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Sat, Oct. 19

Varicose veins a symptom of serious health issues

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My wife has fibromyalgia and is always tired. Her sleep is very poor and she snores. Should she tell her doctors about this?

A: Yes, a key symptom of fibromyalgia is poor quality sleep. In addition, there seems to be a high incidence of sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. Interestingly, when these sleep-related issues are addressed, daytime symptoms improve. People are far less fatigued and pain levels drop.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My husband was recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. He snores a little, but other than that, he is not sleepy or tired. He filled out a sleep questionnaire that his doctor said indicated a high probability of having sleep apnea. Now his cardiologist wants him to have a sleep study before doing a procedure called an ablation, which would return him to a normal heartbeat. We are both puzzled by all this. Can you help?

A: Yes, a number of studies have shown that people with atrial fibrillation have a very high incidence of sleep apnea. In fact, over 60 percent in one study. We have several recent studies that have illustrated that if you have atrial fibrillation and untreated sleep apnea, you are 3.7 times more likely to go back into atrial fibrillation after procedures to return you to a normal rhythm if the sleep apnea is untreated. As a result, cardiologists, as well as many health care providers, have become very proactive in pursuing sleep apnea in patients with atrial fibrillation. Finally, for unknown reasons, many of these people do not present with the classic symptoms associated with sleep apnea of sleepiness, obesity, and fatigue.

Dr. Robert Rosenberg, board-certified sleep medicine specialist, will answer readers’ questions by incorporating them in future columns. Contact him through the form at www.answersforsleep.com or via mail at the Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, 3259 N. Windsong Drive, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314.

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