick, no one ever took me very seriously so I truly feel for your friend knowing that she is probably dealing with something similar and doesn't even have a name of what she's fighting. I've been called lazy, I'm late for everything and have never been a morning person because I can't get up due to the sleep issues with the low BP so you get labeled a slacker. I have been misdiagnosed with so many things and had all but given up on anyone ever truly figuring me out when I stumbled across a family member that was diagnosed with it and it sounded like my medical history exactly. Turns out that there are lots of us out there that with these disorders and it bugs me that so many suffer quietly like I did for almost 40 years all because there's no awareness for this. Whatever her issues, you're a good friend to have posted this so bless you both and good luck in your quest for answers!
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Apologies CatJ

Postby MissOSUfan » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:59 pm

I meant my reply towards Cranky1! Heh, the POTS mind always has me apologizing for looking stupid. I guess that's the "inability to concentrate" issue I might have mentioned. :)
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Postby KimberlyM » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:04 am

I have low blood pressure (sometimes down to 90/60) and moderate sleep apnea.
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