Hi everyone,

I’ve been lurking on this subreddit and r/brainfog for quite awhile now and let me tell you this is such a great community to come to when you feel discouraged or misunderstood. So thank you to everyone who makes this community what it is.

For some backstory, I am a 23yo male college student who has gone through debilitating symptoms like many of you since late August 2020. I have had many minor neurological and physical symptoms before this started, but was always relatively healthy and active so I didn’t worry about my symptoms. My doctors throughout the years confirmed that I was healthy through blood tests and physicals. I have never had any major operations and successfully grew out of benign rolandic epilepsy when I was 10 years old and after having my tonsils and adenoids removed.

Since I can remember, I have always been chronically fatigued and had very low motivation levels due to being so tired. I have played sports my entire life and always been a pretty intelligent individual. Starting in 2015, I was put on antidepressants for moderate anxiety and depression. This helped immensely with both in the beginning but after about a year have been intermittently helpful and I have been on a few different medications ever since. I was on Lexapro 10mg for two years and Effexor XR 75-150 mg up until the present with a brief reprieve during summer 2020.

My biggest complaint has always been the feeling of my brain working at 50%. In college, this became incredibly apparent when I was put on ADHD meds to counter my severe fatigue and mild to moderate brain fog. Firstly, the meds never seemed to help my fatigue or brain fog and I needed to supplement them with TONS of caffeine to get any benefit out of them. At first, I was getting straight As, but every year since my grades have slipped to inconsistent Bs, mostly Cs etc. Basically just trying to finish school so I can progress. There have been some semesters when I have had to withdraw from all of my classes due to sheer burnout and depression/anxiety. I would sleep for 8-12 hours and no combination of sleep would result in waking up feeling refreshed.

In April 2020, I wanted to come off of Effexor XR because I felt they could be the cause of my horrible fatigue and brain fog and weight gain. I titrated off of them for around two months and finally came off of them mid-June. Maybe because of summer (when I generally am less stressed and have less responsibilities) or maybe because of a slight benefit to coming off my medication, I felt a little better. I still needed about four to five cups of coffee to function throughout the day, but I was losing weight and was overall feeling hopeful. This was the first time in five years I have not been on a medication.

Fast forward to August 2020 and my brain fog became unbearable one day. I woke up and it was like being hit by a truck. I was incredibly confused, disoriented and started to panic. I felt intense feelings of derealization and I was incredibly dizzy. I was terrified. I felt like I was developing dementia. It progressively got worse and I started developing SEVERE fatigue which no amount of caffeine could fix. I also started having horrible lower back pain and tinnitus. This made me think I had fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. I visited my primary care doctor and have gotten every blood test under the sun.

HAVE TESTED: -vitamins: normal -blood work: normal -hormones: normal -MRI and CT scan of brain: normal -heavy metal test: normal -Celiac blood test: normal -food sensitivity test: changed my diet to remove “allergens” but no change fatigue/brain fog -STD tests: negative -Lyme Disease: negative -Covid: negative -Naturopathic Doctor diagnosed me with PANDAS and Parvo Virus so I bought a ton of useless probiotics while I took an antibiotic and antiviral every day to try and “cure” the PANDAS and parvo -went to NUCCA Chiropractor who said that my neck was out of alignment and would fix it for $1400

I was finally given an at home sleep study and my results came back with an AHI of 12, RDI of 26.9, and ODI of 9.7. I was RELIEVED. I finally had some concrete evidence that something was wrong with me. Just to be sure, I checked in with a family friend who is a well respected sleep doctor.

He told me many males my age have mild sleep apnea and it did not warrant treatment. I was so sad and discouraged. I had nothing left to test. I felt so hopeless. I kept searching the internet for other causes for my symptoms and fell onto UARS. I had braces when I was younger that moved my jaw considerably. I have developed some lower blood pressure recently which I never had before and I constantly am clenching my jaw and have a scalloped tongue on top of my brain fog and fatigue.

Finally, I said I would try and get a second opinion with another sleep doctor and ask about UARS. He said that even mild sleep apnea warrants treatment and UARS is very real. I was so happy I could cry. He ordered an overnight sleep study which I did this last week. After seven months of dead ends I feel like I finally am hopeful for some answers. I will hopefully get my results back in the next week or two.

TLDR After 7 months of brain fog and fatigue I am getting a second opinion from another sleep doctor who is confident that UARS is real and mild sleep apnea should be treated. I am nervous to get my results back and really hope first at home sleep study isn’t a fluke so I can receive treatment.

My question is: Does my first sleep study show any signs of UARS?? That is what I am banking on now.

Thank you to everyone who read this. I know this is incredibly long. Would love to hear what you guys think about my first sleep test results!

submitted by /u/SwanRare
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