What Are The Five Signs Of Narcolepsy?

What is the main cause of narcolepsy?

Many cases of narcolepsy are thought to be caused by a lack of a brain chemical called hypocretin (also known as orexin), which regulates sleep.

The deficiency is thought to be the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking parts of the brain that produce hypocretin..

What happens if narcolepsy goes untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy. Making lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms.

Does caffeine help narcolepsy?

Consider your caffeine use. Some people with narcolepsy find coffee or other caffeinated beverages helpful to staying awake. For others, coffee is ineffective, or, in combination with stimulant medications, it can cause jitteriness, diarrhea, anxiety, or a racing heart.

Can narcolepsy come on suddenly?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects your ability to wake and sleep. People with narcolepsy have excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness. They may also suddenly fall asleep at any time, during any type of activity.

Can you still drive if you have narcolepsy?

When sleepiness is under good control, many people with narcolepsy are safe to drive. However, they must know their limits. Some individuals may be safe driving around town for 30 minutes but not on a four-hour, boring highway drive.

Can you have mild narcolepsy?

In about 10 percent of cases of narcolepsy, cataplexy is the first symptom to appear and can be misdiagnosed as a seizure disorder. Attacks may be mild and involve only a momentary sense of minor weakness in a limited number of muscles, such as a slight drooping of the eyelids.

Is narcolepsy a mental illness?

However, narcolepsy is frequently misdiagnosed initially as a psychiatric condition, contributing to the protracted time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Narcolepsy is a disabling neurodegenerative condition that carries a high risk for development of social and occupational dysfunction.

What does a sleep attack feel like?

In narcoleptics, because of the quick onset of REM sleep characteristic of a sleep attack, a sufferer will likely experience some muscle paralysis. They may also feel as though they’re dreaming, and be disoriented or frightened upon waking.

Can a blood test detect narcolepsy?

The MSLT is the most widely accepted diagnostic test for narcolepsy. In addition, a genetic blood test has been developed which measures certain antigens often found in people who have a predisposition to narcolepsy. Positive results suggest a predisposition, but do not prove the presence of narcolepsy.

What is the best medicine for narcolepsy?

Scammell describes the broad classes of medications used to treat narcolepsy. For people with mild to moderate sleepiness, modafinil or armodafinil are often good choices. For people with more severe sleepiness, however, amphetamines or sodium oxybate often produce the best results.

How do I know if I have narcolepsy?

They include:Excessive daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy fall asleep without warning, anywhere, anytime. … Sudden loss of muscle tone. … Sleep paralysis. … Changes in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. … Hallucinations.

Can you develop narcolepsy at any age?

Symptoms often start in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood (ages 7 to 25), but can occur at any time in life. It is estimated that anywhere from 135,000 to 200,000 people in the United States have narcolepsy. However, since this condition often goes undiagnosed, the number may be higher.

Is Narcolepsy considered a disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not recognize narcolepsy as a medical condition that automatically qualifies you for disability benefits. Therefore, you must provide a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment that provides evidence of your disorder and how it affects your ability to work.

What mimics narcolepsy?

Some people assume that because they are consistently tired during the day, that they may have narcolepsy. Other sleep disorders that cause daytime sleepiness are often mistaken for narcolepsy. These include sleep apnea, circadian rhythm sleep disorders and restless legs syndrome.

How do you fix narcolepsy?

There are several things you can do at home to help improve the symptoms of narcolepsy and include the following:Maintain a regular sleep schedule. … Schedule naps during the day. … Avoid heavy meals and alcohol. … Do not drive or operate machinery when you feel sleepy.Exercise regularly.

How can I fall asleep in 10 seconds?

The military methodRelax your entire face, including the muscles inside your mouth.Drop your shoulders to release the tension and let your hands drop to the side of your body.Exhale, relaxing your chest.Relax your legs, thighs, and calves.Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene.More items…

How long do narcolepsy attacks last?

It can be dangerous if the person falls asleep while operating machinery or driving. Sleep attacks usually last between 10 and 30 minutes although they may be much shorter or as long as 2 hours.

Does narcolepsy cause weight gain?

Many people with narcolepsy have a tendency toward being overweight. Adults with narcolepsy weigh about 15–20% more than would be expected on average in the general population. In the months after narcolepsy begins, sudden weight gain can be dramatic, with some children gaining 10–40 pounds over several months.